This text is from the second edition of ISO 9001, The Standard Companion. It is based on the now obsolete 1987 version of the ISO 9001 Standard. The third edition, based on the current 1994 standard, is available from Simply Quality.
The twenty paragraphs, 4.1 through 4.20, of the Standard are interrelated and form a Quality Assurance system. The table on the last page is an overview of those paragraphs, showing how they support each other.
Top Management actively supports the achievement of product and service quality by creating and deploying a written Quality Policy; defining the organization and structure of staff responsible for product and service quality; providing for inspectors, independent auditors and reviewers; assigning an ISO 9001 Management Representative with the authority to carry out the requirements of the Standard, and personally reviewing the results of the internal audits.
A Quality System is created and maintained by keeping a comprehensive set of controlled procedures documents, and having the resources needed to achieve quality.
All phases of product design, development and manufacture, from review of the sales agreement with the customer, through all intermediate stages of product design, selection and control of suppliers, identifying, testing and controlling the product during its creation, handling, storage, packaging and delivery and providing customer service, are carried out with care for product and service quality.
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[Copyright, 1992 by Simply Quality, PO Box 21, Middletown, NJ]
Work that affects product and service quality is carried out as controlled processes. This requires that the processes are effectively managed by establishing defined procedures, controlling documentation, maintaining records of authorizations, auditing the quality system to keep it current, taking corrective action, calibrating measuring and test equipment and using only valid statistical techniques.
Finally, in order to allow all of this to happen, people are trained to carry out their work.
ISO 9001 presents a basic model for Quality Assurance. I hope this manual helps you to understand and appreciate the Standard. Deciding to obtain registration is an excellent next step, or first step, in your quality journey. I hope you will take that step, it is well within your reach.
When you do obtain registration, please tell me your experiences. Let me know how this manual was most helpful and where it can be improved.
Leland R. Beaumont , December 5, 1993