What is ISO?
What is ISO?
ISO 9000 is a family of standards for quality management systems. ISO 9000 is maintained by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization and is administered by accreditation and certification bodies. Some of the requirements in ISO 9001 (which is one of the standards in the ISO 9000 family) include
* a set of procedures that cover all key processes in the business;
* monitoring processes to ensure they are effective; * keeping adequate records;
* checking output for defects, with appropriate corrective action where necessary;
* regularly reviewing individual processes and the quality system itself for effectiveness; and
* facilitating continual improvement
A company or organization that has been independently audited and certified to be in conformance with ISO 9001 may publicly state that it is "ISO 9001 certified" or "ISO 9001 registered." Certification to an ISO 9000 standard does not guarantee the compliance (and therefore the quality) of end products and services; rather, it certifies that consistent business processes are being applied.
Although the standards originated in manufacturing, they are now employed across a wide range of other types of organizations. A "product", in ISO vocabulary, can mean a physical object, or services, or software. In fact, according to ISO in 2004, "service sectors now account by far for the highest number of ISO 9001:2000 certificates - about 31% of the total."
ISO 9001 certification does not guarantee that the company delivers products of superior (or even decent) quality. It just certifies that the company engages internally in paperwork prescribed by the standard. Indeed, some companies enter the ISO 9001 certification as a marketing tool.
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