"The ISO Book: A Global Competitor's Guide to Compliance & Certification", by John T. Rabbitt and Peter A. Bergh, Quality Resources, White Plains, NY:1993, pp166. $26.95

A Book Review by Norman C. Frank, CER Corporation Washington, DC

This book was written to introduce the new reader to ISO and its associated concepts. This it does for the most part. It misses slightly because you need some knowledge of QA and ISO jargon and the terminology used by Qualtec, DNV, and Foxboro to understand parts of the book.

This book is guides you toward obtaining ISO certification. There is little discussion of determining that you don't need certification. The authors basically say that even if it isn't required for business in Europe, it should be done for marketing reasons.

Two Problems:

1. Chapter 5 says for you to ensure that the auditors at the registrar company "have been trained to a standard such as ASQC's Certified Quality Auditor Standard". The facts are that the auditors must be certified to Registrar Accreditation Board or IQA (British) or other national certification scheme, not to the ASQC's Certified Quality Auditor program. Perhaps the authors meant to reference the ASQC's "Certification Program For Auditors of Quality Systems" published by the Registrar Accreditation Board.

2. The amount of horn blowing and basic advertisements for Qualtec, DNV, Foxboro, and Quality Systems Update are inappropriate.

The book uses three methods to help make the meaning of the ISO series standards clear by 1) presenting the 20 elements from the customer's perspective, 2) presenting the 20 elements using an example of a visit to a brake shop, and 3) rewording the 20 elements to help in the reader's understanding.

Appendix 1 provides a good checklist to use internally to determine your degree of readiness for an ISO certification assessment.

This one is not recommended for your bookshelf. A better book to buy is "ISO 9000: Preparing for Registration", by James L. Lamprecht, available from ASQC Quality Press.