The requirements of ISO 9000 can lead managers to do things which cause sub-optimisation of performance. It is worth remembering that the wording of ISO 9000 remained the same from 1979 to 1994.

In other words, the potentially negative impact was influencing businesses for fifteen years. The 1994 changes have not changed the situation very much. Where appropriate, the 1994 changes are noted.

Here we look at some of the clauses to see how their wording can lead managers down the wrong path.


Management responsibility

Quality system

Contract review

Document control


Process control

Inspection and testing

Corrective action

Internal quality audits