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ISO 9001 - The International Standard For Quality Management

What is ISO 9001?

The Benefits of implementing ISO 9001

Why seek certification to ISO 9001?

How do you start to implement ISO 9001? What is involved?

Assessment to ISO 9001-The Standard for Quality Management
ISO 9001 - The International Standard For Quality Management

The Benefits of implementing ISO 9001

Implementing a Quality Management System will motivate staff by defining their key roles and responsibilities. Cost savings can be made through improved efficiency and productivity, as product or service deficiencies will be highlighted. From this, improvements can be developed, resulting in less waste, inappropriate or rejected work and fewer complaints. Customers will notice that orders are met consistently, on time and to the correct specification. This can open up the market place to increased opportunities.
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Why seek certification to ISO 9001?

~ Registration to ISO 9001 by an accredited certification body shows committed to quality, customers, and a willingness to work towards improving efficiency.
~ It demonstrates the existence of an effective quality management system that satisfies the rigours of an independent, external audit.
~ 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.
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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 prioritise 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.
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Assessment to ISO 9001 - The Standard for Quality Management

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. In the UK, the body should be accredited by UKAS (look for the ‘crown and tick’ logo). The chosen certification body will review the documented information. This process involves looking at the company’s evaluation of quality and ascertains if targets set for the management programme are measurable and achievable. This is followed at a later date by a full on-site audit to ensure that working practices follow the procedures and stated objectives, besides ensuring 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. This is covered in more detail in ICS’s ‘Audit Procedure’ information sheet.
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