About ISTO

Our history, purpose and mission, core values and the team behind ISTO

Our history

Founded in 2001, ISTO was established in Switzerland to provide independent, worldwide tests of understanding of the ISO 9000:2000 series.

Our logo from 2001 to 2023

With an ever-increasing number of self-proclaimed "experts" on ISO management system standards, and the vast number of training courses offered around the world with varying syllabi and standards of presentation, the need has become apparent for internationally-recognised qualifications to effectively demonstrate an individual's understanding and ability of implementation.

Since its establishment in 2001, ISTO has been offering a comprehensive range of qualifications to international standards and other competence areas to address the needs of user communities and professionals from different disciplines.

Apart from the certificate of achievement, candidates will be presented with an analysis report on their scores in the A C C U R A T E domains, and the ranking relative to other candidates. 

Our Purpose and Mission

Our Purpose

To enable businesses and individuals to elevate their performance by offering a globally recognized benchmark test in understanding of ISO management system standards

Our Mission

To provide globally recognised, independent and impartial qualifications in international standards or other competence areas, cost effectively to individuals around the globe.

What does an ISTO qualification mean

  • An opportunity for professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and skills
  • A platform to acquire qualifications in the understanding and implementation of the standards and other competence areas
  • Satisfies the often-required criteria in the selection of staff members
  • A basis for the responsible dissemination of knowledge by training organizations
  • A validating tool on continuing professional development

Our Five Core Values

1. Focus on Knowledge

We will not differentiate between candidates based on how learning was acquired but will focus solely on the level of knowledge possessed.

2. Confidentiality

Our operation and our global partners are committed to protecting learner confidentiality at all stage of the test process.

3. Technical Integrity

Our tests are technically demanding, but at the same time unambiguous, impartial and fair.

4. Transparency

Our tests will be administered and marked fairly and objectively.

5. Innovative

We will continuously look at ways, in particular technology, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our services and our processes.

Governance and Team

The Technical Advisory Board (TAB) advises the executive team on policy as well as technical matters, and to safeguard the impartiality of ISTO test process in line with ISTO strategy and the ISTO’s organizational priorities.

TAB members are generally members of ISO technical committees, or top management personnel in national standards bodies, trade associations, certification bodies, advisory firms and IRCA Approved Training Partners.

Technical Advisory Board (TAB)

Ms. Joana dos Guimarães Sá

Chairlady of Advisory Board 

Joana dos Guimarães Sá is and auditor and senior advisor on sustainability, management systems and certification, having developed its professional activity in the certification business operations and product development and previously in wood technology and Forest Inventory.

Her CV is available here.

Mr. Richard Green

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Green is the Founder and Managing Director of Kingsford Consultancy Services Limited based in the UK. He is also a serving member of a number of high profile British Standards Institute and ISO Committees. 

His CV is available here.

Mr. Gerardo Espinosa

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Espinosa is the Director of INLAC, the latin-american institute for quality since 2001. He has been the INLAC delegate in ISO/TC 176 since 2000, and is also a member of WG24 for the development of ISO 9001:2015.

His CV is available here.

Mr. Byung Yong Lee

Advisory Board Member

Mr Lee has served as the Vice President of the Korean Foundation for Quality, the President of the Korea Verification Association of Greenhouse Gas, and Director General of Social Responsibility & Management Quality Institute. 

His CV is available here.

Mr. Howie Ng

Chief Executive Officer 

Mr. Ng is an international adviser, lead auditor training course developer and tutor in ISO management systems. Mr. Ng has delivered IRCA certified lead auditor and other courses in over 30 countries. 

His CV is available here.

Examination Panel

The purpose of the Examination Panel is to be responsible for all matters related to the test process, including test scheme development, test question writing and improvement, test delivery, test marking and reporting. The Chairman of the Examination Panel is a de facto member of the Technical Advisory Board.

Test questions are developed through a multi-tiered drafting process, and are submitted to recognised experts for validation, prior to inclusion into the question pool. The pool of test questions, together with the suggested answers, is reviewed by an Examination Panel task force established specifically for the purpose.

The technical performance of each particular question is monitored and evaluated on an on-going basis and questions may be retired as needed.

The Examination Panel handles appeals related to test results.

Chairman: Mr. Richard Green.

The CEO is an observer to the Examination Panel.


The Operations team is responsible for overall customer care, the integrity of the delivery system, and the development and support of worldwide partners.

Led by the CEO, the ISTO Support Centre is responsible for the day-to-day ISTO operation. The ISTO IT infrastructure is outsourced to a cloud service provider.

The ISTO CEO acts as secretary to the Technical Advisory Board.


International Standardized Testing Organization Limited
Cranfield Innovation Centre
University Way
Milton Keynes MK43 0BT



Should you have any other enquiry, or be interested in becoming a marketing partner or an ISTO authorized test centre partner, please contact us by email.