Does CMMI, Level 3 Conformance Ensure ISO 9001 Certification?

The following question has been asked:
“Does a software company need to conform with or be capable of meeting CMMI level 3 guidelines in order to become ISO 9001:2008 certified?” Our company is working toward obtaining ISO 9001:2008 and CMMI certifications. I have studied ISO 9001 and mapped sections to CMMI goals and practices.
It appears that some sections of ISO 9001:2008 map to CMMI Level 3 process areas and practices e.g., section 5.6.1 relates basically to organizational process areas; section 7.2.1 is relative to Requirements Development which is a level 3 process area. A large part of section 7.3 maps to CMMI level 3 process areas.
Thank you so much,
M. S.

ATCS Response:

Although the guidelines contained in CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) may help to prepare an organization toward ISO 9001 certification, there are several major differences between CMMI and ISO 9001.

ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized standard for quality management systems.  While CMMI is a Carnegie Mellon University registered trade mark.

ISO 9001 has specific requirements for documented procedures for the control of documents, control of records, control of nonconforming products, internal audits, corrective actions and preventive actions.  In addition, a quality policy, measureable objectives, and management reviews are required.

CMMI is focused on process improvement, while ISO 9001 focuses on customer satisfaction, process improvement, product conformity and the continual improvement of the quality management system.  An organization could be CMMI certified or “capable” as mentioned in the inquiry, but still be some distance way from readiness for ISO 9001 certification.

I hope this helps,

Best regards,


Bill Aston, Managing Director

Aston Technical Consulting Services, LLC

800 Rockmead, Suite 170, Kingwood, TX 77339

Office: (281) 359-ATCS (2827)

This entry was posted in Auditing, QMS Basics, QMS Requirements, Technical Requirements, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.