manufacturing products and offering services of superior quality is the need of the hour worldwide. This is a critical aspectin sustaining customer loyalty and retaining the market base.In order to attain this, organisations have to comply with a set of procedures that are not only acknowledged and acceptedwithin a country but also internationally. ISO 9000 standards serve this purpose.ISO 9000 is a well-known family of guidelines and standards developed by the ISO. ISO 9000 standards for a QualityManagement System handles the processes concerned with the design, development and delivery of a product or service.The standard stipulates specifications for the control and assessment of a process for attaining quality performance.The 1987 version of ISO 9000 standard, (originally published as BS5750 by the British Standards Institute) emphasised onquality control by means of effective checking and corrective actions. Quality control (QC) is a management function thatcontrols the quality of raw materials, products, components, and services concerned with production and inspectionactivities. It aims to prevent defects in the products or services.The 1994 version of the ISO 9000 standard focused on quality assurance via preventive actions, and stipulated the needfor documented procedures. Quality assurance (QA) comprises all measures taken to ascertain that the standards andprocedures are in conformity and that the products or services meet the performance requirements.An ISO 9000 certification indicates that the management is effectively controlling the processes that are ‘critical to quality’ with respect to the customer. ISO 9000 is not just about service or product quality; it's about quality in management.These standards address aspects related to process management. This requires organisations to identify, document andcontrol processes ranging from executive management to the production of different items.An organisation could be successfully certified to ISO 9000 if it adhered to the specifications of the standard. In order to becertified, an organisation must submit to an accredited assessor’s examination. The assessor interviews staff members toensure that they are aware of their roles and responsibilities in complying with the ISO 9000 standard. The assessor alsoexamines the organisation's paperwork to check on ISO 9000 compliance. When all issues are addressed, the organisationis deemed for certification.
ISO 9000:94 family is a set of international quality standards and guidelines that have become popular worldwide for theirrole in setting up quality management systems within organisations.In the past, organisations preferred to implement any of the three ISO 9000:94 requirement standards i.e. the ISO 9001,ISO 9002 and ISO 9003. Moreover, there was a notion that ISO standards are applicable only in the manufacturing sector.ISO in a move to change this perception drafted some more guidelines that cater to the requirements of the service sector,small and medium scale industries and software companies. Given below is a list of ISO 9000:94 guidelines and standards.
, Quality management and quality assurance – Vocabulary. Defines the essential terms used in the ISO 9000family, which is necessary for avoiding misinterpretations.
, Quality management and quality assurance standards – Part 1: Sets the guidelines for selection and use of specific standards. Provides the scope for understanding and selecting the appropriate standards.
, Quality management and quality assurance standards –Part 2: Provides basic guidelines for the applicationof ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003. Helps in interpreting ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003.
, Quality management and quality assurance standards –Part 3: Sets guidelines for the application of ISO9001 1994 in the development, delivery, installation, and maintenance of computer software. Also provides a specificinterpretation of the requirements of ISO 9001 for computer software development applications.
, Quality management and quality assurance standards –Part 4: Provides guidance on how to plan, organiseand control resources to produce reliable and sustainable products.
, Quality systems – Model for quality assurance in design, development, production, installation and servicing.This is a requirement standard used to ascertain the process capabilities for the design and development of the product orservice, as well as for installation and servicing.
, Quality systems – Model for quality assurance in production, installation and servicing.This standard is used to ascertain process capabilities for production, installation and servicing (identical to ISO9001except for design control requirement).
, Quality systems – Model for quality assurance in final inspection and testing. This is a requirement standardused to control product or service through final inspection and testing.
, Quality management and quality system elements –Part 1: Guidelines for implementation. This optionalstandard provides guidelines to implement a quality system to satisfy the customers’ and organisational requirements.
, Quality management and quality system elements –Part 2: Sets guidelines for services. This standard isanalogous to ISO 9004-1, but the guidelines are designed specifically to suit the requirements of the service sector.
, Quality management and quality system elements –Part 3: Sets guidelines for processed materials.