Telephone: 01908 041464 | Email:

5 steps to improve your Quality Management System

Saturday 8th September 2018

Maturity in Management Systems 

All quality management systems work to a system of Plan Do Check Act. The ISO 9001 uses the PDCA as the basis of a maturity model. Originating from the software industry, and specifically as a methodology to gauge the capabilities of contractors to deliver on projects, maturity models describe five categories of status. These five status-types work on a continuum from being capable of ‘ad hoc’ management practices, through to one where management practices and processes are fully optimised. Status can be assessed across a range of topics, or for individual practices. 

Although initially used to assess an organisation, maturity models have become a useful measure by which to self-assess in order to help guide development steps. The International Standards Organisation has adapted a capability maturity model (CMM) into the framework of ISO 9000. The benefit of this model (detailed in ISO 9004) is that an organisation uses it to determine where on the continuum it sits, and uses this as a framework to improve. 

Legal Minimums 
There are no legal implications to using a maturity model, although the initial stages can be useful in highlighting potential weaknesses in processes, which could suggest potential breaches. 

Managing maturity models in my business
At Spedan, we have adapted existing models of Capability Maturity into a framework of: 

Maturity Model

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 4
Ad hoc Repeatable Defined Tested Optimised
Processes are unpredictable, reactive and either uncontrolled or badly controlled At a project level, processes are defined but still rely on a highly reactive method of management Processes are defined, and the approach to management is proactive Processes are defined, managed proactively and quantitatively measured Processes are proactively managed, measured and reviewed to focus improvement


It should be noted that where Level 1 and 2 situations occur, there is a risk that the systems being used could fail an audit by a third party assessment body. The initial focus of the model has been process capability, although over time, we will add further details on how it can be applied within: 

  • Process Areas with common features and goals 
  • Key Practices that could take place within each area   

Related Articles

New Year objectives for your ISO 9001 Quality system
Tips on choosing an ISO 9001 Certification Body
Can I change my ISO Certification Body

Alister Constantine - Director

Alister has worked within small, medium and large manufacturing industries for most of his career implementing and maintaining quality, environment and safety management systems. He has adopted a practical approach to implementing robust management systems which provides assurance for both employees and stakeholders.

Alister is a graduate in Occupational Health and Safety and holds additional professional qualifications in quality and environmental management.

We hope this article has been helpful

If you have any further questions or want to learn more about what we can do for your business, please contact us using the link or details below:


Tel: 01908 255 525