QA-Z Consulting Specialists has summarised the requirements for a Quality Management System.
The Standard ISO 9001:2000 identifies the general requirements for a Quality Management System (QMS) as the need to establish, document, implement and maintain a quality management system and continually improve its effectiveness in accordance with the Standard requirements presented in sections within ISO 9001:2000.
In order to do this, an organisation is required to identify the processes needed for the QMS and establish how to apply them throughout the whole organization.
Processes needed for the QMS include such as control systems for documents and records, management systems for implementing new strategies, improving existing methods and procedures, monitoring and measuring the ongoing performance of the processes, training and up-skilling programmes for personnel, reviews of suppliers and contractors, maintenance methods for ensuring standard compliance at all functions and levels, analysing /reporting and using statistics for improvement of the quality system, implementing corrective and preventive action strategies, reviewing objectives and the quality policy and management communication and reporting procedures.
The Standard requires the sequence and interaction of the QMS processes be determined and documented. Some organisations prefer the use of visual process maps, others use a matrix. The important thing is that the sequence and interaction of the processes are clear and understood.
Resources and any information necessary to support the operations and controlling of the organisation’s processes must be available. This may mean the engaging of outside consultants for developing the system, training or conducting of internal audits.
Another resource may be to purchase a licence for an electronic document management system to replace an existing no longer adequate manual document handling system. Further resources may include personnel to work in the Quality Management Team, their time and skills plus training required to support the Quality Management System.
Monitoring, measuring and analysing the QMS processes becomes an important central core to operating the business. Learning how the QMS processes and operations can be improved is not a difficult strategy to implement – but vital to maintaining a high standard of Quality Management System.
A business without improvement strategies using monitoring, measuring and analysis, is sure to struggle. How can the business expand and still be in control. How can management gain a picture of where the business is at without first drawing the picture and with as much detail as possible.
The general requirements of the Quality Management System are common sense and are only designed to bring more internal control of operations on all levels. A Quality business is one that will attract good business and continually rise to higher performance within a competitive industry.