Marcos Antonio Lima de Oliveira
Certified Quality Engineer - ASQC
POLITENO's Quality Co-ordinator
CETEAD's Quality Nucleus Co-ordinator

This paper was published in the newsletter ISO9000NEWS, edited by ISO9000FORUM, ISO, Switzerland. Was also published in serbian by the magazine COMPEDIUM KVALITETA, in Yugoslav.


Total Quality Control (TQC) and ISO 9000 are methodologies used in the implementation of quality systems, which appeared with an interval of 40 years. ISO 9000 has its focus in product quality assurance, while TQC has a wider focus including profit assurance, individual safety assurance, client satisfaction assurance and others. Although different focus, both systems have several similarities. One of them is in documentation.

Companies that implement only ISO 9000 can have its system reinforced by TQC in ISO 9000 requisites: 4.1 ( management review ), 4.9 ( process control ), 4.14 ( corrective and preventive action ), 4.17 ( internal audits), 4.18 ( training ) and 4.20 ( statistical techniques ).

Companies that implement only TQC can have its system reinforced by ISO 9000 in items like: top diagnosis, document control, sales, suppliers evaluation, traceability, instrument calibration and training.


TQC and ISO 9000 are method for implementing quality systems in an organization, that appeared with an interval of 40 years. TQC was originally developed in Japan based in the teachings of Deming and Juran. Its purpose was to adapt existing management systems, with emphasis in continuous development.

ISO 9000 was developed between 1980 and 1987 with the purpose of proposing a model for implementing a quality system, applicable to any kind and size of organization. It is a set of procedures ( consistent and uniform ), elements and requisites in order to assure quality. Its worldwide utilization constitute a form for harmonization of different commercial interests, establishing an uniform language which can be understood in the whole world. ISO 9000 is a tool and its effectiveness depends upon its correct use. Several times ISO 9000 was implemented in company where there were no formal quality system. The boom of ISO 9000 was due to occidental reaction to the crescent increase in competitiveness of japanese products that begin to dominate world market.

In the beginning Japan gave no attention to the ISO 9000 movement, having no participation in the definition of the model. Japan thought that the quality of their products reached high levels, and no need for certification by an external source. But the intensive adoption by other countries, specially in Europe, changed Japan's opinion, aware of the possibility of barriers. Nowadays japanese exporting companies are implementing ISO 9000 system.

ISO 9000 was published in 1987. Brazil published an equivalent standard in 1990. Japan only published its standard in 1991. During a period of time Brazil had a greater number of certified companies than Japan. But it has changed and now Japan is in the front. Japanese companies with TQC implemented long time ago are implementing ISO 9000 without problems. There is a japanese company which achieved certification in just three months of preparation, while the mean time for occidental companies is 18 month.

Recent publication of ISO shows that 81 countries adopted ISO 9000.

Other benefits of ISO 9000 are being gotten by japanese companies. One is the opportunity to renew its quality programs, some of them with 30 or 40 years old. Another benefit is the implementation of the documentation related to the product, given legal protection against justice claims related to consumers code, which in USA reach high value of money.

In Brazil there are companies that began the implementation of quality systems using TQC, based in japanese model. Other companies began its implementation directly through the introduction of ISO 9000. The purpose of this paper is to show that it is possible to use both systems. In the beginning there was a little confusion between the concepts. Some companies used separated coordinator for both programs.


Both TQC and ISO 9000 have focus on the Client. TQC includes also as clients: employees, shareholders and the society while ISO 9000 includes only the supplier.

TQC involves all the organization. ISO 9001, 9002 or 9003 excludes from quality system areas like finance, administrative, industrial safety, environment and legal issues related to the product.

In Japan TQC is most used by big industries, specially exporters ones, according to Crosby. In Brazil its application is includes several areas like service area and public sector. ISO 9000 was designed to be implemented in any kind of company, from any sector, of any size. Sometimes ISO 9000 is implemented in companies that do not have any formal quality system.

Another difference is that TQC gives importance to the employee participation. One of the bases of the program is Quality Control Circles, where participation of employee is total. Motivation of employees is a focal point. In ISO 9000 the only approach to employees occurs with training. In TQC standardization is done from the point of view of employee. Each activity is related to a specific employee. ISO 9000 cares about the quality system. Human care is not treated in ISO 9000.

ISO 9000 is a base to design, specify, implement, evaluate and register a quality system. One of its benefits is clear definition of responsibilities, from sales up to product shipping. Its worldwide adoption is a reality and provides a clear language, documenting relations between client and supplier.

The standard in its essence cares basically about documentation and conformity. It is necessary to direct it to get the results the company need. ISO 9000 is directed to quality assurance, not to Total Quality Control.

In ISO 9000 the client is who buys the products, while in TQC the clients are: purchaser ( customer ), employee, society and share holder.

ISO 9000 do not treat about strategic planning, that TQC treat as management by policy. ISO 9000 gives emphasis in corrective action in short term.

