ISO 9001 Quality management can improve business, often having a positive effect on investment, market share, sales growth, sales margins, competitive advantage, and avoidance of litigation. The standard brings the following benefits:
The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems (QMS) is a set of standards that helps organizations ensure they meet customers and other stakeholder needs within statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service. ISO 9000 deals with the fundamentals of quality management systems, including the seven quality management principles that underlie the family of standards. ISO 9001 deals with the requirements that organizations wishing to meet the standard must fulfill.
Third-party certification bodies provide independent confirmation that organisations meet the requirements of ISO 9001. Over one million organisations worldwide are independently certified, making ISO 9001 one of the most widely used management tools in the world today.
ISO 9001 Quality is known to be a requirement for businesses when tendering for large / governmental work.
The seven quality management principles are:
QMP 1 – Customer focus
QMP 2 – Leadership
QMP 3 – Engagement of people
QMP 4 – Process approach
QMP 5 – Improvement
QMP 6 – Evidence-based decision making
QMP 7 – Relationship management
Principle 1 – Customer focus
Organisations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, should meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations.
Principle 2 – Leadership
Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction of the organization. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization’s objectives.
Principle 3 – Engagement of people
People at all levels are the essence of an organisation and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization’s benefit.
Principle 4 – Process approach
A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.
Principle 5 – Improvement
Improvement of the organization’s overall performance should be a permanent objective of the organization.
Principle 6 – Evidence-based decision making
Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information.
Principle 7 – Relationship management
An organisation and its external providers (suppliers, contractors, service providers) are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.
In 2012, ISO TC 176 – responsible for ISO 9001 development – celebrated 25 years of implementing ISO 9001, and concluded that it was necessary to create a new QMS model for the next 25 years. They subsequently commenced the official work on creating a revision of ISO 9001, starting with the new QM principles. This moment was considered by important specialists in the field as “beginning of a new era in the development of quality management systems.” As a result of the intensive work from this technical committee, the revised standard ISO 9001:2015 was published by ISO on 23 September 2015. The scope of the standard has not changed; however, the structure and core terms were modified to allow the standard to integrate more easily with other international management systems standards.
The new ISO 9001:2015 management system standard helps ensure that consumers get reliable, desired quality goods and services. This further increases benefits for a business.
The 2015 version is also less prescriptive than its predecessors and focuses on performance. This was achieved by combining the process approach with risk-based thinking and employing the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle at all levels in the organization.
Some of the key changes include: