ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 163 countries, one member per country, with a central secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland,that coordinates the system. It is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part 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, It enables a consensus to be reached on solution that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.
ISO is the world largest standards developing organization. Between 1947 and the present day, ISO has published more than 18,500 international standards, ranging from standards for activities such as agriculture and construction,through mechanical engineering, to medical devices, to the newest information technology developments. Given the multi-sector scope of the organization, it would be hard to present a historical perspective summarizing the challenges, the passion, the outstanding achievements or, sometimes, the missed opportunities, in the large variety of sectors covered by ISO’s technical work.
Coverage of ISO Certification
|ISO 9000||provide definitions and concepts. Explains how to select over standards for a given business.||All industries.|
|ISO 9001||Quality assurance in design, development,production,installation and servicing.||Engineering and construction firms,manufacturers that design,develop,install and service products. Applicable to software development.|
|ISO 9002||Quality assurance in production and installation.||Steel and car manufacturing industries that buy the product and plant designs from external sources and are involved in only manufacturing those products.|
|ISO 9003||Quality assurance in test and inspection.||Companies in the chemical process industries that are not involved in product design or after-sales service.|
|ISO 9004||Quality management and quality system elements.||All industries.|
|ISO 14000||Environment Management.||All industries.|
|ISO 9000:2000||Design,assessment and improvement of management systems.||All types of Industries including software.|
Procedure for Obtaining/Registration of ISO
The system and procedures are laid down by NSO’s. As, Ex: In the case of electronic equipment, IEC (International Electro-technical Commission founded in 1906) is affiliated to ISO. IEC’s head quarters also located in Geneva. In India,IEC has recognized STQC under DOE, ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India as the National Supervising Inspectorate (NSI) to coordinate certification of ISO. The procedure for electronic equipment/ component certification of ISO standards in India, are given below.
1. Preliminary Information:
- Company approaches STQC for ‘standard package information’.
- STQC sends questionnaires on “quality Manual” and arranges visits and assists company to prepare relevant documents.
2. Formal Application
- Formal application in the prescribed form is prepared by firm and sent to STQC.
- Fees and documents are also sent.
3. Screening and Evaluation
- STQC screening application.
- Appoints a ‘lead auditor’ to evaluate the firm.
- Lead auditor and auditors carry out quality audits on the firm.
- Finalized conclusions/recommendations.
4. Issue First stage approval: Once satisfied STQC issued a “manufacturers Approval”.
5. Issue Second stage Approval
- Qualification Approval: This is the approval issued to a manufacturer for an individual equipment of range of equipment and covers design,production methods and installation.
- Capability Approval: Here approval is issued to a manufacturer certifying the quality standard of the process and technology. For Ex: PCB,hybrid or connector process lines are given approval for the entire process and not for individual component/equipment.
- Grant of IECQ certificate from IEC Geneva: Once this certificate is issued, it conforms BSI registration to the company.
- Follow-up/Surveillance: In order to maintain the standard of quality, STQC will carry out periodic inspection and evaluation.
Advantages of ISO standards
1. For Users
- Confidence in quality and reliability of product and services received.
- Economy and competitive prices.
- Assured after sales services.
- Trace ability of manufacture, design and specification.
2. For Suppliers
- Easy vendor identification
- Rationalization of component product based on international standard.
- Simplified controls for long-range contracts.
- Availability of worlds-wide on-line data base called CODUS.
3. For Manufacturers
- Rationalization of product range.
- No huge investment of inward goods Inspection (I.G.I) department.
- No need to have separate vendor identification/development/evaluation process.
- No multiple agency certification of Quality.
- Cost reduction due to reduced rework and scraps.
4. For Marketing
- Global visibility.
- Provide national/international reputation.
- Assured international quality level.