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Feedback Q&A on ISO 9000

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 104 comments and questions on ISO 9000 issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.

List of next 10 letters




General How could ISO 9000 could affect business planning? UK
Reasons for ISO 9000 Should sub-contractor be certified? Canada
Certification How could I get the ISO 9000 certification? USA
Compliance vs Certification Experience with ISO 9000 for small companies USA
Manual Sample Disadvantage of documenting customer complaints Tanzania
Required Records Getting paid less than my student at university Pakistan
Reasons for ISO 9000 What is the reason for ISO 9000? Cambodia
Manual Sample Using statistical techniques in class Kenya
Compliance vs Certification Company won't tell ingredients of medicine USA
Rationale Approach Constituting an Internal Quality Audit Team Philippines

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First 10 letters

How could ISO 9000 could affect business planning?

Topic: General


November 10, 2011

How ISO 9000 could affect the application of business planning and corporate expectations

luckshan - UK



The purpose of ISO 9000 is to make sure that a company documents what they do and delivers what they promise to deliver. It can be an extra expense and effort, but it assures that the company is well-run.

Planning should include time spend to document tests and processes. Upper management needs to realize that short-term gains are not as important as long-term growth.

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Should sub-contractor be certified?

Topic: Reasons for ISO 9000


October 1, 2011

If you are a sub-contractor and not iso certified and the work you are doing is for a large corporation(eg.Sony) that is iso and shipping all over the world, should you be iso certified or how important is it. To me it is like lying to the customer because you are not certified but Sony's label is on it. Is this wrong and could there be repercussions?

Donnie - Canada



ISO 9000 certification means that the company is delivering what is promised, according to the specifications and contract, and that they have the documentation in place to prove it. Usually, a ISO 9000 certified company will want their sub-contractors to also be certified.

However, it is not a requirement, if the company trusts the sub-contractor or the work done is not critical to the final product. They still should obtain documentation as to testing and quality of the parts obtained.

If Sony receives a part from a vendor who is not certified, and they test the part to make sure it adheres to their specification, they can honestly proceed. They are promising a certain level of quality to the customer and take responsibility if the quality is not there.

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How could I get the ISO 9000 certification?

Topic: Certification


March 16, 2011

How could I get the ISO 9000 or 9001 certification (as an individual)?

Ella - USA



ISO 9000 certification shows that a company satisfies the required processes. Companies usually get certified because their major corporate customers require it.

If you are self-employed or have a small business, you can become certified, which may help you market your services. However, I would suggest simply being compliant to the ISO 9000 or 9001 standards without going through the expensive certification process.

See ISO 9000 Compliance versus Certification.

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Experience with ISO 9000 for small companies

Topic: Compliance vs Certification


December 30, 2010

I work as an ISO Consultant that has gotten several companies certified to ISO 9001 and 16949 since 1995. However, I now specialize in helping small companies (1 - 25 employees) become ISO Compliant...the do not want to become certified due to the cost and Auditing time it takes to get certified.
These small companies, once their procedures and Quality Manual is completed, have no trouble acquiring orders from ISO customers. The ISO emphases on certification has all but disappeared for them. As long as they can show they are ISO Complaint their customers seem to be satisfied.




Thanks for sharing your experiences. Although following the guidelines of ISO 9000 is very useful to a company, becoming certified can be an unnecessary expense for a small company, especially if the customers do not require it.

Best wishes for continued success in your work.

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Disadvantage of documenting customer complaints

Topic: Manual Sample


November 15, 2010


CAROLINE - Tanzania



The reason a company would document customer complaints would be to make sure they proceeded with a corrective action. If similar complaints came into the company, they could tell that a different corrective action was needed.

Customer complaints should be kept as internal, confidential documents. You do not want the complaints broadcast, such as on a website, because it can affect the company's reputation.

