ISO 9001:2008 is the standard that provides a set of standardized requirements for a quality management system, regardless of what the user organization does, its size, or whether it is in the private, or public sector. It is the only standard in the family against which organizations can be certified – although certification is not a compulsory requirement of the standard. ISO 9001 is the internationally recognized standard for the quality management of businesses. It applies to the processes that create and control the products and services an organisation supplies. It prescribes systematic control of activities to ensure that the needs and expectations of customers are met. It is designed and intended to apply to virtually any product or service, made by any process anywhere in the world.
The Benefits of implementing ISO 9001
• Achieve Company policy and goals
• Win Customer Confidence
• Increase Customer Satisfaction
• Continually improve overall performance
• Proactive and systematic adjustment to changing market conditions
• Employee Satisfaction
• Performance enhancement
• Transparency and effectiveness of internal company processes
• Error avoidance instead of error correction
• Time and cost savings
Why seek certification to ISO 9001?
• It assures customers that the company has a good quality management system.
• Many Organisation requires their suppliers to have ISO 9001 Certification.
• It shows committed to quality, customers, and a willingness to work towards improving efficiency.
• It leads companies to better operations, improved performance and improved profitability.
• An ISO 9001 certificate enhances company image in the eyes of customers, employees and shareholders alike.
• It also gives a competitive edge to an organisation’s marketing.
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 priorities 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.
Assessment to ISO 9001
Once all the requirements of ISO 9001 have been met, it is time for an external audit. This should be carried out by a third party, accredited certification body. The chosen certification body will review the quality manuals and procedures. This process involves looking at the company’s evaluation of quality and ascertains if targets set for the management program are measurable and achievable. This is followed at a later date by a full on-site audit to ensure that working practices observe the procedures and stated objectives and that appropriate records are kept. After a successful audit, a certificate of registration to ISO 9001 will be issued. There will then be surveillance visits (usually once or twice a year) to ensure that the system continues to work.