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Learn About Quality

What Is the ISO 9000 Standards Series?

Quality Glossary Definition: ISO 9000 series standards

ISO 9000 is defined as a set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements needed 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. It should be considered to be a first step or the base level of a quality system.

ISO 9000 Vs. 9001

ISO 9000 is a series, or family, of quality management standards, while 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 for quality management systems (QMS).

ISO 9000 series of Standards

The ISO 9000 family contains these standards:

ASQ is the only place where organizations can obtain the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) versions of these standards in the ISO 9000 family.

ISO 9000 history and revisions: ISO 9000:2000, 2008, and 2015

ISO 9000 was first 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. The standards underwent revisions in 2000 and 2008. The most recent versions of the standard, ISO 9000:2015 and ISO 9001:2015, were published in September 2015.

ASQ administers the U.S. Technical Advisory Groups and subcommittees that are responsible for developing the ISO 9000 family of standards. In its standards development work, ASQ is accredited by ANSI.

ISO 9000:2000

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

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

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

ISO 9000:2015 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 to promote organizational improvement.

ISO 9000 Quality Management Principles
ISO 9000 Quality Management Principles

  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
  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

30 Years of ISO 9000

The ISO 9000 series of standards celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017

First published in March 1987, ISO 9001: Quality management systems - Requirements has become the most successful standard in the history of the International Organization for Standardization.

The popularity of the ISO 9000 series paved the way for other management system standards, including: 

ISO 9001 certification

ISO 9001 is the only standard within the ISO 9000 family to which organizations can certify. Learn more about ISO 9000 training and certifications with ASQ’s ISO 9000 courses and learning materials.

Get started with ISO 9000

ASQ is the only place to get ANSI/ISO/ASQ Q9001-2015, the American National Standard version of ISO 9001:2015.

Available formats include:

Resources for ISO 9000 and Other Standards

You can also search articles, case studies, and publications for ISO 9000 resources.

Certifying the Certifier (PDF) Over a three-year period, Quality Management Company (QMC) improved itself from the inside out—and became ISO certified in the process. ISO 9001 provided QMC with a logical framework for developing a quality management system.

Prescription for Community-Based Healthcare Includes ISO 9001 (PDF) The Community Anticoagulation Therapy Clinic demonstrates how ISO 9001 principles can provide a framework for a community model of care delivery and patient safety. Customer and provider surveys demonstrate 100% satisfaction with the clinic, which uses a controlled document system based on ISO 9001, internal and external auditing, and preventive and corrective action plans.

Agricultural Firms Gain Competitive Edge With USDA’s ISO 9001-Based Verification Program (PDF) The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Process Verified Program uses the ISO 9001:2000 standard to evaluate the quality management systems of agricultural businesses.

U.S. Air Force Earns High-Flying Results with Quality Management Specifications for Suppliers (PDF) Adopting ISO 9001 compliance as a sourcing criterion in its supplier selection process and requiring suppliers' quality management representatives to become ASQ Certified Quality Auditors have saved the Air Force millions of dollars and nearly eliminated critical defects in supplier products and services.

Continuous Improvement in Public Schools Through ISO 9001:2000 (PDF) Since Racine Unified School District achieved ISO 9001:2000 certification, the district has made notable progress in closing the achievement gap between demographic groups in reading and math, decreasing truancy and suspensions and increasing parent satisfaction.

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