Using ISO 9004:2009?

ISO 9001:2008 states in clause 0.3 that ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 are quality management system standards that have been designed to complement each other, but they can also be used independently. Unfortunately, many organizations using ISO 9001 have ignored ISO 9004.

ISO 9001 specifies requirements for a quality management system and can be used for certification or contractual purposes. ISO 9004:2009 provides guidance to support the achievement of the sustained success for any organization in a complex, demanding, ever-changing environment, by a quality management approach.

Sustained success of an organization is achieved by its ability to meet the needs and expectations of customers over the long term and in a balanced way. It can be achieved by the effective management of the organization, through awareness of the organization’s environment, by learning, and the application of improvements and/or innovations.

ISO 9004 promotes self-assessment as important tool for the review of the maturity level of the organization, covering its leadership, strategy, management system, resources, and processes, to identify areas of strength and weakness, and opportunities for improvements and/or innovations.

ISO 9004 provides a wider focus than ISO 9001. The clause structure of ISO 9004 is:

Clause 4: Managing for the sustained success of an organization
Clause 5: Strategy and policy
Clause 6: Resource management
Clause 7: Process management
Clause 8: Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and review
Clause 9: Improvement, innovation, and learning
Annex A: Self-assessment tool
Annex B: Quality management principles
Annex C: Correspondence between ISO 9004:2009 and ISO 9001:2008

ISO 9004 is not intended for certification, regulatory, or contractual use. A copy of the standard can be ordered at this web page of the ANSI e-Standards Store, or this web page of the ASQ Store. Please note it currently costs much less at the ASQ Store.

For more information on ISO 9004:2009, see my September 2010 article, “Overlooking ISO 9004?”.