ISO 9001:2015 is the latest edition of International standard for Quality Management Systems. It is the most widely used way of demonstrating to your customers, whether existing or potential, that you are committed to the quality of your product or service and have been assessed accordingly. It is, in essence, basic common sense set down in such a way as to ensure all those who operate within your QMS adhere to your controls and that the product or service delivered meets requirements . The principles are the same whether you employ two or ten thousand people. They identify the basic disciplines, specify the areas that require controls and the criteria to ensure that products and services meet these requirements.
ISO 9001 asks your to consider - What do you do? How do you do it? How do you control each stage of your processes? How do you ensure what is done is what was planned at every stage? When you have all this in place you can then look at doing it better and cutting out the waste to 'lean your system'? You can then continually improve what you do.
ISO9001:2015 then asks you to think - Where does my business want or need to go? How do we plan to get there? What are the risks and opportunities we face internally and externally? How will we know we are on the right track? How do we bring those who make it happen along with us so it actually happens? Have we managed the risks and taken the opportunities? Have we achieved our goals? If not why not? What were the root causes of the problems? Let's identify, fix properly and move on.
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ISO 9001:2015 itself states that:-
'The adoption of a quality management system is a strategic decision for an organization that can help to improve its overall performance and provide a sound basis for sustainable development initiatives. The potential benefits to an organization of implementing a quality management system based on this International Standard are:
a) the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements;
b) facilitating opportunities to enhance customer satisfaction;
c) addressing risks and opportunities associated with its context and objectives;
d) the ability to demonstrate conformity to specified quality management system requirements. '
Top Management have the major role to play in this standard because they MUST define the goals, provide the resources and be involved with the QMS. It is everyone's job but it starts at the top.
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