Background of quality auditing

ISO 9001:2015 is the world’s foremost quality management standard, used a million organisations in over 170 countries around the globe. It sets out the essential requirements for a practical and effective Quality Management System (QMS) which is essentially a system for minimizing risk and maximizing opportunity. ISO 9001 is suitable for any organisation regardless of its size and industry. Organizations of all types and sizes find that using the ISO 9001 standard helps them to organize processes, improve the efficiency of these processes and to continually improve.

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A QMS is a documented system that outlines the processes and responsibilities for achieving an organization’s quality and continuous improvement objectives. A QMS should be internally developed and tailored to the organization and its customer’s needs. ISO recommends that an effective QMS should be designed to achieve the following seven quality management principles:

  1. Customer focus: meet and exceed customer needs
  2. Leadership: unified direction and purpose across management and employees
  3. Engagement of people: ensure competent and engaged staff. Employees should have sufficient training and support to do the job right
  4. Process approach: well understood internal processes to improve efficiency
  5. Improvement: proactive approach to driving improvement and adapting to changing conditions
  6. Evidence-based decision making: quality metrics are established, measured and acted upon to drive continuous improvement and ROI
  7. Relationship management: identify and effectively manage key stakeholder and supplier relationships.

A documented QMS does not have to be aligned or certified with ISO 9001 to achieve a company’s quality and improvement objectives. Each business should weigh the benefits and burden of going through an ISO 9001 certification process.

Here are the five main benefits of having an ISO 9001 certified QMS:

  • Improve the quality of products and services: By analyzing the processes involved in the provision of products and services, you can take control and ensure a consistent quality offering. As ISO 9001 certification requires an independent third party audit, you can be assured that your processes will be well scrutinized.
  • Meet requirements of potential business partners: There are vendors that require ISO 9001 certification before engaging in business. By meeting the ISO 9001 requirements and getting certified, you can attract more business partners that are likely ISO 9001 certified themselves as well as expand into new markets.
  • Drive customer satisfaction: Great quality products and services delivered consistently equals satisfied customers.
  • Leadership engagement: ISO 9001:2015 aims to have leaders actively engage in the improvement of quality and processes in the organization.
  • Improve company culture: With roles, expectations, and company direction clearly defined, employees can perform better and be more professional at work.

Achieving ISO 9001 certification can be a significant investment in time and resources. As a result, organizations that become ISO 9001 certified often hold a competitive advantage within their industries.

Our experienced environmental auditors can help you improve your quality management system by:

  • Assessing your existing system and identifying gaps or opportunities for improvement,
  • Evaluating your policies, procedures, reports, manuals etc. for possible improvements and streamlining,
  • Interviewing relevant management and staff and observing environmental activities on the ground to determine gaps in competency and to determine means of improving practices,
  • Providing a comprehensive audit report outlining your strengths and areas for improvement along with detailed recommendations.

ISO 9001 Quality management system audits are intended to review a company’s progression towards achieving certification to the ISO 9001 standard and, where the organisation is already certified, to identify means of improving performance.

Operating an effective quality management system relies upon effective system audits by competent QMS auditors. Our auditors draw on their extensive expertise to provide an independent and expert look at your QMS to identify opportunities for improvement to improve your quality performance.

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