ISO 9001-2015 includes these sections:
- Context of your organisation
- Performance evaluation
In this article we cover the basics you need to understand before an internal audit.
ISO 9001 is about your commitment to the promises you made to your customers and planning to achieve the best customer satisfaction via checking and improving your quality and taking corrective actions to rectify the issues you had. The latest version of this international standard was published on 2015 which has focused more on leadership and the role of the leader to accomplish these goals.
To get your ISO 9001 certificate you must prepare several documents along with a practical action plans to demonstrate your intention to perform them and move toward improvement.
In this article in a simple language we try to explain what you need to do before or during hiring a consultant. As mentioned, the idea of ISO 9001 is about Quality management and increase customer satisfaction; so to start the process, simply ask yourself “what are your business promises to your customers” Here we don’t want a vision or mission statement and most of all do not use ‘motherhood statements’ but truly present what you feel and believe. To make it easier, perhaps consider one of your recent customers and remember what you promised them.
This stage is very important because all your document preparation is meaningless if you don’t make it about your customers.
For the promises you made and other criteria in your business you must develop systems and dashboards. Setting KPIs is the first step obviously, however, you must have a time-framed monitoring panel to check your progress and take actions if you are not achieving your targets.
The other important part of being compliant for ISO is communication. As you can imagine and perhaps worked in some environments that management decisions were not communicated well enough, it is extremely important to let everyone know what management decisions are and bring staff on board, end of the day, what is the point of decisions if no one knows about them?
The next step is to identify all stakeholders which called “interested parties” in ISO 9001-2015. Stakeholder analysis could include internal and external stakeholders, their needs and expectations, risks analysis and communication plans.
A proper business risk management system including a risk matrix is also an essential part for your ISO 9001 preparation process. The risk matrix includes the risks, their likelihood, and their impact which determine the most sinister risks and strategies to avoid or minimise them.
If your business relies on resources, like a restaurant or a construction company, it is necessary to determine the resources needed and how you are ensuring their maintenance and updated descriptions and requirements. Don’t forget Human resources is also considered as required resources which applies to nearly all businesses.
Human resources or staff require ongoing training and professional development which must be recorded and shown for ISO 9001 purposes. This is important because a trained staff can provide a high quality and precise service to customers.
Changes in business are unavoidable and there are many occasions we decide to update or upgrade our systems and processes or business model. You must make sure the changes in processes will not affect customers in a negative way and provide foresight planning to avoid these impacts to customers.
At the end you should prepare provide systems of recording missteps, rejected items and customer complaints and ensure learn a lesson from it and try your best to rectify that problem or mitigate it altogether.
Your consultant can help you prepare a Quality Management System (QMS) and all other required documents before your hire an Internal Audit and a Certification Body that issues your ISO 9001 certificate.