ISO 9001 Certification: 5 Key Questions Every Boss Should Learn

The increasing popularity of ISO Quality Management Standard is growing, and businesses who have the certification know the benefits they gain by implementing this standard. With the release of the ISO 9001:2015, it has become necessary for top management to specifically pay attention to some of the following key aspects.

Every boss who is looking for ISO 9001 Certification should be aware of five critical questions. Here, we will discuss these questions and the suitable answers. Studying these questions would be advisable if your organization is moving toward certification.

1. Have you included a framework in your quality policy to set out quality objectives? (Clause 5.2.1)

While drafting a quality policy, most businesses make this mistake. Skipping a framework may lead you to a number of difficulties. The framework is a brief process that should provide your readers (in this case, auditors, stakeholder, clients) with a proper understanding of what is going to happen.

There are two ways of dealing with this issue, first, you can set annual quality goals to measure business performance against those quality goals. Second, you could outline a rolling business plan for five years. This plan should include measurable quality objectives that can be included in your annual report.

2. What are relevant external and internal issues that may affect your Quality Management System or QMS? What is its purpose and strategic direction? How would you like to keep this information up to date? (Clause 4.1)

This question is asking whether your QMS is aligned with your strategic business plan or not. Clause 4.1 was developed to ensure that your strategic direction and QMS are working together properly, as your QMS should be an integral part of your business.

You should always carefully consider your business goals and quality objectives in order to align them in the best possible way. This alignment is important to gain ISO 9001 Certification.

3. Which interested parties are relevant to your business? What are their requirements? How do these requirements affect your QMS? (Clause 4.2)

This question has gained traction in the latest version of ISO Quality Management Standard. It helps to identify the relevant interested parties and their requirements, however, this question also helps you understand how such requirements may affect your QMS. In this context, it is important to note that you should only consider the interested parties and their requirements, that are relevant to your QMS. Annex A3 of ISO 9001:2015 Standard has clearly stated that only relevant interested parties and their requirements matter to the QMS.

4. Are your QMS operations aligned with your organizational processes? Have you decided the sequence of these processes? (Clause 4.4.1)

This is not a new aspect. Earlier versions of ISO 9001 Standard also included this particular issue, and it is still relevant. It implies that you should write your QMS based on your organizational processes, and not to specifically align the QMS with the numbers of ISO 9001.

5. Have you determined the inputs and the desired outputs from these processes? (Clause 4.4.1)

This question is a new addition that has come with the arrival of the latest ISO 9001 version. If you do it correctly, you will find that the outputs from one process will become the inputs to the next process. If you want a process to operate effectively, you should identify the correct outputs from the previous processes and operate them correctly.

If you are all set to embark on your journey to achieving ISO 9001 Certification, don’t forget to consider these five questions. It will help you develop a systematic approach to the ISO 9001 Standard.