ISO 9001 – Quality Management System
Customers are getting more sophisticated, better informed and their expectations are growing. For any business, the only way to keep up is to offer a real commitment to quality. In fact any organization, whatever their size or industry sector can give themselves a real future in a marketplace by using a well planned and documented quality management system (QMS) such as ISO 9000. Benefits of registration are:
– greater responsibility and quality consciousness amongst staff
– better use of time and resources
– reduced wastage and product failure
– greater consistency and traceability of products and services.
What is a QMS?
A quality management system is a common sense, well documented system that ensures consistency and improvement of working practices, including the products and services produced. They are based on standards, which specify a procedure for achieving effective quality management. ISO 9000 is the most commonly used international standard that provides a framework for a quality management system.
What is ISO 9000?
ISO 9000 is a generic name given to a family of standards developed to provide a framework around which a quality management system can effectively be based.
The ISO 9000 family of standards was revised in 2015.
In order to use ISO 9000 to the fullest in helping you to manage your organization’s processes there are a number of steps to take:
– first you need to define what you do and how your organization goes about its business,
– then capture this in a documented system,
– and you have to do what you say you do,
– then make sure you do it effectively,
– and lastly demonstrate this to your stakeholders through registration
There are key steps that every company implementing a QMS will need to consider:
Purchase the Standard
Before you can begin preparing for your application, you will require a copy of the standard. You should read this and make yourself familiar with it.
Review support literature and software
There are a wide range of quality publications and software tools designed to help you understand, implement and become registered to a quality management system.
Assemble a team and agree on your strategy
You should begin the entire implementation process by preparing your organizational strategy with top management. Responsibility for a QMS lies with Senior Management, therefore it is vital that Senior Management is involved from the beginning of the process.
Whether you are the Quality Manager seeking to implement a quality management system or a Senior Manager who would like to increase your general awareness of ISO 9001:2015, there are a range of workshops, seminars and training courses available.
Review Consultancy Options
The consultancy is the 3rd party like NUCLEUS, You can receive advice from independent consultants on how best to implement your quality management system. They will have the experience in implementing a QMS and can ensure you avoid costly mistakes.
Choose a registrar
The registrar is the 3rd party, like (Check with International Accreditation Forum for the accredited certification body) who come and assess the effectiveness of your quality management system, and issue a certificate if it meets the requirements of the standard. Choosing a registrar can be a complex issue as there are so many operating in the market. Factors to consider include industry experience, geographic coverage, price and service level offered. The key is to find the registrar who can best meet your requirements. A great place to start is by contacting us.
Develop a Quality manual
A Quality manual is a high level document that outlines your intention to operate in a quality manner. It outlines why you are in business, what your intentions are, how you are applying the standard and how your business operates.
Develop support documentation
This is typically a procedures manual that supports the Quality manual. Quite simply, it outlines what you do to complete a task. It describes who does what, in what order and to what standard.
Implement your Quality Management System
The key to implementation is communication and training. During the implementation phase everyone operates to the procedures and collects records that demonstrate you are doing what you say you are doing.
Consider a pre-assessment
A pre-assessment by your registrar normally takes place about 6 weeks into the implementation of the quality system. The purpose of the pre-assessment is to identify areas where you may not be operating to the standard. This allows you to correct any areas of concern you may have before the initial assessment.
You should arrange your initial assessment with your registrar. At this point the registrar will review your QMS and determine whether you should be recommended for registration.
Once you have received registration and been awarded your certificate, you can begin to advertise your success and promote your business. To maintain your registration, all you need to do is continue to use your quality system. This will be periodically checked by your registrar to ensure that your Quality System continues to meet the requirements of the standard.
Registration to ISO 9000 takes place when an accredited 3rd party visits an organization, assesses the management system and issues a certificate to show that the organization abides by to the principles set out in ISO 9001:2015.
Your Quality Management Systems certificate is a sign of acceptability which saves you having to prove your quality standards to discriminating customers. ISO 9000 speaks an international language.
Why do I need registration?
Gaining registration to ISO 9000 through various certification bodies will help your organization flourish. Whether you are looking to operate internationally or to expand locally to accommodate new business, ISO 9000 will help you demonstrate to customers that you have a commitment to quality.
The regular assessment process will ensure you continually use, monitor and improve your processes.
Registration can improve overall performance, remove uncertainty and widen market opportunities.