ISO 9000 is an important marketing tool and is recognized world wide. Maintained by the ISO (international standards organization), it is a family of ISO standards for quality management systems. ISO 9000 grew out of British standards institution’s BS 5750. The ISO 9000 series are managed by several accreditation and certification bodies. Though the standard was first applied to manufacturing industries, it is now employed across a variety of other types of businesses.
Studies show that the history of industrialization has seen lots of standards on quality issues. For instance, during the two world wars, a high percentage of bullets and bombs went off in the factories themselves in the course of manufacturing. In an effort to curb such casualties, UK?s ministry of defense appointed inspectors in the factories to supervise the production process.
In 1959, the United States introduced Mil-Q-9858a, the first quality standard for military procurement. By 1962, NASA developed its quality system requirements for suppliers. Six years later, NATO accepted the AQAP (allied quality assurance procedures) specifications for the procurement of equipments. In 1969, UK and Canada introduced suppliers? quality assurance standards.
During the 1970s, British standards institution (BSI) published BS 9000 (the first UK standard for quality assurance) and BS 5179 (guidelines for quality assurance) norms. During the period, the BSI held meetings with industry to set a common standard. Consequently, in 1979, the institution developed BS 5750, a series of standards for use by manufacturing companies. They were enforced through assessments and audits.
In 1987, the BSI revised the standard to take in service providers and manufacturing industries also. In 1988, ISO adopted the BS 5750 standard without changes and published it globally under the name, ISO 9000.
In 1994, ISO revised the standard. In December 2000, the standard was again reorganized. The new ISO 9000 standard has many resemblances to its predecessors.