Page 4: Implementing a quality system - internal
Quality management systems
A system is a group of interrelated parts that make up a whole. A quality system therefore consists of parts (such as policies and processes) designed to ensure quality.
A variety of organizations work with BSI to create standards for QMS. The standard specifies requirements for a QMS where an organization:
i. needs to show that it can consistently provide products that:
- meet customer requirements
- meet any legal requirements.
ii. aims to improve customer satisfaction as a result of applying the system. This includes continually improving the system.
ISO 9001 sets out eight quality management principles. These include:
- customer focus
- leadership - a commitment to quality by the leaders of the organization
- involvement of people - everyone in the organization having a part to play
- making sure that those processes which create quality are identified
- continual improvement of the system.
In practical terms, organizations wishing to apply QMS take the following steps:
- Read and understand the standard. They read through the literature and discuss any issues with BSI.
- Use supporting literature and software tools to help understand, develop and implement QMS.
- Involve top management (heavily) in developing a quality management plan. Typically a Quality Manager will be responsible for the initiative.
- The Quality Manager can be trained in ways of implementing the standard.
- The QMS is then created and put into practice.
- When the organization feels confident it is meeting the standard, it informs an assessor, who will assess the effectiveness of the QMS. If it meets the standard a certificate will be awarded. This is subject to regular reviews.