History and Evolution of ISO 9000

Pre ISO 9000
During World War II, there were quality problems in many British industries such as munitions, where bombs were exploding in factories during assembly. The solution adopted to address these quality problems required factories to document their manufacturing procedures and to prove by record-keeping that the procedures were being followed. The standard was BS 5750, and it was known as a management standard because it specified not what to manufacture, but how the manufacturing process was to be managed. In 1987, the British Government persuaded the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to adopt BS 5750 as an international standard. The international standard was named ISO 9000.
 
ISO 9000: 1987 Version
ISO 9000:1987 had the same structure as the British Standard BS 5750, with three 'models' for quality management systems, the selection of which was based on the scope of activities of the organisation:

ISO 9001:1987 Model for quality assurance in design, development, production, installation, and servicing was for companies and organisations whose activities included the creation of new products

ISO 9002:1987 Model for quality assurance in production, installation, and servicing had basically the same material as ISO 9001 but without covering the creation of new products.

ISO 9003:1987 Model for quality assurance in final inspection and test covered only the final inspection of finished product, with no concern for how the product was produced.

ISO 9000:1987 was also influenced by existing U.S. and other Defense Standards (MIL SPECS), and so was well-suited to manufacturing. The emphasis tended to be placed on conformance with procedures rather than the overall process of management—which was likely the actual intent.
 
ISO 9000:1994 (Year 1994 Revision)
ISO 9000:1994 emphasised quality assurance via preventive actions, instead of just checking final product, and continued to require evidence of compliance with documented procedures.

As with the first edition, the down-side was that companies tended to implement its requirements by creating shelf-loads of procedure manuals, and becoming burdened with an ISO bureaucracy. In some companies, adapting and improving processes could actually be impeded by the quality system.
 
ISO 9000:2000 (Year 2000 Revision)
ISO 9001:2000 combines the three standards 9001, 9002, and 9003 into one, called 9001. Design and development procedures are required only if a company engages in the creation of new products. The 2000 version sought to make a radical change in thinking by placing the concept of process management front and centre ("Process management" was the monitoring and optimising of a company's tasks and activities, instead of just inspecting the final product). The Year 2000 version also demands involvement by upper executives, in order to integrate quality into the business system and avoid delegation of quality functions to junior administrators. Another goal is to improve effectiveness via process performance metrics — numerical measurement of the effectiveness of tasks and activities. Expectations of continual process improvement and tracking customer satisfaction were made explicit.
 
ISO 9000:2008 (Year 2008 Revision)
The new ISO 9001:2008 was published on 15 November 2008. ISO 9001:2008 uses the same numbering system as ISO 9001:2000 to organise the standard. As a result, the new ISO 9001:2008 standard looks very much like the old standard. No new requirements have been added. However, some important clarifications and modifications have been made.
 
As with the release of previous versions, organisations registered to ISO 9001:2000 will be given a period to transition to the ISO 9001:2008 standard, assuming changes are needed.

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