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Are the ISO 9000:2000 Standards Too High?

A number of industry experts are saying that some companies will be unable or unwilling to transition to the ISO 9001:2000 standards released December 15, 2000.  Many say that is not bad news, in fact it will likely weed out thousands of companies who probably bought into ISO 9000 just for contractual purposes.

 Robert Peach, who helped write the first draft of the ISO standard in 1987 and then went on to play a key role in establishing the US accreditation system for ISO 9000 registrars said “You will be hearing of companies dropping either their use of ISO 9001 or their registration.”  This includes companies presently registered to ISO 9002 or 9003 who elected not to include their design activities in the scope of the third-part registration, and those who view new requirements on customer satisfaction, continual improvement and management commitment as a burden.  “We should not be discouraged when we hear that, because these are the ones that were probably giving lip service to the standard already,” says Peach.  In fact, a number of industry experts say they would prefer to see fewer registration certificates if that means an improvement to the overall quality of the remaining certificate holders.  Of course, all agree that it would be preferable to see all companies make the necessary changes to their systems and upgrade their registration certificates to the new standard within the allotted three-year transition period.

 Although it is likely that some existing certifications will not be upgraded, it is also likely that the service sector will increase their move towards ISO 9000 because it is now easier for them to understand and appreciate its relevance to their work.  In addition, many sector specific adaptations of ISO 9000 will soon be issuing revisions based on ISO 9001:2000 (including like TL 9000 for the telecommunications industry, AS 9000 for the aerospace industry, and QS 9000/TS-16949 for the automotive industry).  When that happens, companies within these sectors will have to get on board.  In fact, some sector specific versions of ISO 9000 (like TL 9000) will impose industry-specific metrics for measuring and improving performance that will not only accomplish what is needed for that industry but also serve as models for how such measures can be developed for other industries. 

 If you view ISO 9000 as merely a ticket for doing business – you may be right, but you are in for a surprise when you try to implement ISO 9001:2000.  If your organization is fully committed to having satisfied customers and improving your quality systems, then ISO 9001:2000 is for you .

 MTTC can help you make the “Move from Conformance to Performance” in a timely and cost effective manner.  For more info, call Mike Paten or Aimee Cecil at (502) 367-2186 or visit our web site at



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