JURAN shows several items not treated in ISO 9000 that are essential for world class companies:
  1. Leadership of top management - ISO 9000 requires management reviews, that include directors and managers.
  2. Training for managers in quality - ISO 9000 cares about operational training.
  3. Targets related to strategic planning - ISO 9000 requires the deployment of Quality Policy in measurables objectives.
  4. Involvement of employees - ISO 9000 does not take attention to this item, only to training.
  5. Continuous improvement - although ISO has developed standards, they are no mentioned in ISO 9001, 9002 and 9003.

While ISO 9000 gives attention only to client, TQC cares also with employees, share-holders and society.


Important is to concentrate in common aspects of ISO 9000 and TQC:

ISO 9000 standards are revised each 5 years. The next revision will incorporate several TQC principles, specially continuous improvement. Differences between TQC and ISO 9000 tend to disappear. ISO 14.000 for environmental aspects, a natural evolution of ISO 9000, includes the cycle PDCA.

Quality principles are the same, used by TQC or by ISO 9000. TQC is described in several books written by Deming, Juran, Crosby, Ishikawa, Feigenbaum, etc. There is not a standard for TQC. ISO 9000 is a summarized publication describing its requisites, explaining WHAT should be done, no HOW to do. In Japan each company developed its own model.

ISO 9000 is a strongly documentation based standard. Such documents as quality records are verified for conformance in audits ( internal, by clients and by certification organizations ). Also, it is verified if procedures are adequately being followed. TQC has as one of its base the standardization. Some correlations can be made between both documentation systems.

ISO 9000 recommends the use of four levels of documents: quality manual, procedures, work instructions and quality records. Companies that implement only TQC do not have quality manual, now mandatory by ISO 9000. In general these companies have the vision and the mission.

The second level of documentation - procedures - are documents that details how the company is working in order to accomplish with its requisites. These documents show the interrelation between different sections of the company in order to follow the requisite. In general they answer to the questions: WHAT, WHO, WHEN, WHY. These documents are equivalent to process standards in TQC.

The third level according to ISO 9000 are work instructions. These documents basically detail how activities and operations are done. They answer to the question How to do the activity? It is a technical document. In TQC we have also the training manual. Quality records ( in ISO 9000 ) are equivalent to TQC troubles reports and check list.


Several requisites of ISO 9000 can be improved using TQC techniques.

Item 4.1 ( management responsibility ) can be reinforced with the use of the President's review. Once a year the President visits the departments of his organization in order to do his own evaluation, and gives his recommendations. In ISO 9000 there is a management critical analysis, usually made by directors and managers, in the quality committee, with the advantage of involving more persons. It is necessary the strong leadership of top management.

Item 4.4 ( design control ) can be best developed with the use of Quality Function Deployment, that explains how to catch clients needs in order to translate in product specifications.

Item 4.9 ( process control ) can be reinforced with the use of techniques of analysis and problem solution. PDCA is a powerful tool. The treating of problems in order to propose a corrective action can be strengthened. We can use the 5 WHY method in order to identify the root cause of the problem. Technique of working groups like brainstorming are important. Employee should identify and register the problem that will be analyzed by supervisors and engineers.

Item 4.18 ( training ) can be enhanced using methodologies that lead to job enrichment and human motivation. Emphasis should be given to ON THE JOB TRAINING, given in the job workplace by the supervisor. In organizations in which TQC is being implemented, training is one of the most important responsibilities of the supervisor. Recognition can increase the productivity of the training. In TQC we use the concept of internal client in the organization, where each department has its own clients and suppliers, receiving or giving products and services within the company. Training area should be organized according to this concept. There are other programs that can improve ISO 9000 program: suggestion plan and quality control circle.

Item 4.20 ( statistical techniques ) can be reinforced by the use of the seven quality tools. The most important point is to get employee involvement. They should identify and analyze problems. Group techniques like brainstorming should be used.

TQC can be used to reinforce in the integration of quality in strategic business of the company. After getting ISO 9000 certification, it is necessary to maintain it through periodical audits each 6 month. In ISO 9000 it is mandatory the existence of a Quality Policy, confirming the company commitment. The standard also requires this Policy to be detailed in quality objectives, which should be measurable. TQC methodology can be used in order to align such measurements to company results, bringing long term results to the company. One of these methodologies is the hoshin kanri.

We have been noting in ISO 9000 audits that auditors are asking for measurement of results, comparing to targets established, including actions when the target is not reached. This approaches ISO 9000 to TQC.


The President's review can be reinforced using the concept of critical analysis by management ( requisite 4.1 ), in which this analysis is done with more frequency, using other directors and managers, improving the participation and the quality of the analysis. In ISO 9000 the analysis is a quality record, which improves the follow up of actions.

Quality assurance program can be reinforced using contract review ( requisite 4.3 ), in order to assure the capacity of the organization to supply products or services according to the clients need.

