Quality Management Certification is a huge industry and one that has received a lot of criticism in the last years. Suffice it to say, we here will focus on the positive and give you a brief outline of the topic.
As a result of major disasters during the second world war, where the military could not function because of deliveries of wrong replacement parts for their broken down machinery – or so, the story has it, the whole concept of Quality Management was born.
Soon enough the Military standards started to prepare lists of requirements they felt a supplier must have in order to be accepted as a supplier. These sets of requirements were further developed and adopted by the various governments and their Standard Bodies, until we have the now well known ISO9000 Standards for Quality management Systems.
The ISO 9000 family consists of a core of three International Standards plus many associate quality standards, technical reports and guides, two of which are included here as having very close ties with the family.
The family consists of:
ISO 9000: 2008 Quality management systems - Fundamentals and vocabulary
ISO 9001: 2008 Quality management system – Requirements
ISO 9004: 2008 Quality management system - Guidelines for performance improvement.
Associated with the above are:
ISO 10012 Quality assurance requirements for measuring equipment- Metrological confirmation system for measuring equipment; and
ISO 19011 Auditing quality and environmental management systems
The ISO 9000 family is not a series of product standards - it contains no product requirements.
The family is not a quality management system and does not describe a quality management system - it is a series of generic standards for quality management systems.
The standards in the family are not a guarantee of product or service quality.
Customer focused leadership produces satisfied customers not standards An ISO 9001 audit will demonstrate that an organisation has the minimum requirements for a quality management system that give assurance of its capability to meet specified and implied requirements that will satisfy the customer.
Quality Management Certification helps a business achieve better results by ensuring that:
Like all ISO standards, their use is voluntary, unless a specific business sector makes them a market requirement or a government issues regulations making their use obligatory.
Not having ISO 9001 certification does not mean that an organisation will not be able to do business. However, if an organisation does not have ISO 9001 certification it may give its customer a reason to choose a competitor because of the assurance of quality that that competitor can provide.
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