ISO 9001: How Do I Create A Quality Policy?
Guidance on where the company is going ...
POSTED BY ELLEN WILLOUGHBY ON 29/10/2020 @ 8:00AM
In this series of helpful blog posts, commonly called a 101, I will be taking a look at the main sections of ISO 9001, what they are, why they are important to your business and a few tips on how to implement the standard ...
With ISO 9001, the quality policy is a guidance document that shows where the company is going!
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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.
"What goes into 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.
"Why is this important to my business?"
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 quality 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.
Until next time ...
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About Ellen Willoughby ...
I'm Ellen, Director of All About Quality and All About Productivity. I have over 20 years experience as professional in the quality world and 17 years as a practising Buddhist. As a result of this, I have a passion for improvement. in both business and personal life.
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