A new standard in the ISO 9000 family provides organizations with a model known as a "measurement management system" to help them achieve product quality and manage risk by ensuring that both their measuring equipment and measurement processes are in control and effective.
ISO 10012:2003 can be used by organizations to meet the requirements for measurement and measurement process control in ISO 9001:2000 (quality management systems) and ISO 14001:1996 (environmental management systems) - although its use is not a requirement of either - or it can be implemented independently of these standards.
It will prove useful when customers and their suppliers need to specify product characteristics, as a technical reference underpinning legislation and regulations, and as a tool in assessment and auditing of management systems. However, its use in third-party certification is not a requirement, but a matter for agreement between the interested parties.
"ISO 10012 is intended to support meeting ISO 9001:2000 requirements for ensuring that a product conforms to specifications by measuring the product's physical characteristics, such as the length, width, thickness, or other properties," said Dan Harper, Convenor of the ISO working group that developed the new standard.
"Its use will facilitate accurate measurement results - and practically every industry sector depends on that - and so help to maintain and improve processes and the quality of the product. Its benefits will be felt in the simple purchase by the consumer of a quantity of a product, as it will be in industrial and research applications where the value of physical characteristics must be determined through strictly controlled measurement processes."
ISO 10012:2003, replaces ISO 10012-1:1992 and ISO 10012-2:1997. By merging the scopes of application of these earlier standards - equipment and processes - in a unique document and integrating the process-based approach of the ISO 9000:2000 series, ISO 10012 constitutes a comprehensive "measurement management system".
It specifies the requirements for a measurement management system that can be used by an organization performing measurements as part of the overall quality management system, and for ensuring that metrological requirements are met. To help users get the best out of the standard, the requirement clauses are followed by text boxes containing relevant guidance.