The main difference between ISO 9000 and ISO 9001 is that ISO 9000 sets the stage for ISO 9001, one of the most popular ISO standards governing quality management. ISO 9001 is a member of the ISO 9000 family–but ISO 9000 is a standard unto itself, as well. 

What they have in common: Quality Management Principles (QMPs) form the basis of ISO 9000 and 9001 as well as other quality management standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

ISO 9000: the series

ISO 9000 refers in part to a family of standards, including ISO 9001, for the management of an organization’s quality system. But ISO 9000 is also an international quality management system standard on its own. It supplies and defines the terminology used throughout the ISO 9000 series of standards, which comprises:

Most organizations use the ISO 9000:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 quality standards in tandem. The pair are based on seven quality management principles. Managers can apply these principles to help improve their organizations and improve their quality management system (QMS). 

The seven quality management principles are:
  1. Customer focus: The primary focus of quality management is to meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations.
    • Understand the needs of existing and future customers
    • Align organizational objectives with customer needs and expectations
    • Meet customer requirements
    • Measure customer satisfaction
    • Manage customer relationships
    • Aim to exceed customer expectations
  2. Leadership: Leaders at all levels establish unity of purpose and direction and create the conditions in which people are engaged in achieving the organization’s quality objectives.
    • Establish a vision and direction for the organization
    • Set challenging goals
    • Model organizational values
    • Establish trust
    • Equip and empower employees
    • Recognize employee contributions
  3. Engagement of people: Competent, empowered and engaged people at all levels throughout the organization are essential to enhance its capability to create and deliver value.
    • Ensure that people’s abilities are used and valued
    • Make people accountable
    • Enable participation in continual improvement
    • Evaluate individual performance
    • Enable learning and knowledge sharing
    • Enable open discussion of problems and constraints
  4. Process approach: Consistent and predictable results are achieved more effectively and efficiently when activities are understood and managed as interrelated business processes that function as a coherent system.
    • Manage activities as processes
    • Measure the capability of activities
    • Identify linkages between activities
    • Prioritize improvement opportunities
    • Deploy resources effectively
  5. Improvement: Successful organizations have an ongoing focus on improvement.
    • Improve organizational performance and capabilities
    • Align improvement activities
    • Empower people to make improvements
    • Measure improvement consistently
    • Celebrate improvements
  6. Evidence-based decision making: Decisions based on the analysis and evaluation of data and information are more likely to produce desired results.
    • Ensure the accessibility of accurate and reliable data
    • Use appropriate methods to analyze data
    • Make decisions based on analysis
    • Balance data analysis with practical experience
  7. Relationship management: For sustained success, an organization manages its relationships with interested parties up and down the supply chain.
    • Identify and select suppliers to manage costs, optimize resources, and create value
    • Establish relationships considering both the short and long term
    • Share expertise, resources, information, and plans with partners
    • Collaborate on improvement and development activities
    • Recognize supplier successes

What is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is an individual standard that governs quality assurance in an organization. It consists of regulatory requirements and processes including gap analysis and internal audits, conformance with which are essential to a quality management system and vendor management.

ISO 9001 is not the only standard for which ISO certification is available, but certification for this standard is very popular. What business wouldn’t want an attestation of quality? Having ISO 9001 certification is not only admired, for many businesses, it’s required.

Achieving compliance with ISO 9001

Compliance with ISO 9001 can be a complex process, but the benefits are worthwhile. Just knowing that your organization meets the highest standards for quality management will give you peace of mind and enhance your status with customers.

The best way to achieve ISO compliance is with quality governance, risk management, and compliance software. ZenGRC’s user-friendly dashboards tell you where you comply with ISO and where the gaps are, and how to fill them. It also allows unlimited, in-a-click self-audits and collects audit-trail evidence in a “single source of truth” repository so you can achieve coveted ISO 9001 certification with ease.

Worry-free ISO 9001 compliance is the Zen way. Contact us now for your free consultation.