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ISO 9000 is the most commonly used international standard that provides a framework for an effective quality management system. In theory a QMS in accordance with ISO 9001:2000 should ensure consistency and improvement of working practices, which in turn should provide products and services that meet customer's requirements.

The Magical Demystifying Tour of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000
The International Standards for Organisation (ISO) provides an introduction to both Standards. Excellent starting point for the novice and a useful recap for the experienced...

ISO 9000:2000 Frequently Asked Questions

This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) has been updated after publication of the ISO 9000:2000 family of International Standards. Input has been obtained from experts and users of the ISO 9000 standards, expressed during seminars and presentations around the world...

ISO 9000:2000 Guidance and Support from ISO's Technical Committee
An excellent resource from ISO's Technical Committee providing guidance and support to assist organizations make the transition to the new edition...

ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group
The ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group provide over 20 free support papers and presentations on auditing QMS’s to ISO 9001:2000. Visit the website and download the documents...

The Changes in ISO 9001:2000 and the Implications for Smaller Businesses
Jargon busting deconstruction of ISO 9001:2000. A great reference for those embarking on the changeover to the new standard...
Mike Stone Services Ltd

Processes Vs Procedures
The new standard uses the word ‘process’ very liberally, and ‘procedure’ very sparingly. So what is the right balance within your quality management system (QMS)? And what part does process mapping play in the development and improvement of the QMS?

The Internal Audit - make the most of it!
The internal (or first party) audit should be one of the most important opportunities for an organisation to check the effectiveness and the delivery capability of its management system. Unfortunately this opportunity is generally not appreciated according to David Powley, of DNV Certification, who offers an opinion on how to get better value from it...
David Powley - DNV Certification

Using Quality Objectives to Drive Strategic Performance Improvement

ISO 9001:2000 requires that quality objectives be established at each relevant function and level within the organization (i.e., just about everywhere). The manner in which quality objectives are established and managed will have an enormous impact on the organization's performance. The quality objectives will either drive strategic improvements throughout the organization, significantly elevating the importance of the quality management system, or they'll simply become a meaningless exercise in data collection. It all depends on how the task is carried out...
Craig Cochran

Ten Essential Audit Questions
All experienced auditors accumulate favorite audit questions, and I'm no exception. I have a short, punchy list of queries I invariably ask while evaluating a management system. Favorites aside, though, what are truly the most important audit questions? What questions will reveal a system's effectiveness and an organization's overall performance? I compiled a list of the top 10...
Craig Cochran

A Practical Guide to Designing the Process Approach
The ‘process approach’ of ISO 9001: 2000 has caused a great deal of consternation amongst many in the quality profession. It is understandable that there should be some concern. The combination of a broad definition of a process, the description of a ‘process model’ shown in the standard, and a considerable volume of process theory generated from every quarter has left many quality managers scratching their heads...

A Survey of SMEs and Their Attitudes towards the Implementation of ISO 9001:2000
During August and September 2000, LRQA and SGS Yarsley sponsored a survey by Leicester University. The purpose of the survey was to investigate the potential impact that ISO 9001:2000 is likely to have upon small and medium sized companies. These two organisations have kindly allowed the data collected from the survey into the public domain and this article reports on some of the more interesting findings...
Mike Stone Services Ltd

ISO: from the top (pdf 298 kb)
A new emphasis on senior management involvement is one of the most talked about revisions to ISO 9000. Jim Wade, a Director of Advanced Training, discusses what the new standard requires from the top and what the benefits are...
Jim Wade The Business Improvement Network

Is ISO 9000 really a standard? (pdf 404 kb)
Promoting ISO 9000 as a standard or set of standards, is a prime cause of some key problems with its implementation...
Jim Wade The Business Improvement Network

Excellence! the journey starts here (pdf 348 kb)
Jim Wade, director of Advanced Training, is no apologist for ISO 9000, having seen many cases of QMS's which leave people demotivated and do not help managers to manage quality. However, he argues that the standard can still provide a sound base of excellence. The secret is in the principles and management behaviours that they imply...
Jim Wade The Business Improvement Network

Auditing is not solely about compliance
 (pdf 124 kb)
According to Tim O'Hanlon, auditors need to demonstrate their understanding of business management by focusing on value adding auditing and not just on raising insignificant non conformities. If the auditor is to be taken seriously as a professional business person, the focus of his/her work must be on issues that make a significant contribution towards product conformity, the enhancement of customer satisfaction and the achievement of financial and non financial results...
Tim O'Hanlon Eurospan Developments Limited

All about Auditability
'Management systems are an exercise in bureaucracy and burden without actually addressing risks and delivering performance'. This quote, from a skeptical commentator, although a prejudiced generalisation actually characterises a dilemma faced by many. How much system description and documentation is needed to enable a management system to successfully withstand a performance-based audit? David Powley, of DNV Certification, offers context and advice to those who audit, implement and maintain management systems for quality, environment and safety & health (QESH)...
David Powley DNV Certification Ltd

Internal Auditing - the most radical change of all? (pdf 147 kb)
Internal auditing can significantly improve staff competence and benefit organisational performance. Those organisations, and quality managers who take selection and training of audit staff seriously, will reap these benefits. The effectiveness of your internal auditors is probably more closely linked to organisation performance than you think...

