What is ISO 9001?
The ISO 9000 family is the most famous of ISO’s standard families. ISO 9001 standard is the certifiable and worldwide implemented Standard of this family. It has been implemented to more than 1,1 million organizations of different 184 countries (Source: latest conducted “ISO Survey of Management System Standard Certification – 2012). ISO 9001 Standard is periodically review from ISO. Current Version is the version of 2015 and that is why the Standard is officially written as ISO 9001:2015.
ISO 9001 has become an international reference for quality management requirements in business-to-business dealings. It is concerned with “quality management”. This means what an organization which applies it has a guarantee that it fulfill:
- the customer’s quality requirements, and
- the applicable regulatory requirements,
while aiming to
- enhance customer satisfaction, and
- achieve continual improvement of its performance
ISO 9001 is a “generic management system standard”.
- “Generic” means that the same standards can be applied:
– to any organization, large or small, whatever its product
– including whether its “product” is actually a service,
– in any sector of activity, and
– whether it is a business enterprise, a public administration, or a government department.
- “Management system” refers to what the organization does to manage its processes, or activities in order that the products or services that it produces meet the objectives it has set itself, such as the following:
- satisfying the customer’s quality requirements,
- complying to regulations, or
- meeting environmental objectives.
What is ISO 9001 concerned?
ISO 9001 is concerned regarding the way an organization goes about its work.. In other words, it is concerned on processes, and not products – at least, not directly. But for sure, the way in which the organization manages its processes is affecting the final product.
In the case of ISO 9001 the efficient and effective management of processes is going to affect whether or not everything has been done well so to ensure that the product satisfies the customer’s quality requirements. The philosophy is that management system requirements are generic. No matter what the organization is or does, if it wants to establish a quality management system, then such a system has a number of essential features which are spelled out in the relevant ISO 9001 standard.
Why should my organization implement ISO 9001?
The existence of an organization without customers, or with dissatisfied customers, is in peril! To keep customers – and to keep them satisfied – your product (which may, in fact, be a service) needs to meet their requirements. ISO 9001 provides a tried and tested framework for taking a systematic approach to managing your business processes (your organization’s activities) so that they consistently turn out product conforming to the customer’s expectations. And that means consistently happy customers!
How does the ISO 9001 model work?
The requirements for a quality system have been standardized – but most of us like to think our business is unique. So how does ISO 9001 allow for the diversity, on the one hand, of a small or medium size company, and on the other, to a multinational manufacturing company, or a public utility, or a government administration?
The answer is that ISO 9001 lays down what requirements your quality system must meet, but does not dictate how they should be met in your organization – which leaves great flexibility for implementation in different business sectors and business cultures, as well as different national cultures.
What if my organization implements ISO 9001?
The organization should itself audit its ISO 9001-based quality system to verify that it is managing its processes effectively – or, to put it another way, to check that it is fully in control of its activities.
In addition, the organization may invite its clients to audit the quality system in order to give them confidence that the organization is capable of delivering products or services that will meet their requirements.
Lastly, the organization may engage the services of an independent quality system certification body to obtain an ISO 9001 certificate of conformity. This last option has proved extremely popular in the market-place because of the perceived credibility of an independent assessment. The organization may thus avoid multiple audits by its clients, or reduce the frequency or duration of client audits. The certificate can also serve as a business reference between the organization and potential clients, especially when supplier and client are new to each other, or far removed geographically, as in an export context.
For more information please consult the website www.iso.org, which is the official and most up-to-date source we use for our published information.