With thousands of ISO standards out there, sometimes it’s difficult to understand the difference between them all. This article explains the purpose of the ISO 9000 family, leading to the ISO 9001 standard, which covers the requirements of a Quality Management System.
ISO 9000 is a family of standards focused on quality management, put together through input from a wide spectrum of organisations and experts both in the public and private sectors. The ISO 9000 suite is intended to help organisations, no matter what size or industry, to become better managed, more efficient and more customer-focused.
ISO 9000 is based around eight Quality Management Principles:
- Customer focus
- Involvement of people
- Process approach
- System approach to management
- Continual improvement
- Factual approach to decision making
- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
There are multiple standards within the ISO 9000 family including ISO 9000 itself, which sets the tone by providing the fundamentals and vocabulary. The other standards cover specific points such as performance improvements, documentation and training. There is also ISO 9001, which determines the requirements of a Quality Management System (QMS). If you are unsure on anything related to this standard, we offer ISO 9000 training to get you up to speed.
What is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is the only standard within the ISO 9000 family that an organisation can become certified against, because it is the standard that defines the requirements of having a Quality Management System.
In its latest guise, ISO 9001’s full title is ISO 9001:2008, representing its last revision date. The standard provides a framework for a systematic approach to managing an organisation’s processes so that their service is consistent and meets client expectation. It also ensures the organisation meets applicable laws and regulations.
Do I need to use the other ISO 9000 family standards?
The vast majority do not use the other standards, because ISO 9001 alone is very effective when teamed with third-party certification. However, using the other standards within the family can help organisations get the most out of their Quality Management System.
The ISO 9004 guidance standard is intended to help organisations extend the benefits of ISO 9001 to your stakeholders, helping to give sustained success. By measuring the satisfaction of your clients, employees, suppliers and other groups, you can assess whether your organisation is truly continuing to improve.
Compatibility with other ISO standards
ISO 9001 is an ISO management system, and is similar in structure to the ISO 14001 environmental management standard. In fact, both ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 are designed to be compatible with the other ISO management standards, making it straight-forward for organisations who wish to expand their management systems.