Total Quality Management

September 7, 2008

International Organization for Standardization


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

ISO is able to act as a bridging organization in which a consensus can be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society, such as the needs of stakeholder groups like consumers and users.
What made ISO 9000 so popular around the world?
The European Community (EC) consists of 12 members nations was established with the goal of creating a single market, free from all barriers of trade.

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 benefits does ISO standards provide to the society as a whole?
ISO standards contribute to making the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services more efficient, safer and cleaner. They make trade between countries easier and fairer. They provide governments with a technical base for health, safety and environmental legislation.
They aid in transferring technology to developing countries. ISO standards also serve to safeguard consumers, and users in general, of products and services – as well as to make their lives simpler.
Why was ISO established?
In 1946, delegates from 25 countries met in London and decided to create a new international organization, of which the object would be “to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards”.
The new organization, ISO, officially began operations on 23 February 1947.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer of standards.
Although ISO’s principal activity is the development of technical standards, ISO standards also have important economic and social repercussions. ISO standards make a positive difference, not just to engineers and manufacturers for whom they solve basic problems in production and distribution, but to society as a whole.
What is ISO9000?
The ISO 9000 is among ISO’s most widely known standards ever. ISO 9000 standards are implemented by some 887 770 organizations in 161 countries.
ISO 9000 has become an international reference for quality management requirements in business-to-business dealings. The ISO 9000 family is primarily concerned with “quality management system”.

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



  1. I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

    Comment by Sue Massey — September 7, 2008 @ 5:30 pm

  2. […] BAYSTREET NEWSWIRE wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThe 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 … […]

    Pingback by International Organization for Standardization — September 7, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

  3. Sir, AOA
    This just for my clarification that u told ISO is greek word and pernounced (aayeeso) not I – S – O but according your notes it seems ISO stands for (International Standard Organization). I am asking because we three ( Muneera, Ruth and myself) are also doing Master in Nursing and learning Risk and Quality Management in Nursing
    Your response will be awaited

    Comment by Rehana Afghani — February 3, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

  4. very informative indeed

    Comment by salman — March 24, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

  5. good thing that i found such research as good as this. it will help me a lot in studying my field.! keep up the good work God bless!


    Comment by Jeca — June 20, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

  6. I read your post . it was amazing.Your thought process is wonderful.

    The way you tell about things is awesome. They are inspiring and helpful.Thanks for sharing your information and stories.

    iso 9000

    Comment by ISO 9000 — June 28, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

  7. community members who go through the auditing process–which can be anxiety inducing–but you make a great point about how strong systems and dedication to continuous improvement are what management systems are all about. Thanks for sharing.
    iso 9000

    Comment by ISO 9000 — September 21, 2011 @ 8:42 am

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