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ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization. ISO is a worldwide organization made up of 159 member countries based in Geneva Switzerland. ISO was established in 1947 and is a multi-national committee that publishes international standards. The prefix "ISO" is derived from the Greek word "isos" meaning "equal".

ISO is made up of several technical committees. The technical committees draft standards based on input from member nation's Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs). Governments, industry and interested parties comment and provide input to the appropriate ISO committee on the draft standards before they are officially published.

ISO 9001 is a standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to promote consistency in quality management systems by providing one set of requirements recognized around the world. The ISO 9001 standard requires four levels of documentation:
  • Policies;
  • Procedures;
  • Work instructions; and
  • Forms and data.

ISO 9001 specifies that you as a company must perform certain functions. How you perform and record these functions is up to you. The basic principles of all quality systems are:

  • Say what you do;
  • Do what you say;
  • Prove it; and
  • Then improve it.

You say what you do in your policies, procedures and work instructions. You do what you say by following your policies, procedures and work instructions. You prove that you are "doing what you say" through the records that you maintain and then you continue to improve.

The International Automotive Task Force (IATF), consisting of an international group of vehicle manufacturers plus national trade associations, in conjunction with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed the ISO/TS 16949 Technical Specification. This specification combines the requirements of the existing American (QS-9000), German (VDA6.1), French (EAQF) and Italian (AVSQ) automotive quality systems standards.

ISO/TS 16949 set globally standardized measures for Quality Management Systems within the automobile industry. It details the sector-specific quality systems requirements that sustain continuous improvement and emphasize defect prevention while simultaneously promoting the reduction of variation and waste within the supply chain.  

The basis of ISO/TS 16949 is the ISO 9001 standard with additional "Customer Specific" requirements added in. The TS standard specifies that you have a process to identify and to meet all customer specific requirements. TS also requires that you have a supplier development program to ensure that your significant suppliers are ISO 9001 registered.

The ISO 14000 standards are designed to provide an internationally recognized framework for environmental management, measurement, evaluation and auditing. They do not prescribe environmental performance targets, but instead provide organizations with the tools to assess and control the environmental impact of their activities, products or services. The standards are designed to be flexible enough to be used by any organization of any size and in any field. They address the following subjects:

  • Environmental management systems;
  • Environmental auditing;
  • Environmental aspects and impacts; and
  • Environmental performance evaluation, 


If youíre interested in more detailed information about standards or regulations, please email us at tdonoghue@isoqs9000.com or call us at (416) 817-8442.


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