The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 140 countries. In 1987 ISO introduced the ISO 9000 series of quality system requirements. This quality assurance system, which is reviewed regularly, provides an internationally consistent standard for addressing quality management. A sound quality system is an essential element in maintaining customer confidence in a firm's ability to consistently provide quality products and services.
The ISO 9000 series of standards defines the necessary elements that make up a good quality system; a system in which the company focuses on doing the right things the first time, every time. To comply with the ISO standard, a company must submit to an extensive audit of its quality system by a recognized registration organization.