What is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is an internationally adopted quality system standard. It is the only quality management system to which any organization can be certified by an outside party, one which is totally independent from the organization being examined. It is intended to be the basic, or platform, system that puts in place a management system covering eight clauses in a manner that is effective for the individual organization and also meets the requirements stated in the standard. Please note we use the term “organization” instead of company or business because ISO 9001 truly is an all inclusive movement applying to any organization, whether it be for profit or non profit, or whether manufacturing or service related.

Four Basic Premises of ISO 9001

  1. Say What You Do – as long as what you are doing meets the requirements of the standard
  2. Do What You Say
  3. Be Able to Prove It
  4. Use Your System to Add Value to Your Organization

The standard only tells us “what” we must do to meet its requirements. “How” we do the “what” is strictly up to the organization itself, and there are many, many ways to meet the requirements. The key is to do what is best for the particular organization involved.


How Did ISO Begin?

  • Military Origins
  • Non-Military Vendor Standards
  • Government Supported Standards BS-5750, EN-29000, CSAZ-299
  • 1987 Universal Adoption of ISO 9001
  • 1994 First Revision to the Standard
  • 2000 Second Revision to the Standard
  • 2008 Third Revision to the Standard