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What Is A Quality Management System?

In the modern business and public sector environment, organizations are being ever more required to jump through an increasing amount of hoops and meet a multitude of requirements just to even pre-qualify for many tenders and contracts. Whilst this can often be seen as an example of ever growing bureaucracy, businesses are required by their shareholders to run their businesses as efficiently and effectively as possible and public sector organisations have to demonstrate that they are spending taxpayers money responsibly and wisely. With often hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds at stake, it’s understandable that organisations are now having to demonstrate that they are robust, efficient and effective

The Growth Of Quality Management Systems

Of the many demands that are now being placed on companies and public sector organisations, it is quality that is the most fundamental. Being able to demonstrate that it meet its regulatory requirements and offers its customers a high quality product/service and customer experience is essential which is why over one millions organisations in over 160 are choosing to implement quality management systems to ISO 9001 standards.

Whilst many organisations many have some form of quality policy or statement, a quality managements system, also known by the abbreviation QMS is much more in-depth and has recognised, identifiable and measurable outcomes and aims.

ISO 9001 And Quality Management Systems

The ISO 9001 standard is the benchmark of quality management systems and it is this standard that quality management systems should adhere to. Developed by the International Organization for Standardisation, the latest version of ISO 9001 is ISO 9001:2015 and is popular for three main reasons:

Flexible and generic – ISO 9001 is suitable for all types of business and organisation regardless of size and what sector they operate in. It also takes away the headache of implementing a quality management system without any guidance as there is lots of help available.
Proven results – Implementing a quality management system to ISO 9001 standards is proven to improve quality when implemented.
Credibility – With over a million organisations across the globe having implemented ISO 9001, it is very well respected and credible.

What Is a Quality Management System Made Up Of?

Flowing a full planning and implementation process, an effective and ISO 9001 compliant is made up of:

Measurable performance measures
Key documents including:
Quality Manual
Control of Documents Procedure
Control of Records Procedure
Control of Nonconformances Procedure
Internal Audit Procedure
Corrective Action Procedure
Preventive Action Procedure

All staff should be expected to be knowledgeable about how they play their part in the overall quality management system. To maintain ISO 9001 accredited status, organisations should continually review their quality management system with a view to continuous improvement .

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