What is ISO 9001 Quality Management?
ISO 9001 is an International Standard which specifies requirements whereby an organisation can develop a framework for an effective management system. Such a management system should provide customers and the organisation’s management with confidence in the quality of their products and services. It also specifies the need to improve performance on an ongoing basis.
The standard basically sets out ‘good management principles’ in order to provide an assurance of product or service quality. Such principles guide the quality of the processes involved in the production of goods or provision of services as well as supporting activities such as training, purchasing, maintenance etc. The requirements of the standard also place obligations on the organisation’s management to set clear objectives and to review and improve performance.
The document has undergone a long history of development, from what was, originally, a basis for providing confidence in the quality of manufactured products. The standard has become extended to apply to any type of organisation or industry supplying both products or services. It also now effects the organisation’s ability to provide continued enhancement of performance and customer satisfaction.
ISO 9001, together with the accompanying standards ISO 9000 and 9004, was radically revised in the last quarter of 2015. An organisation can choose to be certified to ISO 9001 by an independent certification body. These bodies conduct assessments to verify compliance with the requirements of the standard on an ongoing basis. Certification bodies are generally regulated by a national accreditation scheme administered by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). This system provides international recognition by equivalent bodies in other countries around the world.