ISO 9001 Overview

ISO 9001 represents a standard developed and issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It depicts a set of management principles aimed at achieving customer satisfaction by delivering quality products and services. ISO 9001:2008 represents the latest version of the guidelines. The expression "ISO 9000" is typically interchanged with ISO 9001 to represent this family of standards. The standard is used to create a Quality Management System for an organization.

A Quality Management System (QMS) is a management system that is implemented in order to develop and implement quality policies within an organization designed to reduce and eventually eliminate non-conformances to specifications, regulations, standards, and customer specifications in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.

Important Elements of a QMS

Documentation
Documentation requirements include a quality policy, a quality manual, a process interaction chart, work instructions, documents and records.
Responsibilities
In every QMS it is important for every member realize they are responsible for quality. Management is responsible overseeing and reviewing the QMS. A member of the organization is designated by management to act as a Management Representative who ensures that QMS is being implemented at various levels and acts as a representative of the organization during QMS certification and audits.
Procedures and processes
Key procedures and processes to be carefully documented and continual efforts to improve them made
Resources
Human Resources is a key resource in implementing QMS. Here, it is required that there should be adequate awareness, competency and training for the employees of the organization.
Customer satisfaction
In order to attain customer satisfaction it is essential that the organization be aware of the customer requirements and work in accordance with those requirements and develop the product in compliance with those requirements as well as legal requirements.
Programs
The organization is to implement and maintain internal audit and corrective action programs.
Continuous improvement
This covers the essential process of bringing about continual improvement in processes and procedures in order to achieve better results in overall quality.

Steps to Certification

  1. Learn about ISO 9001
  2. Get top management support
  3. Develop a quality policy
  4. Perform a gap analysis on your current system
  5. Prepare a project plan
  6. Train employees on ISO 9001
  7. Develop your Quality Management System
  8. Document your system
  9. Implement your ISO 9001 Quality Management System
  10. Audit your Quality Management System
  11. Have an ISO 9001 registration audit