What Are Quality Standards?
Quality standards are defined as documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines, or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes, and services are fit for their purpose.
Standards provide organizations with the shared vision, understanding, procedures, and vocabulary needed to meet the expectations of their stakeholders. Because standards present precise descriptions and terminology, they offer an objective and authoritative basis for organizations and consumers around the world to communicate and conduct business.
Who Uses Quality Standards?
Organizations turn to standards for guidelines, definitions, and procedures that help them achieve objectives such as:
- Satisfying their customers’ quality requirements
- Ensuring their products and services are safe
- Complying with regulations
- Meeting environmental objectives
- Protecting products against climatic or other adverse conditions
- Ensuring that internal processes are defined and controlled
Use of quality standards is voluntary, but may be expected by certain groups of stakeholders. Additionally, some organizations or government agencies may require suppliers and partners to use a specific standard as a condition of doing business.
ASQ Quality Standards
Why Are Standards Important?
For businesses: Standards are important to the bottom line of every organization. Successful companies recognize standards as business tools that should be managed alongside quality, safety, intellectual property, and environmental policies. Standardization leads to lower costs by reducing redundancy, minimizing errors or recalls, and reducing time to market.
For the global economy: Businesses and organizations complying to quality standards helps products, services, and personnel cross borders and also ensures that products manufactured in one country can be sold and used in another.
For consumers: Many quality management standards provide safeguards for users of products and services, but standardization can also make consumers’ lives simpler. A product or service based on an international standard will be compatible with more products or services worldwide, which increases the number of choices available across the globe.
Why Standards from ASQ?
ASQ plays a vital role in the development of international standards. ASQ’s role is to administer the U.S. Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) that develop the most popular standards—ISO 9001, ISO 19011, ISO 26000, and ISO 14001. Additionally, ASQ produces books, articles, case studies, webcasts, training, and other supporting materials for individuals and organizations looking to improve their use of and compliance to quality standards.