ISO 9000 - experience in Europe.
Werzinger, K., Kruger, E., Golz, H.-J. and Fontaine, J.
Since the appearance of the ISO 9000 series of standards covering quality assurance management systems, published in 1987, accreditation schemes under which companies whose quality assurance systems conform to the requirements of these standards can obtain official certificates to that effect have been established in many countries. European Community countries have been particularly active in this regard, as the adoption of uniform standards of quality assurance is considered useful in facilitating international trade, especially since the opening of the Single European Market. This in turn has led to a rise in accreditation scheme activity in countries elsewhere which trade with European countries on a large scale (e.g. Japan). The internal benefits of a quality assurance system based on the monitoring, evaluation and documentation of the whole process from raw materials to finished products, whereby potential quality problems can often be prevented and those which do arise can be traced to their origins and corrected at source, are considerable, but the external benefits of having such a system certified as conforming to an international standard can be even greater, particularly for companies which produce goods for export. The scope and structure of the ISO 9000 series of standards and the management and documentation systems required are described.
Keywords : management quality standard specification