ISO 9001 is based upon Seven Quality Principles, which are defined in:
The Quality Management Principles (QMPs) can be used as a foundation to guide an organization’s performance improvement. These are timeless ideas which will help you align your organization with all of your stakeholders: customers, suppliers & employees. Here is a summary of the 7 Quality Principles, along with some supporting information on how to apply it to your organization (ISO Website has more detailed version).
Quality Principle 1: Customer Focus
As an organization, your success depends on customer satisfaction. Therefore you need to understand current and future customer needs, meet customer requirements and strive to exceed their expectations. Managing customer satisfaction is key.
Do you carefully review your customer’s requirements?
Quality Principle 2: Leadership
Your organization’s leaders are the top level of management. They establish unity of purpose and direction of the organization. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization’s objectives. To establish a great environment you should build trust, equip and empower employees, recognize employee achievements and hard work, and set challenging goals to keep employees motivated.
The captain guides the ship, and likewise, Top Management has a responsibility to embrace these principles and your quality management system. Specifically, your organization’s leadership should hold management review meetings to keep your QMS (and organization) running smoothly.
Quality Principle 3: Engagement of people
People at all levels are the essence of an organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization’s benefit. ISO 9001 requires training to ensure employees have the tools they need to do their job and contribute to the success of your organization.
In order for people to support your quality initiatives, they must understand them. Additionally, you must create an environment where employees feel confident and comfortable asking questions, learning and sharing knowledge. To benefit your employees we recommend an employee overview of ISO 9001.
Quality Principle 4: Process approach
A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.
A process is a set of activities that use resources (people, machines, etc.) to transform inputs into outputs. Every organization is made up of a series of interacting processes.
Quality Principle 5: Improvement
Continual improvement of the organization’s overall performance should be a permanent objective of the organization. Top management should encourage their employees to make improvements and also measure improvement consistency.
Auditing your QMS and improving your processes is a key requirement of ISO 9001.
Quality Principle 6: Evidence based decision making
Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information.
When the data reveals that an area is underperforming, it is important to take corrective actions to improve performance.
Root Cause Analysis is a good way to determine the source of the problem for knowing what corrective actions should be taken.
Quality Principle 7: Relationship management
The organization needs to identify and select suppliers (and other interested parties) that can manage costs, optimize resources and create value. When you are establishing relationships you want to collaborate to ensure that you are both focuses on continual improvement.
Your organization is unique, so there is not one right answer as to the application of these principles above. However, implementing ISO 9001 can help establish a solid basis for improved quality and customer satisfaction.
To Learn More about Quality Principles see ISO’s Quality Management Principles PDF
REMEMBER, ISO 9001 implementation and certification requires strict adherence to a very detailed process. Our All-In-One Package is designed to minimize both your workload and disruption to your business by providing a proven, clear road map for you to follow.