Total Quality Management

September 7, 2008

International Organization for Standardization

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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.
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What made ISO 9000 so popular around the world?
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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. (more…)

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