What is this standard about?
BS EN ISO 9004 is very closely related to the quality management system requirements standard BS EN ISO 9001. However, while that standard focuses on achieving customer satisfaction through quality products and services, ISO 9004 aims to embed quality even more widely throughout the organization. The end-game is to improve overall organizational performance and thereby achieve long-lasting, sustained success.
Who is this standard for?
It’s for managers at all levels and can be used in organizations of any type, sector or size from the very smallest to multi-site global conglomerates.
Why should you use this standard?
ISO 9004 gives guidance on how top management can improve an organization’s overall performance to achieve sustained success.
It uses the core quality management principles found in BS EN ISO 9000:2015
and builds on the requirements in ISO 9001, but has a longer-term, more holistic perspective. ISO 9004 makes quality management a guiding principle for the whole organization, not just its operational processes.
An important distinction is that this standard gives guidance on proactively managing the identity of the organization by addressing such factors as culture, vision and values. It also highlights the need to take emerging issues into account, such as social responsibility, environmental management and wider cultural factors, in addition to those that are traditionally given consideration such as efficiency, quality and agility.
ISO 9004 is characterized by its focus on:
- Quality throughout the organization
- Using a solid understanding of the organization’s own context to manage long-term
- Managing relationships with all relevant interested parties rather than with customers alone
The standard also includes practical self-assessment tools to help users evaluate the organization’s current situation and monitor improvement.
What’s changed since the last update?
This version constitutes a substantial revision of the standard because thinking in this area is constantly evolving. This iteration also takes into account the 2015 revisions to ISO 9001 and the impact of the high level structure and its core themes – leadership, context, interested parties, planning, etc. – although most of these were already covered to some extent.