Short Version

I work for a company that provides software tools to multiple customers. One of our customers is ISO certified. Are there any software certification standards like ISO, ITIL, etc. where if one of our customers becomes certified, we would also have to become certified?

Background Information

I work for a company who has no clue what software quality assurance is about (no two different people have the same way of working, bug lifecycle is non-existent, etc.), but recently I saw on the website of one of our customers that they are ISO certified.

It seems that a company can be ISO certified while they get their tools from a company who doesn't care about quality. I call this "not contagious" as the ISO certification of one company doesn't impact the whether or not their suppliers have ISO certification.

Now my question: are there software quality standards that force software suppliers to also become certified; and if so, which ones and how popular are they?

  • This is NOT discussion forum - get a blog. We want OBJECTIVELY ANSWERABLE questions Mar 2, 2017 at 14:57
  • @PeterMasiar - I edited the question to make it more objectively answerable.
    – Kate Paulk
    Mar 3, 2017 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


In short, no.

ISO 9000 certification is about a quality control process in the organization: all the other certifications for quality follow the same general pattern of determining that the company has a defined, systematic process of quality management; and that the process is followed.

This places no obligation on suppliers.

However, there is nothing to stop a company deciding to only purchase from suppliers with ISO 9000 or equivalent certification. This is entirely the decision of the company. It has nothing to do with whether or not the company is certified.

A company without ISO 9000 certification could refuse to buy from non-certified companies. A company with certification could buy from non-certified companies. The certification is not relevant to the purchasing decisions.

  • Thanks, Kate, for having edited and answered my question. After having read your editing result, I now realise that my question was not written in an understandable way.
    – Dominique
    Mar 5, 2017 at 15:47

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