The ISO 9000 series of standards is a family of quality management systems standards, published by the International Organisation for Standardization. The standard was first published in 1987 but has undergone several updates over the years. ISO 9000 standards are aimed at assisting organisations in ensuring that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders, whilst also meeting the regulatory and statutory requirements related to a product or service.
ISO 9000 standards are not specific to any one industry but can be applied to organisations of any size. The ISO 9000 family contains the following standards:
- ISO 9001: 2015: Quality Management Systems- requirements
- ISO 9000:2015: Quality Management Systems- Fundamentals and vocabulary
- ISO 9004: 2009: Quality Management Systems- Managing for the sustained success of an organisation
- ISO 19011: 2011: Guidelines for auditing management systems.
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The ISO 9000 series is based on seven principles of quality management, namely:
- Customer focus
- Engagement of people
- Process approach
- Evidence-based decision making
- Relationship management.
These seven quality management principles (QMPs) form a foundation which guides an organisations performance improvement.
IS0 9001: 2015 is the only standard in the family that a management system can be certified to, and it can be used by any organisation, no matter its field of activity or industry. ISO also has a range of standards for quality management systems that are based on ISO 9001 and that are adapted to specific sectors and industries, including the medical sector, government and software engineering fields.
ISO 9000 standards are important because they ensure that systems work. Proper implementation of these standards can improve business by increasing productivity, better enabling the identification of new business opportunities, identifying risks and enhancing client satisfaction. ISO 9000 is one of the most widely recognised standards in the world; a system that enables the implementation of a quality management system within organisations, increasing productivity, reducing unnecessary costs and ensuring the quality of processes and products.
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