ISO

9GG4:

This defines the key terms and acts as a road map for the other standards within the series.

This defines the model for a quality system when a contractor demonstrates the capability to design, produce, and install products or services.

This is a quality system model for quality assurance in production and installation.

This is a quality system model for quality assurance in final inspection and testing.

This provides quality management guidelines for any organization wishing to develop and implement a quality system. Guidelines are also available to determine the extent to which each quality system model is applicable.

There are several myths concerning the ISO 9000 series. First, ISO 9000 is not a European standard, although it may be necessary to do business within the European Community. ISO 9000 is based on American quality standards that are still being used. Second, ISO 9000 is not a paperwork nightmare. Although documentation is a necessary requirement, the magnitude of the documentation is less than most people believe. Third, becoming ISO 9000 certified does not guarantee that your organization will produce quality products or services. Instead, it confirms that the appropriate system is in place.

ISO 9000 is actually a three-part, never-ending cycle including planning, controlling, and documentation. Planning is required to ensure that the objectives, goals, authority, and responsibility relationships of each activity are properly defined and understood. Controlling is required to ensure that the goals and objectives are met, and that problems are anticipated or averted through proper corrective actions. Documentation is used predominantly for feedback on how well the quality management system is performing to satisfy customer's needs and what changes may be necessary.

There always exists the question of how ISO 9000 relates to the Malcolm Baldrige Award. ISO 9000 requirements fall predominantly into the "quality assurance of products and services" section of the Malcolm Baldrige Award. It does touch the other six sections in varying degrees.

ISO 9000 provides minimum requirements needed for certification. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) tries to identify the "best in class." Organizations wishing to improve quality are encouraged to consider practices of and benchmark against past recipients of the MBNQA as "role models."

The International Organization for Standardization has recently developed the ISO 14000 series standards. ISO 14000 is an evolving series that provides business management with the structure for managing environmental impacts, including the basic management system, performance evaluation, auditing, labeling, and life-cycle assessment.

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