What is ISO

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a global network of standards organizations that has identified and publicized technical standards for over fifty years. Historically, ISO concerned itself chiefly with standardization for highly technical aspects of various production industries.

 

The extraordinarily precise, specific guidelines established by intra-industry consensus, while not mandatory, provided an advantage for those businesses that chose to utilize them. In the late 1980�s, ISO added another element to its organization with the release of ISO 9000. ISO 9000 did not contain exact specifications for a particular industry, but instead offered general standards applicable to any business that produced or sold goods or services. Particularly important within ISO 9000 is an attention to the processes through which companies produce their goods or services.

 

One of the primary goals of the ISO 9000 or 14000 (which focuses on adherence to environmental standards), of course, is to ensure that customers can confidently purchase an item, regardless of its location, and � assuming that the company is ISO certified � know that the item was produced under internationally approved standards. ISO certification requires business owners to conduct internal assessments of their processes, attempt the necessary changes, and then receive an ISO certification from an independent auditing body as proof of the viability of the quality management system (QMS) of the business. It is important to note that the ISO itself does not actually audit individual businesses, nor does it issue certificates. Instead, the ISO creates the standards and recognizes the independent certification companies that grant certificates to deserving businesses.