ISO 9000, ISO 14000 AND Other International Quality Standards

Introduction

In today’s race for market growth and market share organization have realized the need to focus on meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations. Successful organization are seeking to achieve more than just customer satisfaction. They are targeting to achieve customer delight. They believe that by focusing on the customer, and supplying defect free products, back by effective delivery and after sales service they survive competition and move on to gain a position of leadership in their respective markets.

Many effective management tools are now available and are continually being developed to enable organizations to achieves these objectives. Some of these are in the form of International Quality Standards and other related Standards, which can be used by organization big and small, manufacturing or service oriented to identity areas for improvement and implement changes in products, processes and organizational culture to enable meet the challenges of competition.

These standards gives guidelines on the principles to be adopted by organization. They do not prescribed the method to be used to implement the principles . These is left to concerned organization, which leaves it a lot of freedom for adopting practices and procedures that are most suitable for its operations. This refutes the myths that the standards needs an organization to adopt rigid and unchangeable and prescriptive procedures and practices. When clearly understood and correctly interpreted these standards are a pleasure to adopt and implement. As one senior executive in an organization exclaimed after the organization was recommended for certification “I used to struggle a lot before we adopted this management system. NowI am more relaxed at work. I do no work, the system works!

Here are some of these tools are organizations to pick from :

1. ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003 : 1994
First published in 1987, the ISO 9000 series of standards to enable an organization to set up a quality management system and supply products and services that are free of non-conformities and aim to achieve customer satisfaction.

These series of standards were revised in 1994. Organizations that have effectively implemented these standards and have used it as a management tool to meet customer requirement and to enhance the customer satisfaction have been immensely benefited by way of better housekeeping, higher safety and an enhanced market share and improvement in bottom line.

In the latest round of revisions ( 15th December 2000) the standards have undergone major restructuring and certificates based on the 1994 version will be valid only till 14th December 2003. Organization who have already obtained certification to the 1994 version will find it beneficial to study the Revised Version of the Standard viz. ISO 9001:2000 and consider early switch over. In any case the transaction will have to be made within the above deadline.

2. ISO 9001:2000
This revised version has only one certification standard namely : ISO 9001:2000. The other two ISO 9002 and ISO 9003 have been withdrawn. Two guiding standards ISO 9000:2000 and ISO 9004:2000 are available for use as “guiding standards”.

Implementation of this standard will enable an organization to demonstrate its ability provide products that meet customer and to meet applicable regulatory requirements. It aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including the process for continual improvement of the system and the assurance to conformity to customer and applicable regulatory requirements. The stress is more on continual improvement of the quality management system rather than the adoption of numerous procedures. It incorporates eight excellent management principles within the standard and has only six mandatory procedures. It leaves a lot more freedom to the organization, compared to the 1994 version, as to which processes it should document.

The eight principles adopted are titled as follows : Customer focused organization, Leadership, involvement of people, process approach, Systems approach to management, continual improvement, Factual approach to decision making and mutually beneficial supplier relationship. These principles are expressed throughout the standard in each of its “clauses”.

3. QS 9000: 1998 & is based on the 1994 version of the ISO 9000 series and ISO/TC 16949: 2002 requires the organization to meet the requirements of the 2000 version of the ISO 9001 standard.

In both cases, the basic requirement is to adopt the appropriate version of the ISO standard and then meet additional requirements that are specific to the automobile industry and to OEM automobile manufactures.

This standard can be adopted by the organizations that are suppliers to automobile manufacturers. Implementation of this standard enables continues improvement, emphasing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain.

4. HACCP for Food Industry
The HACCP system, which is science based and systematic, identifies and specific hazards and measures for their controls to ensure the safety of the food. HACCP is a tool to access hazard and establish control system that focus on prevention rather than relying mainly on end product testing.

HACCP can be applied throughout the food chain from the primary producer to final consumer and its implementation should be guided by scientific evidence of risks to human health. Besides, enhancing the food safety, implementation of HACCP can be provide other significant benefits. The application of HACCP system can aid inspection by regulatory authorities and promote international trade by increasing confidence in food safety.

The application of HACCP is computable with the implementation of quality management systems, such as the ISO 9000 series and is a system of choice in the management of food safety within such systems.

5. SA 8000 Social Accountability Standard

This standard specifies requirement for social accountability to enable an organisation to:

a) Develop, Maintain and Enforce policies & procedures in order to manage those issues which it can control or influence.
b) Demonstrate to interested parties that policies, procedures and practices are in conformity with the requirement of this standard.
The requirement of this Standard apply universally with regard to geographic location, industry sector and company size.

6. ISO 14001:1996 Environmental Management System (EMS)

This International Standards specifies requirement for an environmental management system, to enable an
organization to formulate a policy and objective taking into account legislative requirement and information
about significant environment impacts. The Standard is applicable to any organization that wishes to:

a) Implement, maintain & improve an EMS
b) Assure itself of its conformance with its stated environmental policy
c) Demonstrate such conformance to others.
d) Seek certification/registration and self-declaration of conformance with its international Standard.

When implemented correctly it enables an organization to meet legislative requirements and customer requirements.
It provides immense opportunities to reduce manufacturing and related costs.

7. ISO 17025 for Laboratory certification :
ISO 17025 which replaces the previous Guide 25 accreditation, is a document prescribing the
“Genreral requirements for the competence of calibration and testing laboratories.”

It’s aims are to :

a. Provide a basis for use by accreditation bodies in assessing competence of laboratories.
b. Establish general requirements for demonstrating laboratory compliance to carry out specific calibrations or test; and
c. Assist in the development and implementation of a laboratory’s quality system.

For more details, contact :

1) QUALITY MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL
1, Anand Bldg, 137-A, Azad Road Vileparle (E) Mumbai- 40007
Tel : 91-22-26187113 / 26176131/ 26162388 Fax : 91-22-26108582
Email : qmibom@bom4.vsnl.net.in

2) TUV India Pvt Ltd
241 Hindustan Kohinoor Indl Complex, 2nd Floor, LBS Marg, Vikroli (E) Mumbai-400083
Tel : 91-22-25791301/ 25771454 Fax : 91-22-25770738
Email : tuvindia@vsnl.com

3) Indian Register of Shipping
52A, Adi Shankaracharya Marg, Opp Powai Lake, Mumbai – 400 072
Tel : 91-22-25703627 (8 lines) Fax : 91-22-25703611
Email : irsho@bom3.vsnl.net.in Website : www.irclas.org

For detailed information please visit www.iso.ch

We are very much thankful to :
Mr. Thomas X Rego-Executive Director, Growth Choice Quality Consultant

Email : thomasrego@rediffmail.com / growthchoice@indiatimes.com
for giving us this valuable information.



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