Drive Continual Improvement
Use the ISO 9001 standard to enhance your levels of customer satisfaction and build a sustainable business.
ISO 9001 is the most recognised international standard for quality management. Over 1 million organisations in 170 countries use the Standard as a framework for their Quality Management Systems.
Our onsite ISO Consultancy services provide you with the tailored support you need to achieve your goals for ISO Certification. Benefit from our insights to build a quality management system that delivers the outcomes you need. We bring clarity to ISO 9001 so that you develop your existing good practices into a highly effective quality management system.
Our track record on gaining ISO certification is excellent, and we go on to improve your systems over time. We work closely with the leading ISO Certification Bodies. We will help you untangle the process of choosing a suitable ISO Certification Body that ensures you meet your budget and time constraint
ISO 9001 is the internationally recognised standard for organisations that operate a quality management System. The requirements in the ISO 9001:2015 Standard cover activities involved in planning, managing operations, review and evaluating performance, and taking action to improve and monitor all areas of your business (Plan-Do-Check-Act).
ISO 9001 is written as a generic standard, and its requirements can be applied as appropriate to an organisation. This ensures that it is accessible to all types of business. ISO 9001 also lacks bureaucracy as organisations can justify why certain elements may not apply. enterprises, including service-oriented organizations
Applying the 9001:2015 Standard to your management system will enable you to demonstrate:
Operating in thousands of organisations worldwide, ISO 9001 provides a sound foundation on which to develop an organisation which can lead to increased productivity and profit. Whilst ISO 9001:2015 is that Standard that sets out the requirements, it is only one of a family of Standards. ISO 9000:2015 sets out definitions of the vocabulary and fundamental principles of the quality management system, and ISO 9004:2018 sets out a maturity model that organisation can use to manage the sustained success of the organisation.
There are tangible benefits to operating a quality management system to the requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 standard. As well as providing more effective and efficient processes, research has found that:
There are 7 principles of Quality Management, which have positive benefits:
1. Customer Focus
The standard ensures that you focus on satisfying your customers requirements and if possible, exceed their expectations
Effective leadership, which is critical for the sustained success of an organisation will ensure that you create a sense of unity and purpose to achieve the organisations goals
3. Engagement of People
Engaging all the interested parties in an organisation, from staff to contractors and regulators will help you understand what is required and ensure that they are all competent and effective
4. Process Approach
Understanding how your activities work and interact will help you to identify areas of improvement and efficiency, and continually improve them
5. Continual Improvement
Identifying and prioritizing the areas that need to be improved will ensure your organisation meets its objectives. Improvements can include ensuring changes in technology are assessed and adopted where appropriate, training new staff or upskilling existing ones.
6. Evidence Based decision making
Adopting a data driven approach to decision making will help the organisation prioritise and improve the areas that need it the most. Using good decision-making skills and tools will also lead to greater efficiency and reduce risks
7. Relationship management
Having an effective relationship with all your interested parties, whether it’s a supplier, regulator or staff will ensure mutual benefit and economic growth in a sustainable form.
The scope of a quality management systems seeks to ensure that your organisation:
In following the plan-do-check-act process, the management team will begin to improve their planning processes and develop their skills of critical assessment. Part of this improvement will be to crystallise organisational objectives. As ISO 9001 can be applied at both a strategic and an operational level, the plan-do-check-act can be applied to organisational objectives, but also lower level improvement plans and processes.
The Plan-Do-Check-Act process is a critical element of the management system, and each time the cycle is followed through, the capabilities of the team will get better. Tangible improvement arising will include:
Applying these skills to your organisation will deliver enhanced performance on a range of aspects including more reliable production scheduling and delivery, or service delivery. The ongoing application of the PDCA cycle ensures ongoing identification of efficiency and time-saving processes. As these are often identified by staff operating the processes, this has a positive impact on their perceptions of the organisation and leads to greater job satisfaction.
As well as the Plan-Do-Check-Act process, ISO 9001:2015 is based on the ‘risk-based approach’. This focuses the organisational resources on the areas which are most likely to cause concern. As a result, your organisation will identify, manage and monitor the activities with most risk, and develop a set of data that enables better decision making to make improvements. In turn, this increases the confidence that your Clients have in the ability to deliver positive outcomes.
In some cases, Clients demand that ISO management systems are attained. ISO 9001 is the most common requirement, although increasingly many Clients are requiring assurance on Occupational Health and Safety, Information Security and Business Continuity.
Other key benefits of ISO 9001:2015 are achieved through improved documentation of organisational aspects; for example, by mapping processing and defining roles and responsibilities, it is common to find gaps which need to be filled.
If you decide to have your Quality Management System audited externally by a UKAS accredited ISO Certification Body, you will be awarded an ISO 9001 Certificate which provides evidence that you meet all the requirements and are looking to continually improve. This objective evidence provides proof that your organisation attaches great importance to quality and is something that you can share with your Customers. In many instances, this will negate the need for every Customer to carry out a Supplier audit on your organisation. Even if they do, you can complete this task with greater confidence as you will be skilled in managing this process.
Examples of benefits against each principle
|Engagement with People||Human resources benefits - gain more committed work force, reduction in staff turnover|
|Relationship management||Benefits gained with respect to subcontractor relations – subcontractors to become certified, better relations with subcontractors, more stringent control over subcontractors Improved relationships with authorities and other stakeholders|
|Evidence based decision making|
Many companies ask what they need to do to ‘get’ ISO 9001. The answer is to apply the requirements of the ISO 9001 Standard to their management systems. In many cases, a successful business will meet the requirements because they are successful.
Getting ISO 9001 is then a process of being certified. UKAS accredited Certification Bodies are the organisations will carry out a series of audits of the quality management system against the ISO Standard. As a result of the audit (if the QMS meets the Standards) the Organisations is awarded an ISO 9001 Certificate.
If you are beginning your journey to certification, it is easiest to consider three phases:
The process of developing a quality management system that meets the ISO 9001 standard can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months depending on the level of maturity of the organisation. In some cases, it is simply a case of introducing some new governance processes or developing documentation whereas in others, an organisation will need to start from scratch.
The first phase of the ISO 9001 audit process is a ‘Stage 1’ Audit, which will look at the readiness of the system, and check against the required documentation. The benefit of the Stage 1 audit is that the organisation can test out it’s ideas or identify gaps without risking failing. The audit will result in a report that defines the amount of work needed to complete before the Stage 2 audit is completed.
Usually, there is a gap between the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits of 4 weeks to 6 months, which allows the organisation to gather more data and increase its capabilities.
There are criticisms of ISO 9001 that it causes Organisations to incur costs, and that bad audits are a waste of time.
Like any product or service that an organisation buys, it needs to apply a level of governance. Just because a Certification Body awards a Quality certificate doesn’t make them infallible. However, the UKAS accredited Certification Bodies are subjected to quality standards themselves and UKAS acts as Ombudsmen, which gives you assurance that any issues will be resolved appropriately.
Typically, direct audit costs are charged on a day-rate basis and the number of days will vary according to the size of the business. Companies up to 50 people can expect initial certification costs of approximately £5k, and ongoing costs of £2k per annum. Spedan Ltd are Associate Consultants to the major ISO Certification Bodies and can help clarify your costs before you commit to one supplier.
Unnecessary costs may harm companies, including their employees, departments and customers
Talk to us about your ISO 9001 Quality Management System.
We’ll give you beneficial insights, whether your system
is already certified or your just starting out.