ISO 9001:2008 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to (although this is not a requirement). It can be used by any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity. In fact ISO 9001:2008 is implemented by over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries.
This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. These principles are explained in more detail in the pdf Quality Management Principles. Using ISO 9001:2008 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.
Certification to ISO 9001:2008
Checking that the system works is a vital part of ISO 9001:2008. An organization must perform internal audits to check how its quality management system is working. An organization may decide to invite an independent certification body to verify that it is in conformity to the standard, but there is no requirement for this. Alternatively, it might invite its clients to audit the quality system for themselves. Read more about certification to management system standards.
International Standards bring technological, economic and societal benefits. They help to harmonize technical specifications of products and services making industry more efficient and breaking down barriers to international trade. Conformity to International Standards helps reassure consumers that products are safe, efficient and good for the environment.
Benefits of standards:
ISO has developed materials describing the economic and social benefits of standards, the ISO Materials. They are intended to be shared with decision makers and stakeholders as concrete examples of the value of standards.
Facts and figures about the benefits of standards
The repository of studies on economic and social benefits of standards provides an insight of the approaches and results of the studies undertaken by different authors, such as national and international standards bodies, research institutes, universities and other international agencies.
International Standards are strategic tools and guidelines to help companies tackle some of the most demanding challenges of modern business. They ensure that business operations are as efficient as possible, increase productivity and help companies access new markets.
- Cost savings – International Standards help optimise operations and therefore improve the bottom line
- Enhanced customer satisfaction – International Standards help improve quality, enhance customer satisfaction and increase sales
- Access to new markets – International Standards help prevent trade barriers and open up global markets
- Increased market share – International Standards help increase productivity and competitive advantage
- Environmental benefits – International Standards help reduce negative impacts on the environment