A quality manual is a document that outlines an organisation's quality management system (QMS).
In the past, a company seeking ISO 9001 certification would typically keep a big folder - sometimes several big folders - full of important documents related to their QMS. This unwieldy stack of forms, procedures, policies and so forth was sometimes referred to as a 'quality manual'.
But a quality manual doesn't have to include all of those things. In fact, a quality manual can just be a single document that sets out the intent for your quality management system and how it will operate.
SEE ALSO: What is a quality manual?
Is a quality manual required for ISO 9001 certification?
Not always. There's a lot of debate around this, but there are some certification industry experts who feel that quality manuals are no longer necessary at all.
Here at ISO Accelerator, we do provide each of our clients with a quality manual as part of our ISO 9001 certification service. But don't worry - this is provided digitally, so you won't have to find room for a heavy folder full of policy documents.
Because every company is different, we work closely with each client to develop a QMS (and a quality manual) that's tailored to their unique requirements. So the precise contents of your quality manual will depend on the nature of your organisation and the goals of your quality management system.
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Contact ISO Accelerator today to find out more about our fast-track ISO 9001 certification service.
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If you're unfamiliar with the ISO 9000 family of standards, some of the terminology associated with ISO 9001 may seem a little confusing at first. Perhaps you're aware that ISO 9001 is some kind of management tool, but you're not quite clear on the details. You've seen the phrase 'quality management system' come up frequently in articles on this topic - so is ISO 9001 a quality management system?
We can answer that question right now: no, ISO 9001 is not a quality management system. Rather, ISO 9001 is the global standard for quality management systems (often abbreviated to QMS). The concepts are closely linked, but the terms 'ISO 9001' and 'QMS' should not be used interchangeably.
We hope the definitions below will clear up any uncertainty.
Quality management system meaning
A quality management system (QMS) is a set of processes that an organisation may adopt in order to maximise the quality of its products / services and ultimately boost customer satisfaction.
The exact content of a QMS can differ radically from one company to the next, but the primary aims of a quality management system should always be to reduce waste and produce consistently high-quality results for the customer.
READ MORE: What is a quality management system?
ISO 9001 meaning
ISO 9001 is an international standard for quality management systems. This standard is published by the International Organization for Standardization, also known as ISO.
Once an organisation has implemented a QMS, that organisation can seek ISO 9001 certification to demonstrate the effectiveness of their quality management system. (This can be useful for attracting new business.)
Often, to award a certificate of registration, a third-party certification company is used to independently verify that the QMS fulfils the requirements of ISO 9001.
If you are looking to obtain ISO 9001 certification, ISO Accelerator can help you to get certified quickly. Contact us now to discuss your company's certification requirements.
Getting Certified: How Does It Work?
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Implementing a quality management system (QMS) is a great way for an organisation to streamline and improve its processes.
Running a business is a very demanding job, and taking the time to formalise the procedures you follow may not seem like a priority. But a properly-implemented QMS will make the whole company more efficient, so you will more than recoup the time you spend on it.
3 reasons to implement a quality management system
- Get your team working more effectively. A quality management system provides formal answers to the questions of who is responsible for what within your organisation, what goals they should be working towards, and what processes they should be following to get there. This results in more efficient work with better outcomes for the customer.
- Boost your customer satisfaction. Customer focus is a key principle of quality management. Implementing a QMS will push you to understand your customers better and refocus your operations towards the goal of fulfilling the customer's needs.
- Waste less time and fewer resources. Quality management systems are designed to make all organisational processes as efficient as possible, minimising waste of all kinds - so you'll waste less time, less manpower and less money in your pursuit of maximum customer satisfaction.
READ MORE: The Benefits of a Quality Management System
How ISO Accelerator can help
If you wish to implement a quality management system in order to get your business running more efficiently, we at ISO Accelerator can help. Not only will we work with you to develop a management system that suits the needs of your organisation, we will also ensure that your QMS is consistent with the ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems.
Once you have implemented your QMS, we can help you to achieve ISO 9001 certification quickly, with no need for face-to-face consultations. Our remote certification process is fast and cost effective - for more information, see How Does Remote ISO Certification Work?
Contact ISO Accelerator >
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There is a certain amount of debate surrounding quality manuals, what exactly they are, and whether a quality manual is actually required. Many people confuse the term 'quality manual' with a quality management system (QMS); this is understandable, because in the past...
- ISO 9001 talked about a quality manual
- Companies would often keep a large folder (or folders) containing master copies of their quality procedures, policies, forms, etc. This was sometimes known as the 'quality manual'.
Today, some in the certification industry see quality manuals as unnecessary. At ISO Accelerator, we aim to give our clients clear and simple guidance on this topic - whether or not you require a quality manual depends on the format and structure of your QMS.
