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ISO 9000 and the Benefits of International Standardization

Conduct research on the internet and find out more about ISO 9000. You can use the ISO 9000 website - as a starting point. In a paper, answer the following questions: What is ISO? What are the benefits of international standardization? How have the ISO 9000 standards been received worldwide? What are the latest changes in ISO 9000 (2000)? What are the basic principles of the latest revision to the ISO 9000 standard

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According to the DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is, "a nongovernmental organization, established to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological, and economic activity." The International Organization for Standardization was founded in 1946 by delegates from 25 countries and started operations in 1947. At the end of 2006, the number of national ISO members had risen to 158; and to date, it is deemed the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards. The ISO has a network of national standards bodies from all regions of the world, served and supported by a Central Secretariat in Geneva with approximately 150 employees.

Over the years there have been many different standards that have been developed by ISO; but before we look at a few of these standards you may ask yourself the questions - what is the purpose of developing these standards; who are the persons responsible for developing them; and how are they developed. Note the excerpt below which explains why it is important to develop these standards:

Standards contribute to the protection of human beings, animals, property and the environment against hazards of all kinds, ensure inter-changeability and interoperability, facilitate communication by means of a common terminology, and provide a basis for the achievement, assessment and demonstration of quality...The common acceptance of standards is fundamental to the success of robust, fair and free trade. Without standards, it would be difficult to imagine the complexity of inter-national trade...International standardization results in the products and services that we purchase or use being safer, healthier, more environmentally sound and more reliable. In addition, standards create compatibility within and between related products and contribute to better product and service information.

Generally, it is claimed that, "ISO standards are developed by technical committees comprising experts from the industrial, technical and business sectors which have asked for the standards, and which subsequently put them to use." These experts participate as national delegations, which are chosen by the ISO national member institute for the country concerned; and they are required to represent not just the views of the organizations in which their participating experts works, but that of other stakeholders too. It is not only experts that are a part of this standard setting process, but they are also often times joined by representatives of government agencies, testing laboratories, consumer associations, non-governmental organizations and academic circles.
In terms of how the standards are developed, a draft agreement is usually set forward and the national delegations of experts of a technical committee meet to discuss, debate and argue until they reach a consensus on such draft. Following this, the draft is circulated as a Draft International Standard (DIS) to ISO's membership as a whole for comment and balloting. If the overall voting of members is in favor of the draft, ...

Solution Summary

The first thing this solution speaks to is what the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is. It then makes mention of some of the standards that have been issued by the ISO; the benefits of international standardization; the ISO 9000 standards and how they have been received worldwide; and the latest changes in ISO 9000 (2000) standard. Links to information about the basic principles of the latest version of the ISO 9000 standard are also provided. 1901 words.