BSI Education

Quality Management Systems

Quality Management Systems help organizations to create products of consistent quality. This helps the organization to work efficiently, and reassures customers or clients that they will receive a consistent product or service. Use the links below to find out more.

History of BS EN ISO 9000:2000

From the 1920s to the 1940s, the quality of products was ensured by quality control. At the end of a factory production line, there was usually a team of people carrying out inspections to weed out products that would not meet customer requirements.

At the end of the 1940s, the Department of Defense in the USA recognized the benefits of a system that had transformed the Japanese manufacturing industry. The standardized system developed by the Department of Defense was called quality assurance and involved organizations establishing procedures to manage all the functions that affected the quality of the manufactured products.

The British Standards Institution (BSI) published the first edition of its BS 5750 series of quality assurance Standards in 1979. These were designed to be used by any manufacturer. They enabled organizations to become certified, allowing them to display a mark of registration issued by the body that carried out the assessment.

In 1987, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) based its ISO 9000 family of Standards on BS 5750. The ISO 9000 Standards were adopted by the European Community (now the European Union). They were also adopted in the UK, and the series of Standards is called BS EN ISO 9000.

Although the Standards were identified as being suitable for organizations delivering services as well as for those manufacturing products, some adaptations were needed. In 1994 they were revised to make them more user-friendly for service industries, and by the year 2000 a major revision was completed, creating the current Standard series.

'ISO' is not at acronym, as this would need to change to when translated into different languages. It is the chosen abbreviation for the International Organization for Standardization and is actually the Greek word for 'equal'.

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The family of ISO 9000 Standards

There are four core Standards and a series of supporting Standards:

ISO 9000:2000 - Quality Management Systems
Fundamentals and Vocabulary

ISO 9001:2000 - Quality Management Systems Requirements

ISO 9004:2000 - Quality Management Systems Guidance

ISO 19011:2000 - Quality Management Systems Auditing

ISO 1000 series of QMS supporting standards

The term 'ISO 9000' is often used incorrectly. Properly used, it is the individual standard, ISO 9000:2000 - Quality Management Systems Fundamentals and Vocabulary.

When an organization is ISO 9001 registered (or 'certified'), it means that an auditor has checked and confirmed that it meets the requirements laid out in ISO 9001:2000. This is the only Standard in the family for which a third-party can issue registration. The logo opposite is the one displayed by the organizations that have gained registration through BSI.

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What are the benefits of the BS EN ISO 9000:2000 series?

Customers and users benefit by receiving the products that are:

  • Conforming to the requirements
  • Dependable and reliable
  • Available when needed
  • Maintainable

People in the organization benefit by:

  • Better working conditions
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Improved health and safety
  • Improved morale

Owners and investors benefit by:

  • Increased return on investment
  • Improved operational results
  • Increased market share
  • Increased profits

Society benefits by:

  • Fulfilment of legal and regulatory requirements
  • Improved health and safety
  • Reduced environmental impact
  • Increased security

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How much does registration (certification) cost?

The cost depends on a number of factors such as the size of company, number of sites, type of company and complexity of processes, so costs have to be estimated on a case-by-case basis.

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Further information

There is no official central database of organizations with ISO 9000 certificates. However, ISO carries out a regular survey.

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