ISO 9003 certification

What is ISO certified mean?

The ISO Standards are a set of guidelines aimed at certifying the quality management of a company in its different areas, from inputs, through the different stages of production, to the elements of the supply chain.

The ISO standards are formulated and published by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO for its acronym in English ( International Organization for Standardization ).

They comprise a very complete grouping of standards and guidelines applicable to management systems for any type of organization.

The International Organization for Standardization is a non-governmental, independent entity made up of standardization and quality management organizations from more than 170 member countries in all five continents.

ISO 9000

The ISO 9000 series is a set of quality standards and quality management whose certification, like other ISO standards, gives competitive advantages to accredited companies.

The ISO 9000 series covers a set of standards from ISO 9001, 9002, 9003 and 9004.

The ISO 9001 standard contemplates a series of requirements to achieve a “Quality Management System”. The ISO 9004 standard complemented and updated 9001.

ISO 9003 Certification Definition

ISO 9003 is a derivation of ISO 9002 both are contractual rules applicable to production and installation. ISO 9003 is specific to the final tests.

What is the meaning of ISO 9003

ISO 9003 is an umbrella term that refers to a standard developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The latest version of this standard is ISO 9003:1994 and is titled “Quality systems-Model for quality assurance in final inspection and test”. Generally organizations referring to themselves as being ISO 9003 certified are referring to the last published version of the standard. The ISO 9003 family has now been revised by the ISO 9001 family.

The ISO 9003 is a standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization which regulates the activities of inspections and final tests. ISO 9003 is a non-industry specific certification but is intended for business not needing design control, process control, purchasing or servicing but uses inspection and testing as a means to determine if final products or services meet requirements.

We must clarify that the ISO 9003 standard is already obsolete and is currently not granted. However, its content is immersed in the current ISO 9000 series: 2015

The ISO 9003, was replaced from 2000 by a new set of standards that make up ISO 9001.

Certifications are issued by third party certifying bodies and will be issued to the most recent revision of the standard.

The latter provides a broader framework that encompasses several aspects of a quality administrative system. Nowadays, in general, companies seek to obtain 9001: 2015 certification

The ISO 9003, served as a framework for 13 years, from 1987 to 2000.

The document dealt with how to carry out the final inspections and tests to ensure the quality of a product before being dispatched. The focus was on the inspection process and not on how the product was manufactured.

The ISO 9003, contains some of the principles of the rules of the United States Department of Defense. Its military specifications require the compliance of all employees involved in the process, a principle that has become the primary creed of ISO 9000 standards.

History of ISO standards

A direct antecedent of ISO standards can be placed at the request of the British government, during World War II.

The United Kingdom investigated issues related to quality defects in munitions that caused the bombs to explode in the factories. Procedures and manufacturing standards were developed to cover all the risks and finally confirmed to BS 5750 standards of the United Kingdom.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was created in Switzerland in 1947, specifically on February 23. In an attempt to harmonize the standards of different countries and create protection that generates a common set of expectations and a common language of universal standards.

The organization invited an expert from each country to integrate the technical committees. Originally more than 160 countries participated.

Since its formation, the 161 national standardization bodies have joined forces to create up to now 22,206 international standards.


The guidelines of the BS 5750 standard focused on how manufacturing processes should be managed, not on what or how it should be manufactured.

In 1987, ISO agreed to adopt the 5750 standards as the basis for a new set of international standards that it called the ISO 9000 series. The first consisted of provisional documents, of which ISO 9003 was part.


The ISO 9001: 2000 was released at the beginning of the new millennium and merged the ISO 9003 with two other documents, 9001 and 9002.

This combination allowed to introduce a radical change and took the focus to the administration of the processes and to the force of their fulfilment, in opposition to the meticulous observation of the product and its quality.

A very important additional derivation of ISO 9003 was to make top management responsible for the results and to ensure efficient use of a quality administrative system.

The latest edition of the ISO 9000 standards corresponds to the 2015 version specifies the current terms and definitions that apply to the quality management standards and management systems developed by the ISO

Finally, the legacy of ISO 9003, the use of metrics, became an important tool within the ISO9000 standards to monitor defects and bring about continuous improvement of processes, that is, detect and solve faults as well as promote improvements.

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