According to the International Organization for Standardization, professional standards are specifications designed to make a specific industry more efficient and effective. The ISO 9000 for quality management is an example of a professional standard.
ISO is the largest developer of International Standards. The organization creates standards relating to industries such as technology, agriculture and healthcare. Each standard outlines the requirements an organization must fulfill to ensure that products and services consistently meet customers' requirements. These standards are also regularly updated to ensure that quality is consistently improved. The ISO 9000 sets out requirements of quality management systems and is one of the best known standards.
Professional standards are also created by local authorities in different countries. For instance, Canada's Certified General Accountants Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Conduct is a professional standard that protects the public and ensures that CGAs in Canada maintain the highest ethical standards. Every industry has a different set of professional standards to follow. Businesses adhere to professional standards in order to compete with international quality standards and avoid ethical misconduct. Professional standards also determine the corporate culture of a business, as well as the procedures and tactics used to manage the company's resources.