– No longer is ISO 9001 about the quality of the Product and supporting Documentation. Customers expect consistent compliance to the requirements / specification. They are now looking for other factors to decide who to order from.
– Before ISO 9001: 2000, the Standard was concerned with the internal operation of the business to provide consistent product quality. ISO 9001 initially was a production based standard which, after each update, has become more generic and more service orientated
– Since the 2000 update (with the further update in 2008 & now 2015), the Standard is now concerned with Business, in particular understanding the Customer requirements, meeting them and then checking the Customer perceptions and satisfaction with your product and service.
2. Compliance (not Improvement)
– Too much of traditional preparation for ISO 9001 Assessment was about achieving a successful Assessment (rather that building Business Improvement).
– Traditionally audits compared the clauses of the Standard with the key processes. This is obviously required initially for implementation and settling down of the System but later can lead to a Checklist approach. Checklists are very effective for the first 2 or 3 audit cycles but thereafter for a stable system, they become progressively less useful. Instead the more improvement orientated audits become more helpful in assisting the business to improve.
3. Not all Certification Organisations are the same
– Make sure that your Assessment Organisation (like BSI or NQA or BVC or IMS) is accredited by UKAS or other national Accredited Organisation like ANAB, who are part of the IAF. This ensures that you have independent external audit of your system.
– There are unaccredited organisation, who issue generic documentation and then post their own Certificates. Regrettably this is an example of you get what you pay for. Such Certificates give the wrong impression of your Business and your Quality to Buyers
4. Process of maintain the System more important than the Business improvement
– Quality and other Management Systems are investments in the Business systems. They must never be an end in themselves. They must be assisting Business to survive and improve.
5. It is just a paper-chase. We need to document everything.
– Software (like CRM or Order Process or Helpdesk programs) now are defining more closely individual business steps and activities.
For instance, setting up a new Customer Account, certain critical information must be entered, before the Account is setup. This means that there is less of a requirement for Quality documentation to define every required action in detail. Instead the emphasis must be on defining the key actions that must always be completed, before the next stage. The level of documentation is normally for training of new staff or providing holiday and other cover for the normal staff.
– Simplify document Control – all current Documents and Forms are all in one place with clearly understandable names and controlled
– Integrate and Link information together, so you can Work Smarter
6. We just need an Administrator
– There needs to be a senior Manager or Director responsible for the relevant Management System.
– Quality systems can become stale with the emphasis on ongoing Compliance, rather than Improvement.
– Quality Administrator not having the responsibility or confidence or the tools to encourage improvement. With older systems, often the original implementer of the system has moved on and been replaced by a Quality Administrator, who does not have the responsibility or confidence to change and improve the system so as to help the Business achieve its objectives
– A common problem for Quality and other systems which are well established, is complacency. This can be made worse, if the personnel involved in documenting and implementing the System have moved to other projects or left the Company. The responsibility for the System is then often delegated to a Quality Administrator who knows about maintaining the System but not Improving. Additional problems which can compound the problem, are little allocated time, low level of Authority and no Budget.
7. Once Certified, we don’t need to worry about it again
– ISO certification is a great Next Step but not just an end in itself. Remember there are at least yearly Surveillance visits to check both continuing compliance and on-going improvements
– A properly documented and accredited Management System is a tool which then needs to be used to assist achieve the Businesses objectives.
– When you achieve Certification – enjoy the moment.
– Afterwards, start planning the next stage of the development of the system.