A series of quality assurance standards compiled by the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Standards Organization. In the United States, ISO is represented by the American National Standards Institute based in Washington, DC.
a family of international quality management standards and guidelines that reflects a global consensus on product or service quality in the international context but can be applied by organisations world wide to their particular situation (adapted from International Standards Organisation website).
The ISO 9000 series standards (9001, 9002, 9003) apply internationally. They are relevant, not just for laboratories, but for all types of manufacturing and service organizations. At this time, the ISO 9000 standards are primarily voluntary. However, many companies are finding that their customers are demanding ISO 9000 series compliance or registration as a condition for doing business.