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 About ISO
Who ISO is
     ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 147 countries, on the basis of one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.

     ISO is a non-governmental organization: its members are not, as is the case in the United Nations system, delegations of national governments. Nevertheless, ISO occupies a special position between the public and private sectors. This is because, on the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.

     Therefore, ISO is able to act as a bridging organization in which a consensus can be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society, such as the needs of stakeholder groups like consumers and users.

What ISO's name means
     Because "International Organization for Standardization" would have different abbreviations in different languages ("IOS" in English, "OIN" in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation), it was decided at the outset to use a word derived from the Greek isos, meaning "equal". Therefore, whatever the country, whatever the language, the short form of the organization's name is always ISO.

     ISO 9000 is concerned with "quality management". This means what the organization does to enhance customer satisfaction by meeting customer and applicable regulatory requirements and continually to improve its performance in this regard. ISO 14000 is primarily concerned with "environmental management". This means what the organization does to minimize harmful effects on the environment caused by its activities, and continually to improve its environmental performance.

What exactly is an ISO standard?
      An ISO standard is a documented agreement that serves as the guidelines, specifications or definitions to ensure that a particular product, service or process fits its intended purpose.

Why do we need International Standardization?
      International standardization ensures a set of industry-wide criteria that apply consistently to material classification, product manufacture and service provision.

International Standards provide a common reference point to facilitate trade and transfer of technology between suppliers and their customers.

How is ISO Compliance different from ISO Certification?
      ISO Compliance is based on an internal assessment of the company's Quality System. It is the manufacturer's or supplier's guarantee of meeting the intended standards. ISO certification, on the other hand, is awarded after a formal audit by an independent registrar.

What is ISO 9000: 2000?
      ISO 9000: 2000 is a revised quality management standard issued by the International Organization of Standards, a network of the national and international standards institutes of about 130 countries. The ISO 9000 family of international quality management standards and guidelines has earned a global reputation as the basis for establishing quality management systems.

What is ISO 9001: 2000?
     ISO 9001:2000 specifies requirements for a quality management system for any organization that needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable regulatory requirements and aims to enhance customer satisfaction.

     ISO 9001:2000 has been organized in a user-friendly format with terms that are easily recognized by all business sectors. The standard is used for certification/registration and contractual purposes by organizations seeking recognition of their quality management system.

     For more information about the ISO standards, visit www.iso.ch
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