ISO 9000 is not a product standard, it concerns processes. The efficient and effective management of processes affects whether or not everything has been done to ensure that the product satisfies the customer's quality requirements.
The term ISO 9000 refers to a set of quality management standards. The ISO 9000 standards, first published in 1987 revised in 1994 and republished in 2000, have been adopted by many organizations all over the world and apply to all types of organizations, large and small, and in many industries. The 2000 version, ISO 9000:2000, placed the concept of process management directly in the Standard, although the essential goal of the standard, of achieving management system effectiveness via process performance metrics, remained the same. It reduced the emphasis on having documented procedures if clear evidence could be presented to show that the process was working well.
ISO9000 currently includes three quality standards: ISO 9000:2000, ISO9001:2000, and ISO9004:2000. ISO 9001:2000 presents requirements, while ISO 9000:2000 and ISO 9004:2000 present guidelines. The three standards ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003 have been integrated into the new ISO 9001:2000. The entire family of standards should be used in an integrated manner. It is suggested that, beginning with ISO 9000:2000, you adopt ISO 9001:2000 to achieve a first level of performance. The practices described in ISO 9004:2000 may then be implemented to make your quality management system increasingly effective in achieving your own business goals. (ISO, 2005)
Hence when an organization claims to be "ISO 9000 compliant", it means they conform to ISO 9001:2000. ISO 9001:2000 is now the only standard in the ISO 9000 family against whose requirements a company's quality system can be certified by an external agency. The standard classifies product into generic product categories: processed material, hardware, software and services required by the customer.
The activities that need to be considered while implementing a system of quality management are specified in five sections of ISO 9001:2000. They are quality management system, management responsibility, resource management & measurement, product realisation and analysis and improvement. These five sections together specify the steps to be taken to deliver products and services that meet both customer as well as regulatory requirements.
Quality Management Principles
The quality management system standards of the revised ISO 9000:2000 series are based on eight principles. A successful implementation of ISO 9001:2000 in any type of organization is the result of a fully compliant and strategically driven Quality management standard that should use the following eight principles:
Involvement of people
System approach to management
Encouraging Continual improvement
Factual approach to decision making
Maintaining good supplier relationships
Certification and Registration
"Certification", "registration" and "accreditation" are