ISO 9000 is a series of standards that addresses the quality management system of an organization. It does not specify that types of quality systems, but it does require that management have specific quality goals and a system to implement and monitor those quality goals. In order to obtain ISO 9000 certification, which is established by the International Organization of Standardization, an organization must have work procedures in place that help ensure the quality goals. Certification of adherence to those quality objectives can be issued by an organization that has been accredited by the International Organization of Standardization. Certification will help convince customers that a company's products are of high quality.
Write the corporate quality policy from the highest level of management. ISO 9000 addresses the management of quality, and so it is important that every level of management participates in the setting of quality goals and objectives. Come up with a simple quality mission statement that can be posted.
Devise a system by which your documents are controlled. This way, when an auditor comes, you'll be able to prove that the documents are genuine and haven't been improperly changed by unauthorized individuals.
Arrive at a set of work instructions for each department in the company. Because each department serves a different function, these can vary widely. They should all address the quality objectives, though, that were set forth by upper management. Ensure these instructions are controlled and can only be altered by authorized management personnel.
Ensure all personnel in the organization are following the work instructions and can access them, although they may not be able to alter them. Also make sure they know the corporate quality mission statement.
Contact an authorized company that can issue ISO 9000 certificates and arrange to be audited.
Make sure all company personnel are aware of the audit date and are available to answer questions about their work instructions and how they affect quality.
Pass the audit and receive ISO 9000 certification from the accredited organization.
When the certification body does its audit, make sure all of the employees answer the auditor's questions but do not volunteer additional information, which can lead the auditor to ask questions about practices that management hasn't prepared for.
Some workers in an organization are very busy and will feel like ISO 9000 preparation is a waste of time.
- When the certification body does its audit, make sure all of the employees answer the auditor's questions but do not volunteer additional information, which can lead the auditor to ask questions about practices that management hasn't prepared for.
- Some workers in an organization are very busy and will feel like ISO 9000 preparation is a waste of time.
Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."