Article: A short history of ISO 9001 quality management

Friday 8th June 2018

History of ISO 9001:2015

ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised standard for quality management systems. It is part of an overall family of Standards (known as ISO 9000) which cover a range of quality assurance topics. ISO 9001:2015 has been developed to help companies gain recognition for their quality management and demonstrate this to their customers. ISO 9001 standards are applicable to any type of industry and organisations of all sizes and can assist an organisation in providing consistent products and services leading to customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance and continual improvement. 

The history of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System can trace its origin back to the 1950’s with US and UK government departments establishing standards for military procurement. Large organisations which supplied government procurement agencies often had to comply with a variety of quality assurance requirements for each contract awarded which led the defence industry to adopt mutual recognition of NATO AQAP, MIL-Q and Def Stan standards.

BS5750 was the first specific 'quality management system' standard applicable to industry as a whole and was published in 1979. Building on the success of BS5750, the ISO 9001 standard was developed by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) to extend the reach of Quality Management to an international audience. This was agreed and adopted, and first published in 1987. 

Periodically the standard has been reviewed by the ISO technical committee every 5 to 8 years to ensure it is relevant to the demands of global business demonstrating its own continual improvement cycle. The timeline below provides an overview of the history of ISO 9001 with the significant changes: 

History of ISO 9001:2015

The ISO 9000 series comprises of the following standards:

  • ISO 9000:2015 Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary
  • ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems – Requirements
  • ISO 9004:2018: Quality Management Systems – Managing for the sustained success of an organisation (continuous improvement)

Click here for useful brochure from the International Standards Organisation

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