ISO Accelerator helps businesses to implement effective quality management systems. As part of each QMS, we do also provide clients with a digital quality manual. However, this quality manual does not itself contain copies of quality procedures, policies, forms, and so on - instead, these are supplied as part of the complete quality management system. The quality manual is simply a document that describes the intent of the QMS and how it operates.
Developing a quality management system
Here at ISO Accelerator, we offer a comprehensive ISO 9001 certification service. We will work with you remotely, helping you to develop a quality management system and put it into practice.
Once your QMS has been properly implemented, a remote audit will be conducted to confirm that you are meeting the requirements of your quality management system. You will then be awarded your certificate of ISO 9001 certification.
As a bonus, you will be able to give clients and customers a copy of your quality manual to reassure them that you have processes in place to ensure a quality service.
How Long Does It Take? Get ISO 9001 Certification
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There are 8 quality management principles (developed by the ISO/TC 176) upon which ISO 9001 certification is built. These principles, when followed properly, help organisations to improve their quality management systems and overall business relationships.
Let’s take a closer look at the 8 principles of quality management:
- Customer Focus - This principle covers customer needs and customer services. It stresses that businesses should strive to understand their customers & go above and beyond their expectations.
- Leadership - Leadership is an integral part of any business. Without properly-defined leadership goals and objectives, a business will struggle to run smoothly.
- People Involvement - The third principle focuses on efficiency and effectiveness of staff. You can build stakeholder confidence by optimising performance, managing processes and using business resources wisely.
- Process Approach - This principle is about efficiency, effectiveness and consistency. Having a good approach to your processes helps to speed up activities, reduce costs and eliminate waste.
- Systematic Approach to Management - ISO defines this principle as “identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes to the organisation’s effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objectives”.
- Continual Improvement - This has to be be an active business objective; businesses should embrace new opportunities and adapt to new market situations.
- Factual Approach to Decision Making - Making a decision based on data and analysis is logical, but in the current climate, most workplace decisions are made in a rush. This principle helps to make sure decisions are made with consideration and clarity.
- Mutually-Benefical Supplier Relations - The final principle deals with supply chains and promotes healthy relationships between a business and its distributors. Building a strong supplier relationship encourages productivity.
If you're interested in gaining ISO 9001 certification for your organisation, ISO Accelerator can help you to do it quickly and with minimal hassle. Get in touch today to find out more.
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A quality management system (QMS) is a set of processes that work together to ensure that quality of an organisation's output and improve overall customer satisfaction.
Many businesses really on quality management systems to keep consumers happy, but you may be wondering whether planning and implementing a QMS is really worth your while. After all, you're very busy, and your company already does fine - why waste valuable time formalising your processes and pursuing ISO 9001 certification?
Why would I need a quality management system?
But while it's true that implementing a QMS can be somewhat time-consuming, the benefits of will far outweigh the drawbacks if your system is well thought-out and fully compliant.
Here are just some of the benefits that a quality management system may be able to grant your organisation:
- Reduced Waste - One of the key aims of any QMS is to minimise wastage. A good QMS will save time that's currently being wasted on tasks that don't need to be done (or could be done far more efficiently). It will also help you to stop wasting money and physical resources.
- Happier Customers - Quality management systems are ultimately geared towards delivering the best possible outcome for the customer. Implementing a QMS should help you to meet your customers' needs and expectations more effectively, and happy customers are more likely to reward you with positive reviews, repeat orders, word-of-mouth recommendations, etc.
- More Opportunities - If your quality management system meets ISO 9001 standards, you will be able to get certified and advertise this fact to potential customers. Not only do the words 'ISO 9001 certified' inspire confidence no matter what industry you're in, certification is actually a requirement for certain contracts, meaning that your QMS may bring you business opportunities that would otherwise have been off-limits.
If you need help putting together a QMS and getting certified, contact ISO Accelerator today - we specialise in helping businesses to achieve ISO 9001 certification in the shortest possible timeframe!
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If you want to achieve ISO 9001 certification, you will first need to plan and implement a strong quality management system within your organisation.
A quality management system (QMS) is simply a set of processes and procedures that are designed to improve customer satisfaction. A strong QMS will make your customers happier while also serving to drive continuous improvement of your operations by reducing wastage and streamlining everybody's efforts so that all workers are striving towards the same goal.
Where does ISO certification come into this?
ISO 9001 is the international standard for quality management systems. When planning a QMS, the goal should be to create a system that complies with ISO 9001 requirements and will qualify for ISO 9001 certification once in place.
Further reading: What is ISO 9001?
When you choose to apply for fast-track ISO accreditation via ISO Accelerator, we will work with you remotely to help you develop a QMS that meets all ISO 9001 requirements.
Click here to get the process started >