ISO 9000 - Quality management
The ISO 9000 family addresses various aspects of quality management and contains some of ISO's best known standards. The standards provide guidance and tools for companies and organizations who want to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer's requirements, and that quality is consistently improved.
ISO 9001:2008 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to (although this is not a requirement). It can be used by any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity. In fact ISO 9001:2008 is implemented by over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries.
Quality Management Principles
The standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. These principles are explained in more detail in the pdf Quality Management Principles. Using ISO 9001:2008 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.
Checking that the system works is a vital part of ISO 9001:2008. An organization must perform internal audits to check how its quality management system is working. An organization may decide to invite an independent certification body to verify that it is in conformity to the standard, but there is no requirement for this. Alternatively, it might invite its clients to audit the quality system for themselves. Read more about certification to management system standards.
How Do You Start To Implement ISO 9001? What is Involved?
- Identify the requirements of ISO 9001 and how they apply to the business involved.
- Establish quality objectives and how they fit in to the operation of the business.
- Produce a documented quality policy indicating how these requirements are satisfied.
- Communicate them throughout the organisation
- Evaluate the quality policy, its stated objectives and then prioritise requirements to ensure they are met.
- Identify the boundaries of the management system and produce documented procedures as required.
- Ensure these procedures are suitable and adhered to.
- Once developed, internal audits are needed to ensure the system carries on working.