Quality Management Systems

Of all quality management systems (QMS) regimes, the ISO 9000 family of standards is probably the most widely implemented worldwide. In fact, the ISO 9000 family addresses various aspects of quality management and contains some of ISO’s best known standards. The standards provide guidance and tools so that interested companies and organizations are able to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer’s requirements, and that processes and quality are consistently improved.

The International Organization for Standardization's ISO 9001:2008 describes standards for a QMS addressing the principles and processes surrounding the design, development and delivery of a general product or service.

There ISO 9000 family standards, include:

  • ISO 9000:2005 – Quality management systems - Fundamentals and vocabulary: covers the basic concepts and language.
  • ISO 9001:2008 – Quality management systems – Requirements: sets out the requirements of a quality management system.
  • ISO 9004:2009 – Managing for the sustained success of an organization – A quality management approach: focuses on how to make a quality management system more efficient and effective. Has a wider focus on quality management by addressing the systematic and continuous improvement of an organization’s performance.
  • ISO 19011:2011 – Guidelines for auditing management systems: sets out guidance on internal and external audits of quality management systems.

ISO 9001:2008 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to (although this is not a requirement). It can be used by any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity. According to the International Organization for Standardization, the ISO 9001:2008 standard is implemented by over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries.

Organizations can participate in a continuing certification process to ISO 9001:2008 to demonstrate their compliance with the standard, which includes a requirement for continual improvement of the QMS.

ISO 9001 is now under review. The revision will take into consideration a number of issues to ensure it enhances an organization’s ability to consistently provide products that meet customer requirements. The official Draft Standard for Public Comment (DPC) is expected to be published in the first half of 2014 and the final revised standard should be available at the end of 2015. ISO 9001:2008 is still valid and companies will no doubt benefit from implementing and certifying against it. We support you and your company along the way from an initial starting point, through the implementation, certification process and the follow through by keeping a healthy QMS. Our approach guides your organization so that it overcomes normal implementation barriers moving beyond the “just getting certified” paradigm. After the release of the new revised standard, we will support you to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

Should you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.