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ISO 9004 is a document that can accompany the ISO 9001 standard for implementing a quality management system (see What is ISO 9001 for more details on the ISO 9001 standard). This document is designed to provide guidance to any organization on ways to make their quality management system more successful. It was most recently updated in 2009 to match the 2008 version of ISO 9001, and should not be confused with ISO 9014, which is a common misspelling and does not exist. Unlike ISO 9001, ISO 9004 is not intended for certification, regulatory or contractual use. This means that you cannot certify your quality management system against ISO 9004. (For more information on certification, see Quality Certification & ISO 9001 Certification.) It also means that the use of ISO 9004 is not intended to be mandated as a legal or contract requirement. The standard is, however, a good reference to turn to for ideas on how to make your implementation of ISO 9001 more effective and successful.

ISO 9004 Document Structure

The ISO 9004 document follows comparable clauses to the ISO 9001 requirements standard. The goal is to provide guidance on how to implement and update the processes created according to the ISO 9001 requirements in order to lead to sustained success of the quality management system. The standard follows the structure of clauses below:

Clause 1: Scope defines that this standard provides guidance for making a quality management system more successful.

Clause 2: Normative References refers to ISO 9000, which is the document on fundamentals and definitions for quality management systems (see ISO 9000).

Clause 3: Terms and Definitions defines some additional terms that are not contained in ISO 9000.

Clause 4: Managing for the sustained success of an organization provides guidance on implementing the ISO 9001 section on management responsibility more effectively.

Clause 5: Strategy and policy brings in assessment of the needs and expectations of other interested parties, not just customer requirements as in ISO 9001. The goal is to look at the organization’s whole environment, where ISO 9001 is focused on customers and their requirements.

Clause 6: Resource Management is an extension of the requirements in ISO 9001 for resource management.

Clause 7: Process Management provides additional information for managing the Product Realization requirements of ISO 9001.

Clause 8: Monitoring, measurement analysis and review builds on the requirements for measurement and analysis in ISO 9001 to make improvement from this data more effective.

Clause 9: Improvement, innovation and learning goes deeper into the improvement requirements of ISO 9001 to try to use improvement of the quality management system to lead to sustained success for the organization.

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Advisera Mark Hammar
Mark Hammar
Mark Hammar is a Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence through the American Society for Quality and has been a Quality Professional since 1994. Mark has experience in auditing, improving processes, and writing procedures for Quality, Environmental, and Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems, and is certified as a Lead Auditor for ISO 9001, AS9100, and ISO 14001.