The ISO 9000 Standards have been worked out by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) to define the international requirements for Quality Management Systems.
The Quality System of an Organization is the overall combination of organizational structures, responsibilities, procedures, processes and resources (both human and instrumental) set up to achieve and maintain quality.
The certification is the assessment by an independent and qualified third party (Quality System Certification Body) of the compliance of the company System with the relevant Standard.
The first edition of the standard was published dating back to 1994; the current edition was edited on 2008. While the 1994 Standards were mainly geared to cover the mutual contractual commitments in the customer-supplier relationship, and just marginally to foster a continual improvement of the whole Organization in all its processes, the ISO 9001:2008 Standard is much more oriented to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty, and consequently to enhance the Organization’s competitive edge on the market.
In ISO 9001:2008 Standard the customer becomes the focal point for the development of the Organization’s operation, and a standing monitoring of his level of satisfaction will steer the programmes for the continual improvement of activities/processes to be defined and carried out by the Organization, setting appropriate performance indexes for each of them.
Many enterprises in the world (near 900.000) have already adopted to their satisfaction the ISO 9001 Standard, acknowledging the ensuing benefits both in-house and on the market.