Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No.1, January 1999

1999, Vol. 21
No. 1 (January)
..Chemistry in Africa
..News from IUPAC
..Other Societies
..Reports from Symposia
..Provisional Recommendations
..New Books
..Conference Announcements


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Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No. 1
January 1999


News and Notices from Other Societies and Unions


Smooth Transition to Improved ISO 9000 Standards

Changeover to the improved ISO 9000 standards, which the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) aims to publish in November 2000, will be a smooth one for the businesses around the world which are implementing the current versions.

"A major requirement of the ISO 9000 revision process is that organizations which have implemented the current ISO 9000 standards will find it easy to transition to the revised standards," says ISO, adding, "Transition planning guidance is being produced." ISO gives the assurances in a recent document, "Introduction to the revision of the ISO 9000 standards". An estimated 200,000-plus ISO 9000-based quality management systems are being operated worldwide by organizations of all types in order to ensure their efficiency and their ability to meet their customers' requirements. As a result, interest in the Year 2000 revisions of the standards is intense, and ISO is keen to keep current and future ISO 9000 users up to date on developments.

The Introduction document summarizes the reasons for revising the ISO 9000 standards and outlines the direction the revisions are taking. In fact, all ISO standards (currently more than 11,500) are reviewed at least every five years to ensure that they remain the state of the art. The ISO 9000 series was published in 1987 and lightly revised in 1994. The Year 2000 revisions will be much more thoroughgoing, taking into account the considerable international experience of implementing them.

However, ISO says that the revised standards, like the current ones, will impose no rules on the presentation of a quality manual. It states, "This will allow organizations to continue to document their quality management systems in a manner which reflects their own ways of doing business. The revision of the ISO 9000 standards will not require the rewriting of an organization's quality management system documentation."

In order to ensure that the revised standards will be of maximum benefit, ISO has conducted an international survey of user requirements. In addition, it has an ongoing process which allows for direct feedback from users and customers at key points during the development of the revisions. This process is helping to determine how well user requirements are being met in the documents under development and to identify opportunities for improving them further before publication as ISO standards.

The revised standards, ISO 9001 and ISO 9004, are currently at the stage of "Committee Drafts" (CDs), which normally are internal documents circulated for comment only to the ISO members directly participating in their development. After the CD stage, the standards are released to ISO's membership as a whole as Draft International Standards, which are publicly available documents. Due to the huge interest in the ISO 9000 revisions, orders for the CDs of ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 may be addressed to ISO national members and to the ISO Central Secretariat. However, it should be understood that the documents are dynamic ones which will certainly evolve before they reach the status of International Standards.

ISO/TC 176/SC 2, the ISO technical body responsible for developing the revised standards, has established a World Wide Web site to provide information. Users who would like to give input or participate in the validation of the standards may contact ISO/TC 176/SC 2 directly via the web site: Information may also be obtained from ISO's national members, as well as being posted on ISO's own web site, ISO Online:

For more information:
Roger Frost, Press Officer

Tel.: + 4122 749 0111
Fax: + 4122 733 34 30




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