ISO 9004 is an International Standard that provides guidance to organizations in support of their achievement of sustained success in a complex, demanding and changing environment, by a quality management approach. It provides organizations with guidelines and tools for using the principles of quality management to achieve long term success.
This standard was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1987 as part of the ISO 9000 family of standards. Its current version is ISO 9004:2009 Managing for the sustained success of an organization – a quality management approach and, even though this standard is not intended to serve as an ISO 9001 guide, it does help organizations (specially ISO 9001 users) to obtain long term benefit from the implementation of a more broad-based and in-depth impact quality management system.
ISO 9004 provides a wider focus on quality management than ISO 9001; it addresses the needs and expectations of all relevant interested parties and provides guidance for the systematic and continual improvement of the organization’s overall performance. It promotes self-assessment as an important tool for the review of the maturity level of the organization, covering its leadership, strategy, management system, resources and processes, to identify areas of strength and weakness and opportunities for either improvements, or innovations, or both. This standard focuses on an organization’s sustained success, which is achieved if an organization:
- Meets the needs and expectations of its customers.
- Has a balanced consideration of the needs of all its interested parties.
- Effectively manages all its processes.
- Is aware of its environment.
- Improves and/or innovates.
This standard can be used by any organization, regardless of size, type and activity. Those organizations that decide to use ISO 9004 will be provided guidance on:
- How to achieve and maintain an organization’s objectives.
- Improving an organization’s quality management system.
- Establishing a quality management system that creates value for its customers and all other interested parties by balancing all interested-party viewpoints.
ISO 9004 has been developed to maintain consistency with ISO 9001 and be compatible with other management system standards. Such standards complement each other, but can also be used independently. This standard, unlike ISO 9001, is not intended for certification, regulatory or contractual use.
The following standard is recommended for the application of ISO 9004:
- ISO 9000, Quality management systems — Fundamentals and vocabulary
To the novice quality manager, ISO jargon can be extremely overwhelming. What is an NCR? What do you mean by OFI? Are we certified or accredited? But before you go and pull out your hair, let’s take a moment to go over some of the most frequently used terms and their definitions with regards to ISO and Management System Certification.