ISO 9000 family - Quality management
ISO 9000 family - 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 9001:2015 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, there are over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries certified to ISO 9001.
This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including :
- Strong customer focus
- Management leadership
- Engagement of people, includes internal and external
- Process approach
- Continual improvement
- Evidence-based decision making
- Relationship management
Using ISO 9001:2015 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.
What is a quality management system?
- A quality management system is a way of defining how an organization can meet the requirements of its customers and other stakeholders affected by its work.
- ISO 9001 is based on the idea of continual improvement.
- It doesn’t specify what the objectives relating to “quality” or “meeting customer needs” should be, but requires organizations to define these objectives themselves and continually improve their processes in order to reach them.
Who is ISO 9001 for?
- ISO 9001 is suitable for organizations of all types, sizes and sectors.
- In fact, one of the key improvements of the newly revised ISO 9001:2015 was to make it more applicable and accessible to all types of enterprises.
- Smaller companies that do not have staff dedicated to quality can still enjoy the benefits of implementing the standard – ISO has many resources to assist them
What benefits will it bring to your business or organization?
Implementing a quality management system will help you:
- Assess the overall context of your organization to define who is affected by your work and what they expect from you. This will enable you to clearly state your objectives and identify new business opportunities.
- Put your customers first, making sure you consistently meet their needs and enhance their satisfaction. This can lead to repeat custom, new clients and increased business for your organization.
ISO 9001: benefits
- Work in a more efficient way as all your processes will be aligned and understood by everyone in the business or organization. This increases productivity and efficiency, bringing internal costs down.
- Meet the necessary statutory and regulatory requirements.
- Expand into new markets, as some sectors and clients require ISO 9001 before doing business.
- Identify and address the risks associated with your organization
Should I be certified to ISO 9001?
- Certification - when an independent certification body audits your practices against the requirements of the standard – is not a requirement of ISO 9001, but is a way of showing stakeholders that you have implemented the standard properly.
- For some companies, third- party certification may be a requirement. For example, some governments or public bodies may only contract suppliers that have been certified to ISO 9001.
- ISO does not perform certification.
How do I get started with ISO 9001:2015? Key tips
- Tip 1 – Define your objectives. Why do you want to implement the standard?
- Tip 2 – Ensure senior management is on board. It is crucial that everyone is supportive of the initiative and its objectives.
- Tip 3 – Identify your organization’s key processes for meeting your objectives and customers’ needs. Within each of these processes, ensure you understand your customers’ requirements and can guarantee that these are met. This will form the basis of your quality management system.
Other standards in the 9000 family
There are many other standards in the ISO 9000 series that can help you reap the full benefits of a quality management system and put customer satisfaction at the heart of your business.
- ISO 9000 contains detailed explanations of the seven quality management principles with tips on how to ensure these are reflected in the way you work. It also contains many of the terms and definitions used in ISO 9001.
- ISO 9004 provides guidance on how to achieve sustained success with your quality management system.
- ISO 19011 gives guidance for performing both internal and external audits to ISO 9001. This will help ensure your quality management system delivers on promise and will prepare you for an external audit, should you decide to seek third-party certification.
Sector-specific applications of ISO 9001
ISO has a range of standards for quality management systems that are based on ISO 9001 and adapted to specific sectors and industries. These include:
- ISO/TS 29001 – Petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries
- ISO 13485 – Medical devices
- ISO/IEC 90003 – Software engineering
- ISO 17582 – Electoral organizations at all levels of government
- ISO 18091 - Local government