It is essential for businesses of every size to have a comprehensive quality management system (QMS) implemented based on the internationally acclaimed standard, ISO 9001. However, once you start with the journey towards implementing a QMS that is certifiable to this ISO standard, you might get lost or confused between the numerous inevitable tasks involved in it. That is why here we have provided you with a checklist of the entire process to keep you going in the right direction.
The purpose of preparing the checklist is to make the process short and precise, by fragmenting the entire implementation journey into a few steps. Check out the steps to implement the QMS in the following section.
Step 1: Management Readiness
If you want to implement an independent QMS aligning with your business processes, you need complete support of the organisation’s top management. The QMS needs to be integrated into the core processes and other management systems. The top management should intervene and encourage the employees to come and work together in enforcing the QMS.
Step 2: Map Out the Quality Requirements
Together with the management team, you need to decide the key quality requirements to meet in your products or services. It will help in structuring the scope of your QMS and negotiating the changes required in different business processes to meet the requirements.
Step 3: Framing a Policy
The next step is about formulating a definite policy that will be the foundation of your QMS. It will include all necessary goals of your organisation regarding quality assurance and the practices required to achieve them. Along with the practices, the policy should underline the roles of different members of your organisation. A policy is also the first document that you need for QMS implementation.
Step 4: Plan the Procedures and Controls
When you have a policy in hand mentioning your specified goals, it is time to prepare a blueprint i.e., a plan of the procedures, controls, or actions which should be put into effect to accomplish those goals. One important tip for this step is to consider both the standard’s requirements and your business-specific quality goals to develop the new procedures and controls.
Step 5: Implement the Defined Procedures and Controls
After planning the procedures and controls, it is time to bring them into action. This is one of the challenging steps because you need to first document every procedure. It is required to ensure consistency in their procedures when they are put into practice by the employees.
Step 6: Train the Staff
Implementation of new procedures and controls of your QMS is simply not possible without your staff cooperating and putting efforts to execute them. It is hence a prerequisite step to train the staff on executing the defined procedures. Through training sessions, you should also make them aware of the improvements that those procedures should bring in their products or services, ultimately benefitting their bottom line. Training is also required to help them learn about the changes in their roles and to properly execute the procedures by following the documentation.
Step 7: Internal Audit of the QMS
In the next step, allow your staff of every department to get used to the newly implemented QMS and its procedures. However, after a few weeks’ time, you need to check whether it is working accurately to meet your every objective and helping to deliver quality output. Internal auditing of the QMS by some dedicated management officers is hence required to assure its competency. Also, internal auditing is highly recommended before you finally apply for the ISO certification because it helps in identifying any shortcomings or gaps in the QMS compared to the standard’s requirements.
Step 8: Take Corrective Actions
Following the internal audit, you need to sit with the management team to discuss the issues, loopholes, or nonconformities found in the QMS. Together, you should decide the course of actions needed for your QMS within a definite time to eliminate all the problems.
Step 9: Choose an Authorised Certification Body
The last or final step is to choose a body that can give you the certification. Professionally, they will once again thoroughly audit your QMS and even check records of your internal audits to see if all corrective actions are implemented. After being assured of your QMS compliance with ISO requirements, they will provide the certification.
That is it! The entire process of implementing an ISO 9001 certified QMS is summed up in these 9 simple steps. Hope this makes the process looks much easier to you and takes away any apprehension around a QMS checklist. It is nothing but a step-by-step arrangement of the process that gets your QMS implemented and certified. If you are keen on implementing a standardised QMS to assure the quality of your products/services to the customers, this checklist is an ultimate guide.
If you need some professional assistance to get through these steps smoothly without disrupting your usual business processes, Compliancehelp is ready to help you. We are one of the trusted quality assurance services providers in Australia offering consultation and full-time assistance to businesses in their ISO certification journeys. Contact us today!
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