This text is from the second edition of ISO 9001, The Standard Companion. It is based on the now obsolete 1987 version of the ISO 9001 Standard. The third edition, based on the current 1994 standard, is available from Simply Quality.

1.0 Scope and Field of Application

When to use ISO 9001

1.1 Scope

ISO 9001 is used when a contract, whether formally drafted by attorneys or simply an agreement of sale, relies on your company's ability to design a product or service, then supply and service that product. This Standard is designed to assure that work is performed in accordance with specifications throughout design, manufacturing, installation and servicing.

1.2 Field of Application

Use ISO 9001 when:

a) a contract specifically calls for innovative design because requirements are stated in terms of what the product does, rather than how it is built, or

b) your customer will have confidence in your product because you have assured him of your ability to design, manufacture, install and service that product.


Use ISO 9001, rather than one of the narrower standards, if your company has some design role related to the product. If your company performs product or service design work, your customer will expect your compliance to ISO 9001.

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