Release of the ISO 9000:2000 Family of Standards

The year 2000 revisions of the ISO 9000 series of quality management standards were officially released by the International Organization for Standardization on December 15, 2000.

In order to ensure the simultaneous availability of the ISO 9000:2000 series in as many countries as possible, electronic versions of the standards were placed on a secure server accessible to approximately 90 (out of 137) of the ISO national member institutes which are connected to Internet. Paper copies were sent by courier to all members on December 14.

The intensity of the demand for the standards is illustrated by the fact that the first download by a national standards institute took place only three minutes after access to the documents on the ISO server was opened.

The ISO 9000 series of International Standards for quality management is among the most widely known and successful of the 13,000 standards published by ISO since it began operations in 1947. The ISO 9000 standards have become an international reference for quality requirements in business-to-business dealings and form the basis of more than 350,000 certified quality management systems within private and public sector organizations in at least 150 countries. Current ISO 9000 certificate holders will have up to three years to make the transition to the new versions.

ISO rules demand that its standards be reviewed periodically in the light of technological and market developments. The 2000 revisions of the ISO 9000 series represent the most thorough overhaul of these standards since they were first published in 1987. The new versions take account of developments in the field of quality and the considerable experience that now exists with implementing ISO 9000.

 Among the changes are:

  • reduced number of standards
  • explicit requirements for achieving customer satisfaction and continual improvement
  • more logical structure
  • an approach based on managing organizational processes
  • easier to use by service-sector organizations and by small businesses
  • built on eight universal quality management principles

The ISO 9000 revisions have been carried out by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 176, Quality management and quality assurance, whose Chairman, Dr. Pierre Caillibot, commented:

“The new versions of the standards will provide organizations with an opportunity to improve their existing quality management systems with a view to adding value both for the organization and its customers. In addition to wider acceptance and implementation in current user sectors, the new editions will attract many new users from less traditional fields, thereby contributing to ISO’s goals of facilitating trade, increasing global prosperity, and contributing to social well-being.”

Dr. Caillibot paid tribute to the national delegations of quality experts from 63 countries which participated in the development of the revised standards, in collaboration with 22 liaison organizations representing key business or economic groupings. He added:

“The publication of the ISO 9000:2000 series represents the culmination of years of development in which full use has been made of the experience gained from the previous editions and of the valuable input from users via the ISO consensus process. In addition to these customary ways of working, ISO/TC 176 has brought innovation to the development of standards by introducing business techniques such as user surveys and field validations – while the whole has been tied together by rigorous project management. We are proud of our product and deliver the ISO 9000:2000 series with confidence to users.”

In parallel with the standards, ISO/TC 176 has developed explanatory and guidance documents to help ensure a smooth transition to the ISO 9000:2000 series. This material, which is free of charge, is available on the ISO web site: (www.iso.ch).

The revised ISO 9000, ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 standards can be purchased from the American Society for Quality (ASQ) web site. To order the hard copy versions, go their Quality Press page. To order the electronic versions, go to their e-Standards page.