What does the tool measure?
The ISO 9001 tool is a set of standards which can be used as part of the implementation of a quality management system. Quality management tools can be used to improve the ways in which an organisation operates. Quality management methods can be applied to certain areas/activities of the organisation, or the whole organisation itself.
The ISO9001 quality management system can be audited, leading to an ISO 9001:2008 certificate.
Who can use the tool?
ISO9001 is a generic management standard which can be applied to different sizes of organisation, within different sectors, who wish to manage the quality of their organisations processes and activities, as part of continuous improvement.
How does the tool/approach work?
ISO9001 can be used to improve products/services, reducing costs or increasing competitiveness in the marketplace.
A ‘gap analysis’ can be carried out if the organisation already has a functioning quality management system, to identify what needs to be put in place to meet the ISO9001 standard.
If an organisation does not already have a quality management system in place, an ISO9001 process-based QMS development plan can be used to develop the quality management system from the beginning.
The ISO requirements include the following range of topics:
- Management commitment to quality – the planning and review of systems put in place, with appropriate allocation of resources.
- Focus on customers – identify customer needs and working towards improving customer satisfaction.
- Suitability of organisation resources – appropriate allocation, assigning roles to employees, if required.
- Employee competence
- Management of processes – e.g. products produced, services delivered, etc
- Quality management/planning
- Monitoring and data collection in reference to organisation products/processes.
- Customer complaint procedures
- Preventing and solving potential issues
- Installing quality management within an organisation’s activities, to commit to continual improvement.
- Monitoring customer opinion in terms of the quality of products and services provided by the organisation.
The benefits of implementing ISO9001 within an organisation include being able to demonstrate that there are quality management processes in place by using a common, nationally known system, which could be beneficial for obtaining funding or for increasing business prospects. Internally, IS09001 can help with managing quality processes to prevent and resolve problems, improving customer relations and employee satisfaction.
Further information and getting started:
To obtain the ISO9001 standard will cost £80 from the British Standards Institute. Additional costs include obtaining checks on organisational processes from an accredited body. For further information on the ISO9001 tool please see the ISO website http://www.iso.org/iso/home.html or the British Standards Institute (BSI) website: http://www.bsigroup.co.uk/en/Assessment-and-Certification-services/Management-systems/Standards-and-Schemes/ISO-9001/
for further information on quality improvement including e-learning courses, for organisations.