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  Quality and ISO


Quality is the characteristic that satisfy customers' expectations in terms of product, price and service.



The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of international standards bodies (ISO member bodies). At present comprising the national standards bodies of 91 countries.

ISO is made up of approximately 180 Technical Committees. Each Technical Committee is responsible for one of many areas of specialization ranging from asbestos to zinc. The purpose of ISO is to promote the development of standardization and related world activities to facilitate the international exchange of goods and services, and to develop cooperation in intellectual, scientific, technological, and economic activity. The results of ISO technical work are published as international standards. The standards discussed here are a result of this process.

ISO 9000 series standards

ISO Technical Committee 176 (ISO/TC176) was formed in 1979 to harmonize the increasing international activity in quality management and quality assurance standards.

Subcommittee 1 was established to determine common terminology. It developed ISO 8402: Quality-Vocabulary, which was published in 1986. Subcommittee 2 was established to develop quality systems standards--the result being the ISO 9000 series, published in 1987 (revised 1994).

The ISO 9000 series is a set of five individual, but related, international standards on quality management and quality assurance. They are generic, not specific to any particular products. They can be used by manfacturing and service industries alike. These standards were developed to effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented in order to maintain an efficient quality system in your company. The ISO 9000 Series standards do not themselves specify the technology to be used for implementing quality system elements.

There are several benefits to implementing this series in organization. For example, it provides guidelines to build quality into product or service and avoid costly after-the-fact inspections, warranty costs, and rework. In addition, you may also be able to reduce the number of audit customers perform on your operation. Increasingly, customers are accepting supplier quality system registration from an accredited third-party assessment based on these standards.

Details of the Series

ISO 9000 provides the user with guidelines for selection and use of ISO 9001, 9002, 9003 and 9004. ISO 9001, 9002, and 9003 are quality system models for external quality assurance. These three models are actually successive subsets of each other.

  • ISO 9001 is the most comprehensive - covering design, manufacturing, installation, and servicing systems.
  • ISO 9002 covers production and installation
  • ISO 9003 covers only final product inspection and test.

These three models were developed for use in contractual situations such as those between a customer and a supplier. ISO 9004 provides guidelines for internal use by a producer developing its own quality system to meet business needs and take advantage of opportunities.

The choice of which model to implement depends on the scope of your operation. For example, if you design your own product or service, you may consider ISO 9001. If you only manufacture (working off someone else's design) you may wish to consider ISO 9002. Finally, if you neither design nor manufacture, you may wish to consider ISO 9003.

Useful links to some quality site

IQA is a quality institution in UK.

British Standard Organization provides quality standards for UK.


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