Can QMS auditors learn anything from our financial counterparts?
The scandals that have beset the US economy have shown auditing to be a less than perfect practice. It seems the lure of repeat business, and in some cases substantial consulting fees, has swayed many professional auditors to blatantly ignore the obvious irregularities in company accounts. Could we see the re-introduction of supplier audits, the proliferation of customer specific specifications, and the eventual demise of the ISO9001 standard?

Is ISO 9001:2000 green and safe?
To put the question more sensibly, albeit soberly and verbosely, ‘To what degree can a management system that is based on ISO 9001:2000 be integrated or harmonised with those based on the standard ISO 14001:1996 (for environmental management) and the quasi-standard OHSAS 18001:1999 (for health & safety management)’? In this sense, is the 2000 version more appropriate than its 1994 predecessor?
David Powley DNV Certification Ltd

Validating Performance Statement - Going Public With Your Quality Management Successes
There are great possibilities for an organisation in producing a quality performance statement. Registration to quality management codes and standards have proved to be reliable in showing the credentials of an organisation and can act as a general indicator (or predictor) along the lines of that organisation being reliable when entering into business transactions. Nevertheless an even more distinctive advantage may be gained by providing reliable information on actual quality management performance which is pertinent to the potential ‘buyer’ or any other relevant interested party...
David Powley DNV Certification Ltd

Further reading

ISO 9001: 2000 for Small Businesses: A Guide to Cost-effective Compliance

ISO 9001:2000 for Small Businesses: A Guide to Cost-effective Compliance
Ray Tricker MSc IEng FIIE FinstM MIQA MIRSE

A guide to the requirements of ISO 9001:2000 for small businesses. It seeks to help the small business draw up a quality plan that will allow them to meet the challenges of the market place. This edition is revised and updated, and features more information on quality control.

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The Case Against ISO 9000: There Is a Better Way To: Improve Efficiency, Satisfy Your Customers, Provide Real Quality, Increase Your Revenue!
John Seddon

Sorry no

ISO 9000 is an international Standard. It claims to be a standard for quality management but John Seddon argues it has nothing to do with quality, being based on entirely different theory. Organizations register to ISO 9000 because they are obliged to - market-place coercion works on the principle of "you comply or we won't buy", and registration is no guarantee of quality. In this attack on one of the sacred cows of business today, John Seddon shows how the ISO standards are not only failing to deliver the improved quality they promise, but in most cases are actually damaging the companies that have implemented them. In this updated paperback edition, which includes a critical analysis of the new and much-hyped ISO 9000:2000 version of the Standard, Seddon maintains his position that managers should say no to ISO 9000. For those who feel they have to register to ISO, Seddon shows them how to avoid the usual pitfalls of the Standard. 

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Quality Audits for ISO 9001:2000: Making Compliance Value-Added
Tim O'Hanlon

Quality Audits for ISO 9001:2000: Making Compliance Value-Added

This complete how-to guide will help auditors and organizations plan for their internal or external audit. O’Hanlon himself is a registered IRCA Lead Auditor and Lead Auditor trainer who teaches you the previously undiscussed areas of the audit process. Additionally, this book will show both auditors and auditees how to make your audit a process that creates value for the organization, not just a tool to ensure compliance. Internal, second- and third-party auditors and auditees can use the numerous frequently asked questions to prepare for the situations they will encounter during an actual audit. 

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International Standards Organisation (ISO)
The International Standards for Organisation (ISO). The source of ISO 9000 and more than 13,700 International Standards and a network of national standards institutes from 145 countries...

ISO TC/176/SC2 Home Page
ISO's Technical Committee no.176, Sub-committee no.2 (ISO/TC 176/SC 2) is responsible for the development of the ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 International Standards as well as other International Standards and documents in the ISO 9000 Family...

ISO 9000:2000 Translated into Plain English
A raft of information on ISO 9000:2000 from the Canadian Praxiom Research Group Limited...







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