Difference between ISO 9000 and TQM

What’s the Difference Between ISO 9000 and TQM?


To successfully implement quality management principles across organisations, it is necessary to understand the fundamental characteristics and differences between different quality management systems. That is why it becomes vital to understand how ISO 9000 is different from a TQM. In this article, we will explore concepts like what ISO 9000 is, the difference between ISO 9001 versus ISO 9000, what a TQM is, and finally, discuss the difference between ISO 9000 and TQM.

What is ISO 9000? An Effective Quality System

Before discussing the difference between ISO 9000 and TQM, let’s talk about ISO 9000. ISO 9000 is developed as an internationally-accepted baseline to help monitor business performance and is different from ISO 9001 accreditation. It is a set of standards created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) with pertinent inputs from quality professionals across different nations. Quality management can be described as the process of overseeing all procedures that go into achieving and maintaining a desired level of quality or excellence in the creation or delivery of products/services. This includes the facilitation of an appropriate quality policy, along with the creation and implementation of quality planning, quality control, and methods for improvement. This process of determining a quality policy, creating and implementing quality planning and assurance, and quality control, is also referred to as Total Quality Management (TQM).

What is ISO 9000? relationship between TQM and ISO 9000

What is the Difference Between ISO 9000 Standard and ISO 9000 Family?

ISO 9000 standard was created to help manufacturers effectively document elements of the quality system they needed to maintain to promote efficiency. The family of standards, or the ISO 9000 series, was initially published in 1987, gaining popularity in Europe and spreading across America and the rest of the world in the 90s. Out of this family of standards, ISO 9001 outlines the requirements to build an effective Quality Management System (QMS) and is the only standard against which organisations can get certified. ISO certification cost depends on the type of ISO certificate that an organisation is planning to obtain.

ISO 9000 Versus ISO 9001

Until now you may be wondering What is the meaning of ISO 9001. As mentioned above, ISO 9001 is a part of the ISO 9000 series and is the only standard against which organisations can get certified. ISO 9001 contains 10 clauses that can be utilised as a reference to build the different processes of a QMS. The ISO 9000 standard contains a set of terms that help the user understand ISO 9001 better.

ISO 9001 and TQM; ISO Consultant in Australia

What is a TQM? Total Quality Management

In the continuation of the discussion of the difference between ISO 9000 and TQM, let’s talk about the TQM. Total quality management is an overall structured approach to organisational management, where the process focuses on enhancing the quality of the organisation’s outputs. ISO 9001 consulting services can help oranisations to enhance the quality faster and with no effort. Examples of outputs obviously include goods and services but also encompass continual improvement of internal practices. Hence, the standards that are a component of the TQM can reflect both internal policies and industry standards. Here, industry standards are defined as multiple-level laws and regulations that organisations need to adhere to in order to govern the operational side of their business. Industry standards are understood as norms and are backed by official regulations.

The primary principles of total quality management include:

Focus on Customers

Where customer input is highly valued, allows a company to understand better the needs and requirements they need to stick to in the manufacturing process. ISO 14001 is one of the ISO certifications that brings customer satisfaction and organisation improvement at the same time.

Employee Commitment

Where effective communication across different departments and leaders leads to the development of clear goals, expectations and constraints. ISO 45001 is one of the ISO certifications that is beneficial for employees’ health and safety.

Constant Improvement

Where the concept helps a company to adapt to changing market expectations and allows for greater adaptability to different regions, customers or market trends.

Adherence to Pprocess

Where a systematic approach relying heavily on processes, flowcharts, TQM diagrams, visual action plans, and documented workflows, helps to harmonise different parts of the operation into one entity.

Strategic and Systematic Approach

Where the company dedicates itself to amalgamating quality as its core component to make evidence-based decisions.

Data Utilisation

Where management must constantly rely on turnover, efficiency and employee metrics to correlate anticipated outcomes with actual results. By obtaining ISO 27001, organisations can protect their data and use it for utilisation.

Integrated Systems

Where linking data sources and sharing information across systems allow everyone to be on the same page simultaneously.


Where coordinating processes effectively helps enhance the efficiency of day-to-day operations.

What is TQM? ISO and TQM

Difference Between ISO 9000 and TQM

The main purpose of TQM is that it is designed to be utilised for internal organisational use and tends to go beyond customer satisfaction. In contrast, ISO 9000 is intended for external assessment needs to enhance customer satisfaction.

The TQM implementation model helps build commitment for management, sending the management principles and quality policies, installing the corrected concept of quality to employees, understanding and fulfilling customer requirements and proceeding to continuous improvement. In contrast, the ISO 9000 approach to quality management begins by determining the customers and interested parties’ needs and expectations. It urges organisations to establish the quality policy and objectives of the organisation to determine the processes and responsibilities necessary to attain these quality objectives.

A better way to summarise the difference between TQM and ISO 9000 is that TQM deals with issues that do not even impact the quality from the perspective of the customer, and in contrast, ISO 9000 is a total quality management system that requires management to evaluate every process in an organisation that impacts quality. Hence, to summarise, TQM can be described as more of a philosophy, whereas ISO 9000 is a clearly defined system.

Edara Systems; Best ISO consultant in Australia

Obtain TQM With Edara Systems Consultants

In this article we have discussed the difference between ISO 9000 and TQM. TQM can be described as more of a philosophy or a concept, whereas ISO 9000 lays out the recommendations for a clearly defined management system. Edara Systems can help you obtain TQM and different types of ISO certification such as ISO 9000. For more information contact us.

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