ISO 9000 standards

What is ISO 9000?

ISO 9000 is a family of internationally accepted standards that are used to measure the quality management system (QMS) followed by an organization.

The main purpose of the standard is to provide a time-tested framework to help companies establish and follow a systematic approach for managing organizational processes for rendering consistent quality.

Before you begin implementing your quality management system, purchase a copy of ISO 9000 and ISO 9001. Read them both and make yourself familiar with their language and concepts. Although it is written in a dense, formal language the clause titles in ISO 9001:2008 are fairly self-explanatory.

How is ISO 9000 related to ISO 9001?

ISO 9000 is often used to refer to a family of three standards:

  • ISO 9000:2005 - Fundamentals and vocabulary
  • ISO 9001:2008 - Requirements
  • ISO 9004:2000 - Guidelines for performance improvement  

ISO 9000 explains the principles of the quality management system while ISO 9001 defines the requirements that an organization has to meet to gain certification.

ISO 9000 contains various definitions and terminologies that are integral to developing a proper understanding of the quality management concepts used by ISO 9001. ISO 9001:2008 has five main sections:

  • Quality Management System
  • Management Responsibility
  • Resource Management
  • Product Realization
  • Measurement Analysis and Improvement  

The 2008 revision introduces a concept known as the process model. This means that you need to define what your organization does by:

  • Developing a process model of your organization’s activities
  • Understanding how those processes inter-relate
  • Deciding who owns these processes and ensure they are trained and competent
  • Monitoring and improving the system by auditing and measuring customer satisfaction, etc.

ISO9000 principles

The principles of ISO9000 are integral to almost every business. They include:

  • Ensuring a focus on customer satisfaction
  • Developing leadership that drives the purpose of the organization
  • Involving all people within the organization
  • Adopting the process approach to managing activities and resources
  • Applying a system based approach to manage interrelated processes
  • Continual improvement (to meet customer expectations and ISO 9001 requirements)
  • Using data to drive decision making

These principles are not elements against which an organization can be directly assessed or certified but their influence will impact upon the implementation of the requirements.

What are the Advantages of Implementing ISO 9000?

Benefits include the creation and continual improvement of effective and efficient operating process, reducing waste, increasing productivity, better marketing, and above all else - increasing customer satisfaction and retention.

Commercial benefits of ISO 9000 and ISO 9001

Certification is often a prerequisite when bidding for contracts. It widens the scope of business opportunities - enabling you to increase market share and overall competitiveness.

ISO represents an accepted minimum management standard for a well managed organization. Whether you operate internationally or want to expand locally, ISO approval will demonstrate your commitment to quality.

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