What is ISO 9000?

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ISO 9000 is a set of quality management standards created by ISO or the International Organization for Standardization. ISO is an international standard authority composed of representatives from different standardization bodies.

The ISO 9000 specifically has designed standards for manufacturing firms’ processes or their production of goods.

There are different standards under the ISO 9000 family that that include ISO 9001:2008, ISO 9000:2005, ISO 9004:2009 and ISO 19011:2011.

  • ISO 9001:2008 – lists the requirements of quality management system
  • ISO 9000:2005- deals with the concepts as well as the language of the certification
  • ISO 9004:2009- centers on how processes and practices should be created to ensure efficient and effective quality management systems
  • ISO 19011:2011- lays out the guiding principles for the quality management systems’ internal and external audits

ISO 9001:2008

The ISO 9001:2008 is the only standard in the ISO 9000 family that a firm can ask for a certification to. Certification to this standard however is not required. The ISO does not provide certification for other standards in the ISO 9000 family.

The ISO 9001: 2008 lays out the criteria for standardization of quality management systems. Any organization can use this standard regardless of its size. This standard deals with various quality management principles such as the motivation and implication of top management, strong customer focus, continual improvement, the process approach, to name a few.

At present, there are more than one million firms and organization that use this standard.


Getting certified for ISO 9001:2008 usually takes more than a year since ISO requires considerable documentation and presentation of processes before giving out their mark of approval.

Organizations that seek certification to this standard must conduct their internal audits to verify how their quality management system works. These entities may also want to invite third party auditors from independent certification bodies to check their organization’s quality management system.

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