ISO 9000 is a family of standards for quality management systems. ISO 9000 is maintained by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization and is administered by accreditation and certification bodies. The rules are updated, as the requirements motivate changes over time.
Some of the requirements in ISO 9001:2008 (which is one of the standards in the ISO 9000 family) include
- a set of procedures that cover all key processes in the business;
- monitoring processes to ensure they are effective;
- keeping adequate records;
- checking output for defects, with appropriate and corrective action where necessary;
- regularly reviewing individual processes and the quality system itself for effectiveness; and
- facilitating continual improvement
A company or organization that has been independently audited and certified to be in conformance with ISO 9001 may publicly state that it is "ISO 9001 certified" or "ISO 9001 registered". Certification to an ISO 9001 standard does not guarantee any quality of end products and services; rather, it certifies that formalized business processes are being applied.
Although the standards originated in manufacturing, they are now employed across several types of organizations. A "product", in ISO vocabulary, can mean a physical object, services, or software.