ISO 9001 Quality Management System
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 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 ISO 9001 is implemented by over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries.
This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. Using ISO 9001 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.
Certification to ISO 9001
Checking that the system works is a vital part of ISO 9001. An organization must perform internal audits to check how its quality management system is working. An organization may decide to invite an independent certification body to verify that it is in conformity to the standard, but there is no requirement for this. Alternatively, it might invite its clients to audit the quality system for themselves.
More about ISO 9001 implementation
ISO 9001 is a process based international standard of quality management system covering all aspects of an organization. It builds the capacity of an organization to consistently develop and strengthen its systems and procedures along side providing high quality services to its clients and customers. Major features of the system are consistency in the quality of services and continual improvement. To integrate the concept of quality assurance in development processes with enhanced level of compatibility ISO 9001 is a best tool in to implement. It provides a framework of systematically institutionalize the strategic plan, focus resources and communicate progress. The quality system structure provides the focus to develop unity of purpose, align processes, grow strong leaders, exploit the intellectual capacity of all staff, measure progress, and make decisions based on data for continuous improvement. It has built-in characteristics that help identifying gaps and strengths-carrying out force analysis of an organization in terms of management systems and also the identification of contemporary market needs and expectations. It provides a mechanism to design and develop innovative solutions under controlled environment where review, verification, validation and relevant quality control and quality assurance parameters are in place to ensure quality of outputs.
This standard has built in characteristics to ensure the system sustainability through local Monitoring and Evaluation System (M&E). Under M&E internal quality auditors/monitors are trained to perform the M&E activities on regular basis. Non-conformances in the system are identified and possible corrective/preventive actions are taken. M&E becomes basics of performance improvement. It allows continual review of the system and enables necessary measures to improve the system.