The simplest definition of “quality” is the consistent delivery of results that are fit for a defined or agreed purpose. Therefore, “performance” is the achievement of quality.
ISO 9001 is a certifiable quality management system (QMS) standard applicable to any organisation, large or small, in all industrial, commercial and service sectors. The standard is recognised in most countries and participation in the scheme is voluntary.
Registration for ISO 9001 can be used as a tool to demonstrate commitment to quality and drive continuous improvement.
ISO 9001 sets out the requirements for QMS implementation, including understanding the context of the organisation, the expectations of interested parties to the QMS, quality policy, risk and opportunities-based objectives and continual improvement.
- A quality management system (QMS) provides a structured approach to understanding customer requirements, ensuring consistent use of processes, complying with regulatory requirements and improving performance standards across the organisation — big or small.
- The official title is ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System. Requirements.
- The process of continuous improvement ensures that every activity, project and procedure is reviewed and commented on regularly by all stakeholders.
- Checklists, inspections and organisational flowcharts can all be used to identify areas of concern.
- The use of critical success factors and key performance indicators is an effective means of driving targeted performance improvement.
- There must be continuous monitoring and feedback from the process of managing risks, which should “close the loop” of the risk management process.
- The organisation must prioritise those risks that are business-critical, according to business and legal compliance needs, at the risk evaluation stage.
- The implementation of planned techniques to control or minimise risk requires the awareness and inclusion of all members of the organisation.
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