In this series of blog posts, I will be taking a look at the main sections of ISO 9001, what they are, why they are important ...
The definition of a 'policy' is "a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual". What this means is a policy is a guiding document on how to do something.
In the case of a quality policy, it is really "How we intend to do business around here". It is a requirement of ISO 9001:2015 for a company to have a quality policy.
The standard requires you to have a policy that aligns with your strategic direction, outlines what quality means to you, your customers and interested parties. Your quality policy has to provide a framework for setting objectives – note, this does not mean your objectives have to be included in the policy, just a framework for them.
The standard requires you give commitments to satisfy applicable requirements e.g. regulation, laws and industry-specific ones. You need to also give a commitment to continual improvement of your quality management system.
The quality policy is a guidance document that indicates where the company is going, what is important to the company and what the company intends to do. It does not have to be pages long. The ones I do are often a few lines and bullet points, especially for smaller companies.
When you have created it, communicate it to employees and tell them what it means to your business. Explain how it affects what you do as a company and how it affects them. This is important so everyone is working from the same page.
Following on from creating the policy, you can then create your objectives to make sure they are aligned with your policy and your strategic direction!
Many of the companies I have worked with have found it useful to have an independent person to work with the leadership team to help understand how to create a quality policy and how to implement it.
If you would like to know more about anything I've mentioned in this blog post, do give me a call on 01858 414226 or leave a comment below and let's see how I can help you.