What is ISO?
ISO is an NGO, which is a network of the national standards institutes of 157 countries, on the basis of one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.
Because “International Organization for Standardization” would have different abbreviations in different languages (“IOS” in English, “OIN” in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation), it was decided at the outset to use a word derived from the Greek isos, meaning “equal”. Therefore, whatever the country, whatever the language, the short form of the organization’s name is always ISO.
ISO occupies a special position between the public and private sectors. Many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations
For products and services to be traded freely, there must be assurance that those products meet certain standards, whether they are produced in one of the EC nations or in a non-EC nation such as US, Japan, etc.
However it is worth noting that ISO 9000 is not standards for products, but standards for operation of a quality management.
The EC adopted ISO 9000 in 1989 to integrate various technical norms and specifications of its member states. The EC is using the standards to provide a universal framework for quality assurance and to ensure the quality of goods and services across the borders.
What is the fundamental approach to achieving ISO9000 certification?
Achieving of ISO 9000 can be summed up in four simple steps:
1. Document what you do
2. Do what you said you will do
3. Control non-conformance
4. Control change
What are the principle guidelines of ISO 9000:2000?
The eight quality management principles are defined in ISO 9000:2000, Quality management systems Fundamentals and vocabulary, and in ISO 9004:2000, Quality management systems Guidelines for performance improvements
Principle 1 Customer focus
Principle 2 Leadership
Principle 3 Involvement of people
Principle 4 Process approach
Principle 5 System approach to management
Principle 6 Continual improvement
Principle 7 Factual approach to decision making
Principle 8 Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
Principle 1 Customer focus: Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, should meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations.
Principle 2 Leadership: Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction of the organization. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization’s objectives.
Principle 3 Involvement of people: People at all levels are the essence of an organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization’s benefit.
Principle 4 Process approach: A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.
Principle 5 System approach to management: Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes to the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objectives.
Principle 6 Continual improvement: Continual improvement of the organization’s overall performance should be a permanent objective of the organization.
Principle 7 Factual approach to decision making: Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information
Principle 8 Mutually beneficial supplier relationships: An organization and its suppliers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.
The future evolution of ISO 9000
In order for the ISO 9000 family to maintain its effectiveness, the standards are periodically reviewed in order to benefit from new developments in the quality management field and also from user feedback. ISO/TC 176, which is made up of experts from businesses and other organizations around the world, monitors the use of the standards to determine how they can be improved to meet user needs and expectations when the next revisions are due in approximately five years’ time.
ISO/TC 176 will continue to integrate quality assurance, quality management, sector specific initiatives and various quality awards within the ISO 9000 family.
ISO’s commitment to sustaining the ISO 9000 momentum through reviews, improvement and streamlining of the standards guarantees that your investment in ISO 9000 today will continue to provide effective management solutions well into the future