QA-Z Consulting Specialists explains the importance of ISO 9001 and its related documents.
The International Organisation of Standardization, (ISO) is a worldwide organisation that develops and reviews a variety of Standards.
ISO 9001 is a series of documents that define requirements for the Quality Management System Standard. ISO 9001:2000 is one of the documents in this series and the current version of the Standard was revised in the year 2000.
The Standard contains the specific requirements organisations must comply with to gain ISO 9001 certification.
ISO 9001 focuses on every stage throughout the development of producing for the customer what is requested. The Standard is relevant to all types of industries and is equally suitable for both the manufacturing of products and/or delivery of services.
Clauses in the Standard require accountability and control to be determined over various internal processes. These include the core process or main function of the business and various management functions.
The core processes begin at the first point of customer enquiry including the recording and processing of the enquiry, checking of available resources, quotations, purchase orders, work orders, design and development processes, testing of product/service, traceability, handling of customer property, verification of purchased parts, storage, packaging and delivery etc and extends to criteria for selecting suppliers and monitoring of supplier performance.
All these have proven to be essential components to ensuring the end product meets customer requirements. Management processes are required to be established to ensure that the Quality Management System is planned, implemented, checked through internal audits, monitored and reviewed.
Each organisation must determine or interpret how the ISO 9001 Quality Standard is relevant in applying its requirements to become specific to the functions and management style of the organisation. The implementation of the Standard need not be seen as a separate and burdensome addition to the business operations.
It is the intention of the Standard to enhance existing systems and refine processes in order to produce services or service processes of high quality, affording the opportunity of rewarding financial choices.
Most organisations have existing systems in place which meet the ISO 9001 Quality Standard criteria.
In this case, the quality manager needs to check all existing systems are functioning well, ensure that nonconformities (things that go wrong) are recorded and processed to address the matter and prevent re-occurrences and check to see that any other requirement of the Standard not yet being conducted in the usual operations is successfully implemented.
This does not mean introducing a lot of forms and additional administration. But it may require some type of recording either electronically or manually.
Once every part of the Standard has been implemented, checked by internal auditors and found to be functioning efficiently, management can consider proceeding to the stage of external assessment, meaning, certification.
In the past few years, the demand for quality assured organisations within Australia has become a growing trend.
Not only does ISO 9001 unlocks financially rewarding contracts, it is evident that organisational cultures are changed as more awareness among staff of delivering quality products and services and meeting outcomes effectively, distinguishes the overall organisation from competitors and provides more meaningful opportunities for improvement and outlets for communication.
Being ISO 9001 Certified allows the organisation to announce to the world their commitment to providing excellence in customer service and reliability in meeting contractual agreements. Its continuous improvement focus motivates the organisation to achieve and expand as objectives are met and procedures are checked and reviewed regularly.
Following certification the displaying of the Quality Certification logo of compliance can draw customers and make the entire achievement and integration of the Quality Management System a rewarding and satisfying endeavour.
Any size business can get ISO 9001 certified.