What Is the ISO 9000 Standards Series?

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Quality Glossary Definition: ISO 9000 series standards

ISO 9000 is a set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system. They are not specific to any one industry and can be applied to organizations of any size.

ISO 9000 can help a company satisfy its customers, meet regulatory requirements, and achieve continual improvement. However, it should be considered to be a first step, the base level of a quality system, not a complete guarantee of quality.

ISO 9000 vs. 9001

ISO 9000 is a series, or family, of standards. ISO 9001 is a standard within the family. The ISO 9000 family of standards also contains an individual standard named ISO 9000. This standard lays out the fundamentals and vocabulary of quality management systems (QMS).

ISO 9000 Series standards

The ISO 9000 family contains these standards:

ASQ is the only place to get the American National Standard versions of these standards in the ISO 9000 family.

ISO 9000 certification

Individuals and organizations cannot be certified to ISO 9000. ISO 9001 is the only standard within the ISO 9000 family to which organizations can certify.

ISO 9000:2000

ISO 9000:2000 refers to the ISO 9000 update released in the year 2000.

The Technical Committee responsible for the ISO 9000 family developed specifications for the ISO 9000:2000 revisions, leading to a significant advancement of the standards and reflecting contemporary concepts of quality management.

The ISO 9000:2000 revision had five goals:

  1. Meet stakeholder needs
  2. Be usable by all sizes of organizations
  3. Be usable by all sectors
  4. Be simple and clearly understood
  5. Connect quality management system to business processes

(From ISO 9000:2000 Shifts Focus of Quality Management System Standards, by Jack West.)

ISO 9000:2000 was again updated in 2008 and 2015. ISO 9000:2015 is the most current version.

History & revisions: ISO 9000:2000, 2008, and 2015

  • Originally published in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a specialized international agency for standardization composed of the national standards bodies of more than 160 countries
  • Underwent major revision in 2000; revised again in 2008
  • Current versions of ISO 9000 and ISO 9001 were published in September 2015

ISO 9000 principles of quality management

The ISO 9000:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 standards are based on seven quality management principles that senior management can apply for organizational improvement:

  1. Customer focus
    • Understand the needs of existing and future customers
    • Align organizational objectives with customer needs and expectations
    • Meet customer requirements
    • Measure customer satisfaction
    • Manage customer relationships
    • Aim to exceed customer expectations
    • Learn more about the customer experience and customer satisfaction.

  2. Leadership
    • Establish a vision and direction for the organization
    • Set challenging goals
    • Model organizational values
    • Establish trust
    • Equip and empower employees
    • Recognize employee contributions
    • Learn more about leadership and find related resources.

  3. Engagement of people
    • Ensure that people’s abilities are used and valued
    • Make people accountable
    • Enable participation in continual improvement
    • Evaluate individual performance
    • Enable learning and knowledge sharing
    • Enable open discussion of problems and constraints
    • Learn more about employee involvement.

  4. Process approach
    • Manage activities as processes
    • Measure the capability of activities
    • Identify linkages between activities
    • Prioritize improvement opportunities
    • Deploy resources effectively
    • Learn more about a process view of work and see process analysis tools.

  5. Improvement
    • Improve organizational performance and capabilities
    • Align improvement activities
    • Empower people to make improvements
    • Measure improvement consistently
    • Celebrate improvements
    • Learn more about approaches to continual improvement.

  6. Evidence-based decision making
    • Ensure the accessibility of accurate and reliable data
    • Use appropriate methods to analyze data
    • Make decisions based on analysis
    • Balance data analysis with practical experience
    • See tools for decision making.

  7. Relationship management
    • Identify and select suppliers to manage costs, optimize resources, and create value
    • Establish relationships considering both the short and long term
    • Share expertise, resources, information, and plans with partners
    • Collaborate on improvement and development activities
    • Recognize supplier successes
    • Learn more about supplier quality and see resources related to managing the supply chain.

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