A set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system. The standards, initially published in 1987, are not specific to any particular industry, product or service. The standards were developed by the International Organization for Standardization (see listing). The standards underwent major revision in 2000 and now include ISO 9000:2000 (definitions), ISO 9001:2000 (requirements) and ISO 9004:2000 (continuous improvement).
The ISO 9000 family of standards relates to quality management systems and is designed to help organizations ensure they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders. The standards are published by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, and available through National standards bodies. ISO 9000 deals with the fundamentals of quality management systems, including the eight management principles on which the family of standards is based. ISO 9001 deals with the requirements that organizations wishing to meet the standard have to fulfill.