BS EN ISO 9001 : 2008 is a quality management system (QMS) that should be adopted by a company who make a strategic commitment to such a documented system. There are numerous reasons why an organisation might adopt such QMS:
- A way of managing risk in the business environment
- A way of managing varying needs within the business
- It is a recognised way of the business meeting particular objectives
- It provides a framework around the which the business can manage the production of products and services
- It provides a process driven framework for operational management
- It might be appropriate as an expectation by Clients give the relative size of the company
It is not a system that imply’s that all QMS’s operated are uniform in nature, quite the reverse really. It provides a framework of best practice but how the framework is adopted is entirely up to the company operating the system. The QMS should complement the actual processes and products or services.
By adopting the QMS formally the company opens themselves up to auditing both from internal and external sources of how the QMS is operated. This of itself is no bad thing, it encourages those operating and working within the 9000 environment to meet the standard.
The standard promotes a process approach in development and implementation of the QMS. It is considered that such an approach will add to improvements in process and effectiveness of processes. Indeed the process approach is a natural way of looking at the linkages active within an organisation, often the output of one process is the input of the next.
The advantage of a process approach lies in the ongoing control possible over the system links between the individual processes and over the combination of the processes. When such an approach is used within a QMS it emphasizes the importance of:
- the need to full understand requirements
- the need to understand processes in terms of the value they add
- what process performance and effectiveness is
- how processes are continually improved based on any change in objectives
The route of the process for BS EN ISO 9001 : 2008 is Plan, Do, Check, Act
PLAN: is about establishing the objectives and processes necessary to deliver the requirements
DO: implementation of the process(s)
CHECK: monitoring and measurement of the process and combination of the processes against any policies, objectives and requirements as may be understood to apply
ACT: take action, make changes if necessary so that objectives and requirements can be met consistently
Following the recent external ISOQAR Audit of Northpoint’s QMS for the coating of pipework I am happy to report that there are no concerns rasied.