Book Review of ISO 9001: The Standard Interpretation

by Leland R. Beaumont

A Book Review by Norman C. Frank

The second edition of The Standard Interpretation contains lots of good information for people and companies with registration to an ISO 9000 series standard or seeking registration. Beaumont points out that the standards require that you: 1) say what you do, 2) do what you say, 3) record what is done, and 4) improve, based on results. This is the essence of the standard.

The Standard Interpretation provides a number of aids and tools to help understand and interpret the 1994 edition of ISO 9001. The main text consists of 1) the exact wording of the standard, 2) a rephrasing of the standard for understanding, 3) a discussion of how to apply the requirements to the standard, and 4) checklist questions to help assess compliance with the standard.

Going beyond words, each section of the standard is illustrated with a graphical flow diagram that shows the requirements. Creative and to the point, these visually show the various requirements included within the standard.

Three methods are used to present the interrelationship (big picture) of the various sections of the standard. The first is a "Summary and Afterward" that describes the interrelationship in words. The second method, "Connecting the Elements of the Standard", includes flow charts of the "Production System" and the "Quality Improvement System". The third method is a table "Summary and Structure of the ISO 9001 Standard" that groups the sections into logical groupings according to function. These would be very useful for training employees in the content and structure of the standard.

There's more. Beaumont includes a list of steps that need to be completed on the journey to registration. There is also a table showing department responsibilities and the actions they need to take during the registration process. Appendices provide helpful hints on selecting a registrar and developing your scope of registration. Something not seen in other publications is the appendix on "Hints on Writing Procedures Documents"; a summary of tips on how to write a procedure.

For the rest of the information, you will have to read the book. It is well worth reading and could easily serve as the basis for training within your company.

Obtaining the Book

Copies of ISO 9001, The Standard Interpretation - Second Edition, cost $19.95 plus $2 shipping per order in North America.

To order, contact:

Simply Quality
PO Box 21
Middletown, NJ 07748 USA
Phone 732-671-7130
Fax 801-340-4690

ISBN: 0-9636003-7-0
LCCN: 94-73391

E-mail to

About the Reviewer

Mr. Frank has over 25 years experience in the field of quality, in the areas of nuclear quality assurance, research and development, radioactive and mixed waste, and consulting. He is currently in Washington, D.C., with CER Corporation out of Las Vegas, Nevada, and can be reached at 202-488-5444.

Mr. Frank holds PE, CEQ and CQA Certifications.