Getting a grip on ISO 9001

The ISO has just published a revised second edition of its handbook giving small and medium-sized enterprises advice on implementing ISO 9000-based quality management systems.

The ISO has just published a revised second edition of its handbook giving small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) advice on implementing ISO 9000-based quality management systems.

ISO 9001 for Small Businesses has been updated to align the advice with ISO 9001:2000, the single standard which has replaced the 1994 versions of ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003. The new standard defines the requirements for a quality management system based on ‘the process model’ that is aimed at achieving customer satisfaction and continual improvement in performance. The handbook explains the standard in plain language, giving examples to illustrate its application.

ISO 9001 for Small Businesses (ISBN 92-67-10363-6) is a 186 page volume in a A5 format that costs 44 Swiss francs. A joint publication by ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) and the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO, it is available from ISO’s national member institutes and the ISO Central Secretariat.

The handbook has been written by a group of experts participating in ISO/TC 176, the ISO technical committee which developed the revised ISO 9000:2000 series. Their target audience is the small business operator who has neither the time nor the resources to spend on ISO 9001:2000 training courses. The full text of ISO 9001:2000 is included in boxes, section by section, accompanied by explanations, examples and implementation guidance in everyday terms.

In addition, the handbook includes the eight quality management principles on which the ISO 9000:2000 series is based, plus revised sections on the steps involved in setting up a quality management system – including how to get started – and doing so with or without the assistance of a consultant.

The first edition of the handbook was eventually published by more than a dozen of ISO’s national member institutes. French, German, Spanish and Swedish editions of ISO 9001 for Small Businesses are already planned and other languages will no doubt follow.

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