home | search | management models | e-mail




compiled by

gari jenkins


ISO 9000 definition:  Established in 1987, ISO 9000 is an international set of five related standards for qualification of global quality assurance and quality control standards. Adherence is accomplished through an application process for ISO 9000 certification in company standards for inspecting production processes, updating records, maintaining equipment, training employees and handling customer relations. The governing international consortium is recognized worldwide.

ISO 9000 is a series of standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO.  These standards define  quality for manufacturing and service industries. The ISO 9000 standard is the best known of the standards written by the ISO.

For an organization to be ISO 9000-certified it must meet the standards of its industry and submit to an exam by an independent auditor.

How ISO standards benefit society

For businesses, the widespread adoption of International Standards means that suppliers can base the development of their products and services on specifications that have wide acceptance in their sectors. This, in turn, means that businesses using International Standards are increasingly free to compete on many more markets around the world.

For customers, the worldwide compatibility of technology which is achieved when products and services are based on International Standards brings them an increasingly wide choice of offers, and they also benefit from the effects of competition among suppliers.

For governments, International Standards provide the technological and scientific bases underpinning health, safety and environmental legislation.

For trade officials negotiating the emergence of regional and global markets, International Standards create "a level playing field" for all competitors on those markets. The existence of divergent national or regional standards can create technical barriers to trade, even when there is political agreement to do away with restrictive import quotas and the like. International Standards are the technical means by which political trade agreements can be put into practice.

For developing countries, International Standards that represent an international consensus on the state of the art constitute an important source of technological know-how. By defining the characteristics that products and services will be expected to meet on export markets, International Standards give developing countries a basis for making the right decisions when investing their scarce resources and thus avoid squandering them.

For consumers, conformity of products and services to International Standards provides assurance about their quality, safety and reliability.

For everyone, International Standards can contribute to the quality of life in general by ensuring that the transport, machinery and tools we use are safe.

For the planet we inhabit, International Standards on air, water and soil quality, and on emissions of gases and radiation, can contribute to efforts to preserve the environment.

How does the ISO 9000 model work?

The requirements for a quality system have been standardized - but most of us like to think our business is unique. So how does ISO 9000 allow for the diversity of say, on the one hand, a small enterprise, and on the other, to a multinational manufacturing company with service components, or a public utility, or a government administration?

The answer is that ISO 9000 lays down what requirements your quality system must meet, but does not dictate how they should be met in your organization - which leaves great scope and flexibility for implementation in different business sectors and business cultures...as well as different national cultures.

What if my organization implements ISO 9000?

The organization should itself audit its ISO 9000-based quality system to verify that it is managing its processes effectively - or, to put it another way, to check that it is fully in control of its activities.

In addition, the organization may invite its clients to audit the quality system in order to give them confidence that the organization is capable of delivering products or services that will meet their requirements.

Lastly, the organization may engage the services of an independent quality system certification body to obtain an ISO 9000 certificate of conformity. This last option has proved extremely popular in the market-place because of the perceived credibility of an independent assessment. The organization may thus avoid multiple audits by its clients, or reduce the frequency or duration of client audits. The certificate can also serve as a business reference between the organization and potential clients, especially when supplier and client are new to each other, or far removed geographically, as in an export context.


link: http://www.iso.ch

Business Processes

home | search | e-mail | management models