Definition

ISO 9000

(For the business server line from Hewlett-Packard, see HP 9000.)

ISO 9000 is a series of standards, developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), that define, establish, and maintain an effective quality assurance system for manufacturing and service industries. The ISO 9000 standard is the most widely known and has perhaps had the most impact of the 13,000 standards published by the ISO. It serves many different industries and organizations as a guide to quality products, service, and management.

An organization can be ISO 9000-certified if it successfully follows the ISO 9000 standards for its industry. In order to be certified, the organization must submit to an examination by an outside assessor. The assessor interviews staff members to ensure that they understand their part in complying with the ISO 9000 standard, and the assessor examines the organization's paperwork to ensure ISO 9000 compliance. The assessor then prepares a detailed report that describes the parts of the standard the organization missed. The organization then agrees to correct any problems within a specific time frame. When all problems are corrected, the organization can then be certified. Today, there are approximately 350,000 ISO 9000-certified organizations in over 150 countries.

The Technical Committee (TC) behind ISO 9000 is TC 176.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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