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Getting paid less than my student at university

Topic: Required Records


September 1, 2010

I am a lecturer on contract bases at the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering, and Management Sciences, Quetta. But I am not being paid the pay of the post. I fulfill the qualification and have about 40 years of teaching experience. One of my students of the same university who is now a lecturer is getting a pay much more than my pay. The university has applied for ISO certification. Isn't my case a violation of ISO spirit? What should I do to get my right?

Muhammad - Pakistan



Many colleges and universities have found that they can hire part-time or contract teachers and lecturers at a much lower rate than a full-fledged instructor or professor. It is especially humiliating to have your student getting paid much more than you for similar work.

ISO 9000 is mainly concerned with proper documentation, and although such a practice is not in the spirit of ISO 9000, it is not really mentioned. On the other hand, TQM points toward treating workers with more value.

You need to look at your position and contract. Can you be hired as a full-time lecturer? Do you have any leverage in asking for more money? Apparently, they value the student more than you.

Perhaps if you spoke with your supervisor to discuss the issue of wages to see where you stand. Sometimes if an employee does not speak up, management assumed the person is satisfied.

It is a difficult situation. Best wishes on getting paid what you are worth.

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What is the reason for ISO 9000?

Topic: Reasons for ISO 9000


August 20, 2010

I want to know the clear reasons that a company should have ISO.

sor - Cambodia



ISO 9000 lays guidelines for properly running a company, especially concerning documentation of business activities. However, many companies become registered in ISO 9000 for marketing reasons or per requirements from their customers.

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Using statistical techniques in class

Topic: Manual Sample


June 28, 2010

how can one use statistic technique in class

'jane - Kenya



If there is some manufacturing or production line where a number of items are made or process is done, you can use statistical methods defined averages and trends.

Likewise, in a classroom, you could take measurements of grades or various aspects of the students to do statistical averaging.

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Company won't tell ingredients of medicine

Topic: Compliance vs Certification


June 21, 2010

I take alternate medical treatment from an organization in India. They claim that they're ISO certified. They send the medicine but they don't give the name of the medicine. I don't think this is a good practice. If I complain to the ISO organization, will they take action ?
If not what is the use of having an ISO Organization ? Any company can advertise to be ISO certified, collect money and be fraud.


Anu - USA



One of the aspects of ISO 9000 is that the company will deliver what it promises in its documentation. If they do not promise to name the medicine and then deliver an unnamed medicine, they may be compliant to ISO 9000.

You should contact the organization and ask for the name of the medicine. If they refuse, for all you know they may be sending you sugar powder or sawdust. Not giving the name is not only a bad practice for them, but it can be very risky for the patient.

If they don't get satisfaction from this company in finding out what they are sending you, it would be good to find a different organization that may be more honest.

Contact the ISO organization probably would not do much. They could take away their certification, but that is about all they could do.

Best wishes on getting good medicine.

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Constituting an Internal Quality Audit Team

Topic: Rationale Approach


May 25, 2010

In constituting an Internal Quality Audit Team, I being the one sent by the school to attend an ISO Training for 4 days which consists of Documenting the Quality System (2 days) and Internal Quality Audit (2days. After the training, I echoed the training to the 25 key people in our school. I plan to have at least 4 members in the IQA Team. Is the Echo Training I conducted, can ve considered as their training to ISO Awareness? As I undesrtand, members of the IQA team must be treained and be aware of the ISO Orientation.

MARIA HAZEL - Philippines



Just as an important part of ISO 9000 is documentation, it is important that you take many notes, review them and rewrite them in a form that will allow you to teach others in your group.

This should allow you to make others aware of the purpose and importance of ISO 9000 and then later provide orientation on the Quality System and auditing requirements.

The idea of ISO 9000 is relatively simple you need to document what you plan to do or what your requirements are, document what you do, and then verify what is done is what was promised.

Try to get as many handouts and documents as possible in your ISO 9000 training that you can use in training your people.

Best wishes in your ISO 9000 awareness and orientation work.

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