ISO 9000

Source: Wikipedia: ISO 9000

ISO(ver) 9000 is a family of standards for quality management systems. ISO 9000 is maintained by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization and is administered by accreditation and certification bodies. The rules are updated, as the requirements motivate changes over time. Some of the requirements in ISO 9001:2008 (which is one of the standards in the ISO 9000 family) include

* a set of procedures that cover all key processes in the business;
* monitoring processes to ensure they are effective;
* keeping adequate records;
* checking output for defects, with appropriate and corrective action where necessary;
* regularly reviewing individual processes and the quality system itself for effectiveness; and
* facilitating continual improvement

A company or organization that has been independently audited and certified to be in conformance with ISO 9001 may publicly state that it is "ISO 9001 certified" or "ISO 9001 registered". Certification to an ISO 9001 standard does not guarantee any quality of end products and services; rather, it certifies that formalized business processes are being applied.

Marketing departments take advantage of public confusion and ignorance about ISO 9000. Goods and services outstanding proclaim their ISO 9000 STATUS. Most consumers suppose that ISO 9000 is the same as ISO 9001.

Although the standards originated in manufacturing, they are now employed across several types of organizations. A "product", in ISO vocabulary, can mean a physical object, services, or software.

Quality is a "culture" - ISO 9001 "Quality" is an important Accreditation to achieve, it is also essential for maximum benefit that information is shared so that the culture of the business ensures that the Quality culture is embedded

(cont. in Wikipedia article)

Source: ISO 9000 Essentials

ISO 9000 essentials

This section concisely describes the essential features of the ISO 9000 family.

The ISO 9000 family of standards represents an international consensus on good quality management practices. It consists of standards and guidelines relating to quality management systems and related supporting standards.

ISO 9001:2008 is the standard that provides a set of standardized requirements for a quality management system, regardless of what the user organization does, its size, or whether it is in the private, or public sector. It is the only standard in the family against which organizations can be certified – although certification is not a compulsory requirement of the standard.

The other standards in the family cover specific aspects such as fundamentals and vocabulary, performance improvements, documentation, training, and financial and economic aspects.

Why an organization should implement ISO 9001:2008

Without satisfied customers, an organization is in peril! To keep customers satisfied, the organization needs to meet their requirements. The ISO 9001:2008 standard provides a tried and tested framework for taking a systematic approach to managing the organization's processes so that they consistently turn out product that satisfies customers' expectations.

How the ISO 9001:2008 model works

The requirements for a quality system have been standardized - but many organizations like to think of themselves as unique. So how does ISO 9001:2008 allow for the diversity of say, on the one hand, a "Mr. and Mrs." 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 9001:2008 lays down what requirements your quality system must meet, but does not dictate how they should be met in any particular organization. This leaves great scope and flexibility for implementation in different business sectors and business cultures, as well as in different national cultures.

Checking that it works

1. The standard requires the organization itself to audit its ISO 9001:2008-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.
2. 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.
3. Lastly, the organization may engage the services of an independent quality system certification body to obtain an ISO 9001:2008 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.

Additional Sources of Information:

ISO - Internation Organization for Standardization

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