One of the point ISO 9000 can help TQC programs is document control ( requisite 4.5 ). This the strong point of ISO 9000. Although TQC reinforces standardization, it does not gives attention to document control. In ISO 9000 the quantity of documents is higher, so there is a special need in its control. This control assures that documents are being used in its last revision, obsolete copies are removed. It also assures that documents are allowable to all employees in its workplace.

In ISO 9000 it is necessary to have procedures to control emission, approval and distribution of documents. It is also necessary to control external standards and codes used by the company and to establish period of time to keep quality records.

Companies that implement only TQC do not have Quality Manual. The preparation of this document provides several advantages. The manual is a description of the quality system implemented. It is useful to show this system to clients, visitors and new employees. It is also a base for the evaluation of the system. It is also an important tool for marketing purposes, promoting the work done by the company in quality area.

ISO 9000 has procedures in order to select and evaluate supplier of products and services ( requisite 4.6 ). TQC does not reinforce this item. This is explained because in Japan it is common that supplies belongs to the same purchasing organization, with less control. In occidental world that does not happen, so the follow up of supplier performance is important.

ISO 9000 gives orientation in order to assure traceability in all steps of productive process ( requisite 4.9 ), which allows the company to identify product problems and correct them. Traceability needs the filling of documents - quality records - which improves the control.

Product inspection can be improved using techniques of document control, traceability, inspection ( requisite 4.10 ), equipment of inspection control ( requisite 4.11 ), non conforming product control ( requisite 4.12 ) and corrective action ( requisite 4.14).

In order to comply with ISO 9000, companies should identify critical test and inspection equipment and prepare a calibration plan. This is one of most important points of ISO 9000. Companies that implement TQC do not give attention to this point, considering a sub-item of quality assurance.

ISO 9000 requires the implementation of a system to treat client claims, where all claims should be registered when received for any person, by any way of communication. This is a point strongly requested in ISO 9000 audits.

Internal audits provides a periodic evaluation, finding opportunities to introduce improvements. The use of independent auditors gives confidence in the audit. Although independents, auditors are chosen from areas with big interface with the area being audited, knowing well its activities.

Training of employees can be improved using document control and quality records ( requisite 4.18 ) for feedback action. ISO 9000 needs training evaluation. Periodically it is necessary to identify training needs of employees.

In a general vision, ISO 9000 provides a high degree of discipline to the quality system, specially related to document control and corrective action. It also clarifies responsibilities for all working processes.


In Politeno, the integrations begins in the coordination. The responsible for the implementation of QUALIDADE TOTAL POLITENO - QTP ( the name of our quality process ) is the same responsible for implementation and maintenance of quality system according to ISO 9000 standards.

The responsible for management review, as required by ISO 9000, is Quality Council, which also incorporated the responsibility for evaluation of total quality process. The monthly meeting for result evaluation, created for TQC program, for incorporated to management review process. In this meeting are evaluated control item required by ISO 9000, besides others required for the management of the company.

In the area of documentation, we adopted the model of operational procedure recommended by TQC with focus on the employee for the third level of documentation required by ISO 9000.

For analysis and implementation of corrective action we use TQC methodology for problems analysis, using quality tools like Pareto diagram, Ishikawa diagram and so on.

In auditing, the company decided to make auditing in all company sections, even that not directly involved in ISO 9000, like financial, personnel, safety and environmental. We make audit in suppliers of materials and services.

In the training area, the company makes the list of required abilities for each function. Evaluating the knowledge degree of each employee, compared to required abilities, we make the list of training needs in order to prepare the Annual Training Program. This includes TQC concepts ( focus on the employee ) with ISO 9000 concepts.


Competitiveness is the main point for all organizations in order to assure its survival in times of global economy with commercial unions and opening of barriers. Several tools and techniques can be used to improve competitiveness. ISO 9000 and TQC are important tools that can be used together, exploring the best points of each one. It is important that both activities are performed under the same coordination.

8. ISO 9000 AND TQC IN BRAZIL ( data of April, 1997 )

The ISO 9000 movement in Brazil is very strong. We have 1.800 companies whose quality systems are certified according to ISO 9000 standards. In 1990 they were only 18 companies. We double each year this quantity.

We have around 2.000 companies implementing TQC in japanese style through Fundação Christiano Otoni, a non profit organization with the help of JUSE ( Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers ). There are several government organizations implementing TQC in Brazil.


9.1 Comparison table between ISO 9000 and TQC


Tomiyama, Tsugio. 1995. Combining ISO 9000 and TQC, ISO 9000 NEWS, ISO9000 FORUM, Switzerland.

Stephens, Kenneth. 1994. ISO 9000 and Total Quality, Quality Management Journal, ASQC

Umeda, Masao. 1996. ISO e TQC - O caminho em busca da GQT, Ed. Fundação Christiano Otoni













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Criado pela Open-School