In 1987, mounting concern on global quality issues led the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, to establish a series of international quality standards. Called the ISO 9000 Series of Standards, the series is not specific to any one industry, but when used with proper industry-specific standards, helps build a strong foundation for a quality system. The idea behind ISO is to promote standardization which will facilitate the international exchange of goods and services.

Currently, ISO 9000 certification is voluntary and not required or mandated in any country. However, the European community has recently required that quality systems of many suppliers of products related to health, safety, and the environment be formally registered, by a third party, according to the ISO 9000 Series standard. This action has made adoption of the ISO standards a prerequisite for doing business in Europe. Countries in Asia, Africa, and South America are more and more considering adoption of these standards as a means to increased trade among themselves and the United States. Over 20,000 companies have been registered worldwide, and at least 52 nations are implementing the standards.

In the U.S., the ISO 9000 Series of Standards was adopted in precise format as the ANSI/ASQC Q90 series of standards. The series comprises five individual, but related, international standards on quality management and quality assurance, known as ISO 9000, 9001, 9002, 9003, and 9004. For a company's quality system to become registered in one or more of these standards involves having an accredited, independent third party conduct an audit of the company's operations against the requirements of the ISO 9000 standards. Upon successful completion of this audit, the company will receive a registration certificate that identifies its quality system as being in compliance with ISO 9000 standards.


Accredited Registrars in the United States

ABS Quality Evaluations
16855 Northchase Drive
Houston, TX 77060
(713) 873-9400
 A.G.A. Quality
8501 E. Pleasant Valley Road
Cleveland, OH 44131
(216) 524-4990
 American European Services (AES)
1054 31st Street, NW, Suite 120
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 705-8590
 American Association for Laboratory Accreditation
656 Quince Orchard Road, #620
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 670-1377
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
United Engineering Center
345 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 605-4796
AT&T Quality Registrar
650 Liberty Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
(908) 851-3058
AV Qualite
2900 Wilcrest, Suite 300
Houston, TX 77042
(713) 465-2850
Bellcore Quality Registration
6 Corporate Place, Room 1-A230
Piscataway, NJ 08854
(908) 699-3739
Bureau Veritas Quality International
509 N. Main Street
Jamestown, NY 14701
(716) 484-9002
DLS Quality Technology Associates
108 Hallmore Drive
Camillus, NY 13031
(315) 468-5811
DNV Industry
16340 Park Ten Plaza, Suite 100
Houston, TX 77084
(713) 579-9003
Electronic Industries Quality Registry
2001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 457-4970
3033 Madison Avenue, SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49548
(800) 888-3787
9900 Main Street, Suite 500
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 476-9000
KEMA Registered Quality
4379 Country Line Road
Chalfont, PA 18914
(215) 822-4258
KPMG Quality Registrar
150 John F. Kennedy Parkway
Short Hills, NJ 07878
(800) 716-5595
Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance
33-41 Newark Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(201) 963-1111
MET Laboratories
914 W. Patapsco Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 354-3300
National Quality Assurance
1146 Massachusetts Avenue
Boxborough, MA 01719
(508) 635-9256
Quality Systems Assurance
13873 Park Center Road, Suite 217
Herndon, VA 22701
(703) 478-0241
SGS International Certification Services
Meadows Office Complex
301 Route 17N
Rutherford, NJ 07070
(800) 747-9047
Smithers Quality Assessments
425 W. Market Street
Akron, OH 44303
(216) 762-4231
Steel Related Industries Quality System Registrars
2000 Corporate Drive, Suite 450
Wexford, P.A. 15090
(412) 935-2844
TRA Certification
700 E. Beardsley Avenue
P.O. Box 1081
Elkhart, IN 46515
(219) 264-0745
Tri-Tech Services
4700 Clairton Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
(412) 884-2290
TUV America-Hartford Steam Boiler
5 Cherry Hill Drive
Danvers, MA 01923
(508) 777-7999
TUV Rheinland of North America
12 Commerce Road
Newton, CT 06470
(203) 426-0888
Underwriters Laboratories
1285 Walt Whitman Road
Melville, NY 11747
(516) 271-6200, ext. 284

Other contact options include:

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
11 W. 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 642-4900

The American National Standards Institute, an influential member of the ISO, is a nongovernment voluntary organization that provides a process for accrediting standards-writing bodies. The ISO 9000 Series is available from ANSI. (The ANSI/ASQC Q90 Series is identical to the ISO 9000 Series.)

American Society for Quality Control
P.O. Box 3005
Milwaukee, WI 53201
(800) 952-6587

The American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) is an accredited standards-writing body. The ANSI/ASQC Q90 series is available from the customer service department of ASQC.

CEEM Information Services
P.O. Box 200
Fairfax Station, VA 22039
(800) 745-5565

Publishes Quality Systems Update newsletter, ISO 9000 handbook, and a directory of registered companies.

National Institute of Standards and Technology
U.S. Department of Commerce
Route 270 and Quince Orchard Road
Administration Building, Room A537
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
(301) 975-2000

Booz, Allen & Hamilton Safety and Environmental Group 8283 Greensboro Drive McLean, VA 22102 (703) 902-5000
Du Pont ISO 9000 Services 1007 Market Street Wilmington, DE 19898 (800) 441-8040
Perry Johnson 3000 Town Center, Suite 2960 Southfield, MI 48075 (810) 356-4410