A new edition of the successful handbook, ISO 9001 for Small Businesses, has just been jointly published by ISO and the International Trade Centre (ITC).

The handbook has been updated to take account of the latest edition of ISO 9001, published in 2008. This standard, which gives the requirements for quality management systems, is among ISO’s most well known and widely implemented standards ever. ISO 9001 is used in some 176 countries by businesses and organizations large and small, in public and private sectors, by manufacturers and service providers, in all sectors of activity.

In plain language and through numerous concrete examples from a wide range of sectors, ISO 9001 for Small Businesses aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to understand and implement the standard.

The handbook has been written by a group of experts participating in ISO/TC 176, the ISO technical committee responsible for the ISO 9000 family of standards. The full text of ISO 9001:2008 is included in boxes, section by section, accompanied by explanations, examples and implementation guidance in everyday terms.

The joint foreword to the handbook is contributed by ISO Secretary-General, Rob Steele, and ITC Executive Director Patricia R. Francis, who comment: "Small business is the world’s biggest business. More than 95% of the world’s businesses are small to medium-sized and many countries look to small and medium businesses to power economic growth and employment. Therefore International Standards need to assist small business just as much as they do global enterprises, government and society at large. In particular, SMEs should be able to share in gains in efficiency and effectiveness offered by ISO 9001."

Francis and Steele conclude: "This handbook is the latest example of the fruitful cooperation between ISO and the ITC. The two organizations hope that it will enable small businesses – in developing, transitional and industrialized economies – to draw the maximum benefits from ISO 9001, a standard which has become an essential tool of the world economy."

ISO9001 for Small Businesses – What to do: Advice from ISO/TC 176 is published by ISO in English (165 pages) and French (173 pages) editions, A5 format, ring binder. It is available from ISO national member institutes.