Initially published in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 9000 (SQM) Quality Management system is the structural framework of a business system that specifies, in very broad terms, the necessary components of a quality management system. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies, located in Geneva, Switzerland. It’s is a network of the national standards institutes of 165 countries, on the basis of one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva that coordinates the system. ISO develops voluntary technical standards which add value to all types of business operations. Since its creation in 1947, ISO has published more than 13 000 International Standards. ISO’s work program ranges from standards for traditional activities, such as agriculture and construction, through mechanical engineering to the latest information technology developments.
ISO refers to ?ISO? and not to ?I-S-O?. This is because ?ISO? is not a set of initials, but the international name of the organization. The long name in English is International Organization for Standardization.
Because translating this name would have resulted in different acronyms in different languages, it was decided at the outset to use a word derived from the Greek isos, meaning ?equal? – which is very appropriate to the organization activities. Therefore, whatever the country, whatever the language, the short form of the organization’s name is always ISO. The organization objective is to develop a common set of standards for manufacturing, trade and communications. The main purpose of these standards is to establish a consistent and high level of quality practices, raising the quality of products and services in competitive and expanding markets throughout the world (6).
They contribute to making the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services more efficient, safer and cleaner. They make trade between countries easier and fairer. ISO standards also serve to safeguard consumers, and users and general, of products and services, as well as to make their lives simpler.
In addition, many of the standards, as those dealing with health, safety and the environment, serve society as a whole (7). The ISO 9000 family of International Standards for quality management is among ISO’s most widely known and successful series of standards ever. ISO 9000 has become an international reference for quality requirements in business to business dealings, and has increasingly been taken up by the public sector as part of the wider interest in new management for public administrations. ISO 9000 represents an international consensus on good management practices with the aim of ensuring that the organization can time and time again deliver the product or services that meet the customer’s quality requirements, and thereby enhance customer satisfaction. These good practices have been distilled into a set of standardized requirements for a quality management system, regardless of what companies or organizations do, its size, or whether it is in the private, or public sector (6). Working in public sector organizations, the term “customer” may seem too business-oriented to fit the context.
However, public sector bodies in many countries have successfully implemented ISO 9000. These organizations are concerned to serve well not only their “customers” in the sense of the public they deal with directly, but also wider groups of stakeholders such as the governments that fund them, regulatory bodies, their local communities and society in general. The existence of an organization, whether in the public or private sector, without customers, or with dissatisfied customers or stakeholders, is in peril. To keep customers and stakeholders, and to keep them satisfied, product or service needs to meet their requirements.
ISO 9000 provides a tried and tested framework for taking a systematic approach to managing business processes, organization’s activities, so that they consistently turn out product conforming to the customer/stakeholder expectations (6). ISO 9000 allows organizations to demonstrate their commitment to quality for any products and services. The role of this structural management tool is to allow companies to demonstrate their total commitment to quality for all products and services they provide. The main objective of this management tool is to establish a consistent set of quality practices, to establish a continuous improvement of the quality of products and services in a competitive environment, and to expand markets in the world. The philosophy of this management tool is: “Say what you do” and “Do what you say”. This means that with ISO 9000 QMS, companies or organizations are required to “Say what they are going to do, Do it right, then Check that they have done it right. And Document and Keep records so that they can periodically review the system to see if they can do things better.” Although usually applied to the manufacturing industry, ISO 9000 is also applicable to the service industry.
Today, the same applications and requirements for the quality that exist in other riskiest industries move toward the service industry. ISO 9000 lays down what requirements the quality system of each organization, as sole, must meet, but does not dictate how they should be met in the organization. This leaves great scope and flexibility for implementation in different sectors and cultures. The ISO 9000 certification reflects the recognition by an independent body or organism of the application of the quality system (the referential) to the existing (the reality) from the selected ISO standard (the model). To ensure that ISO standards remain the state of the art, they are reviewed at least every five years to decide whether they need revising. In the case of the ISO 9000 standards, which were first published in 1987, some revisions were made in 1994, 2000, 2008 and the latest this year 2015