Tags Posts tagged with "standard"

standard

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All ISO standards are developed and published following a systematic process were ISO members and sector specific experts are involved.  When the need for a standard has been identified, a panel of experts, within an ISO technical committee (TC), meet to discuss and negotiate the first draft of the standard. As soon as a draft has been developed it is shared with ISO’s members who are asked to comment and vote on it. If a consensus is reached, the draft becomes an ISO standard, if not it goes back to the technical committee for further edits.

Below is a more detailed explanation of each step a standard undergoes before it is released to the public.

  1. A new Standard is proposed to relevant TC.
    Contrary to what many believe, ISO does not decide when a new standard should be developed. ISO responds to a sector specific need when industry or other stakeholders make a formal request of a standard. Typically, an industry sector or group communicates the need for a standard to its national member who then contacts ISO. Practically every country (163 to be exact) has one ISO member that can be reached for this purpose.

    The TC reviews the proposal and if it’s accepted, the process will continue to step 2.

  2. Working groups of experts start discussion to prepare a working draft.
    These experts negotiate all aspects of the standard, including its scope, key definitions and content. These group of experts are from all over the world and they are part of larger groups that form a TC.
  3. First working draft shared with TC and with ISO CS.
    TCs are made up of representatives of industry, NGOs, governments and other stakeholders, who are put forward by ISO’s members. Each TC deals with a different subject; ISO has over 250 TC.

    The relevant TC reviews the first draft and if consensus is reached within the TC, the process moves on to step 4.

  4. Draft is shared with all ISO national members.
    As mentioned above, there is a member in almost every country. The draft is shared with these member (over 150) and each is asked to review and comment. All these comments are taken into account by the TC and if a consensus is reached, the process continues to step 5.
  5. Final Draft is sent to all ISO members.
    The final draft is sent to all members for approval. If it is approved by member vote, the process continues to its final step.

  6. ISO International Standard.
    The ISO International Standard is published and available for the public to purchase. This can be purchased from the ISO store or from the ISO national members. A full list of the ISO member of each country is available in the ISO website.

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The ISO 9000 family of standards is the most extensively used standards worldwide. They address various aspects of quality management and provide organizations with guidance and tools to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer’s requirements, and that quality is consistently improved.

The best known standard of the ISO 9000 family is ISO 9001:2008, Quality management systems- Requirements, which establishes the criteria for a quality management system (QMS) and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to. ISO 9001 certification is not a requirement; however, organizations of all kinds and sizes all around the world decide to seek certification for a variety of reasons. These include to ensure clients, customers and stakeholders that they can provide quality products and services that continuously meet their expectations, improve the image of their product or services, increase their competitiveness and also because, nowadays, it is essential in order to do business in many industry sectors.

ISO 9001 has been around for over 20 years, and since its release, over one million organizations have been certified and many more have used it as a guide to establish and improve their QMS.

As stated in the 2013 edition of the ISO Survey, by the end of 2013, “at least 1,129,446 certificates had been issued in 187 countries and economies”.

In recent years, China has shown a rapid growth of the number of certificates issued there, placing it as the number one country with more ISO 9001 certifications (over 290.000 certifications). China is followed by Italy and Germany for being, respectively, the second and third country with most certificates.

Trends show that in the years to come, many more organizations will become ISO 9001 certified. It is expected that, with the upcoming revision of the standard (ISO 9001:2015), organizations will find that implementing and certifying to ISO 9001 will support them in overcoming the many challenges faced by businesses today.