ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System Standard
ISO 9001:2008 is an internationally accepted set of quality management system requirements that can be applied to any service or manufacturing organization, providing proven, successful approaches to achieving customer, society, and management quality goals. ISO certification is the foundation for the development of your quality system; it enables process improvement and boosts the effectiveness and efficiency of your system.
Registration is typically a service provided by an independent third-party registrar (certification body), which is capable and qualified to assess whether an organization has successfully and effectively adopted and implemented a set of requirements. The steps to certification generally involve a quality manual review, an on-site pre-assessment or readiness review, and an on-site registration assessment, which will confirm that the documented system meets the specifications of the standard.
Hundreds of Thousands Have Chosen ISO 9001
There are over a half million organizations worldwide that have adopted and implemented ISO 9001. Organizations implementing ISO 9001 report improved profit, lower employee turnover, better than national performance average on benchmark indicators, and improved effectiveness and efficiency.
Continual Improvement: A Quality Paradigm
The desire for continued improvement in the quality systems of organizations has been well documented. Organizations must determine what is the most beneficial, proven, and cost-effective approach. Just as important is the practice of aligning quality management systems with business goals. Such goals and objectives likely include:
- Reduced variation in work practices
- Clear standardized work instructions
- Enhanced intra- and interdepartmental communications
- Practical metrics that reflect progress
- Reduced operating costs
- Error prevention
- Reduced liability exposure and cost
- Top management commitment and support
What is the Process Approach?
ISO 9001:2008 is based on the “process approach” i.e., a chain of added value activities delivering a product or service to a customer (internal or external) of the process. A process focused approach includes:
- Understanding and meeting customer requirements
- Attention to customer satisfaction
- Continual improvement
- Application of the “Plan-Do-Check-Act ” (PDCA) or equivalent cycle
- Managing interrelated processes
- Links between quality and business plans and objectives
- Defining and using process metrics
Every business operates via processes. ISO 9001:2008 can be applied to any organization’s quality management system.
Third Party Certification – Letting Everyone Know You are Committed
Achieving registration provides a tangible goal and a publicly recognized and listed attribute of your organization. In many cases, it validates your conformance to a mandated requirement. An ISO 9001 certificate has become a requirement to many large purchasers, including the military, government, auto industry, electronics industry, and aerospace organizations.
Benefits of ISO 9001 Registration
Implementing a quality management system registered to ISO 9001:2008 can lead to benefits such as:
- A demonstrated commitment to customers and stakeholders of strengthening “organizational capability”
- Improved processes that result in reduction of errors and risk of rework
- Increased customer satisfaction
- An enhanced image of the organization through proactive quality focused leadership
- A recognized responsibility for, and involvement with, quality by the entire organization
- Better defined processes and sub-processes, including their critical links
- Recognition of deterrents to an operation’s or service’s efficiency and effectiveness
- Identified opportunities for improvement
- A strengthened commitment toward the organization’s satisfaction of regulatory requirements
- Improved communications among employees
It may not be readily apparent, but quality management systems registered to ISO 9001:2008 can also be applied to address items such as: customer concerns, administration issues, equipment up/downtime, and process efficiencies.