ISO 13485 is a stand-alone QMS standard, derived from the internationally recognized and accepted ISO 9000 quality management standard series. ISO 13485 adapts the ISO 9000 process-based model for a regulated medical device manufacturing environment. While ISO 13485 is based on the ISO 9001 process model concepts of Plan, Do, Check, Act, it is designed for regulatory compliance. It is more prescriptive in nature and requires a more thoroughly documented quality management system.

ISO 13485 was written to support medical device manufacturers in designing quality management systems that establish and maintain the effectiveness of their processes. It ensures the consistent design, development, production, installation, and delivery of medical devices that are safe for their intended purpose.