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What is ISO 10003?

ISO 10003 Quality Management – Customer Satisfaction – Guidelines for Dispute Resolution External to Organizations

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Relationship between ISO 10001, ISO 10002, and ISO 10003

ISO 9001:2015 clause 9.1.2 discusses customer satisfaction and ISO has five standards to help support this important requirement.

ISO 10003 provides guidance for an organization to plan, design, develop, operate, maintain and improve an effective and efficient dispute resolution process. It helps organizations identify, manage and understand how to successfully deal with disputes from external organizations.

Benefits of ISO 10003:

  • Transparent System – You can post your process so your customers and suppliers see that you have an open, effective and easy-to-use dispute resolution process.
  • Customer Confidence – A standardized commitment to dispute resolution shows relevant interested parties that any dispute will be addressed.
  • Improved Efficiency – Promoting continuous improvement of the dispute resolution process may result in increased efficiency.
  • Better Relationship – A dispute resolution system helps to adopt a customer-focused approach to handle, analyze and review disputes.
  • Auditable System – By adopting a dispute resolution process you can enforce that its requirements are being followed through your audit process.

Note:  ISO 10003 does not apply to complaints handling within an organization.

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ISO 10003 Complaint Form

ISO 10003 includes guidance on the following:

  • Selection of providers and use of their services.
  • Top management involvement in, and commitment to, dispute resolution and deployment of adequate resources within the organization for managing disputes.
  • The essentials for fair, suitable, transparent and accessible dispute resolution.
  • Management of an organization’s participation in dispute resolution.
  • Monitoring, evaluating and improving the dispute-resolution process.

Summary of the ISO 10003 Guidelines:

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ISO 10003 Flow

  • Guiding principles
    • Visibility accessibility
    • Responsiveness
    • Objectivity
    • Confidentiality
    • Customer focused approach
    • Accountability.
  • Complaints-handling framework
    • Explains of why effective complaints handling will help your organization
    • Associated responsibilities
    • Authority
    • Outlines development of a complaints-handling policy
  • Planning and design – How to create a complaints-handling process
  • Operation of complaints-handling process
    • Operations guidance for the entire process – Initial complaint to closing the issue
  • Maintenance and improvement
    • Complaints data acquisition and analysis
    • Process performance
    • Auditing
    • Continual improvement


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