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This article relies too much on references to primary sources. Please improve this article by adding secondary or tertiary sources. The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems standards is designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or program.
ISO 9000 deals with the fundamentals of quality management systems, including the seven quality management principles upon which the family of standards is based. ISO 9001 deals with the requirements that organizations wishing to meet the standard must fulfill. Third-party certification bodies provide independent confirmation that organizations meet the requirements of ISO 9001. Over one million organizations worldwide are independently certified, making ISO 9001 one of the most widely used management tools in the world today.
However, the ISO certification process has been criticized as being wasteful and not being useful for all organizations. It was based on the BS 5750 series of standards from BSI that were proposed to ISO in 1979. However, its history can be traced back some twenty years before that, to the publication of government procurement standards, such as the United States Department of Defense MIL-Q-9858 standard in 1959, and the U. K’s “Def Stan 05-21 and 05-24.
Large organizations which supplied government procurement agencies often had to comply with a variety of quality assurance requirements for each contract awarded which led the defence industry to adopt mutual recognition of NATO AQAP, MIL-Q and Def Stan standards. Eventually, ISO 9000 was adopted as a suitable option, instead of forcing contractors to adopt multiple – and often similar – requirements. The global adoption of ISO 9001 may be attributable to a number of factors.
This helped reduce the need for “supplier development” by establishing basic requirements for a supplier to assure product quality. The adoption of a single Quality Assurance requirement also lead to cost savings throughout the supply chain by reducing the administrative burden of maintaining multiple sets of quality manuals and procedures.