What is ISO 9000?
ISO 9000 is a set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements, to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system. The Standards are applicable to any type of industry and organisations of all sizes.
ISO 9000 can assist an organisation in providing consistent products and services leading to customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance and continual improvement. Implementing an ISO 9001 management system can be the first step to develop a base level of a quality system and set out a practical and useful platform for continual improvement.
So where did it all start?
ISO9001 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.
BS 5750 was first published in 1979 and was one of the earliest attempts to produce a formal recognised standard applicable to industry. Building on the success of BS5750, the standard was further developed by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) to produce a standard equally non-specific to a particular industry, but internationally agreed and adopted, and first published in 1987.
Periodically the standard has been reviewed to ensure it is relevant to the demands of global business demonstrating its own continual improvement cycle. The timeline below provides an overview of significant changes:
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