ISO 9001 template procedures are a sure way to ensure that your process for ISO certification is streamlined. When thinking about the requirements for ISO certification, you might feel overwhelmed with the different bits and pieces of information that is requested.

Even though I strongly believe that the implementation of ISO 9001, if done correctly, can add value to the organization – I still think that the standard is not structured well. Some information is dispersed, and repeated throughout the standard.

Sometimes, just by doing one activity, you might be ticking more than one requirement of the standard.

The main pitfall when looking at creating procedures for ISO 9001

When looking at creating procedures for their ISO 9001 certification, most logical people would do the following steps:

  1. Get a copy of the standard
  2. Go through the requirements
  3. Understand that all requirements are relevant in one way or another to their organization
  4. Literally start taking each requirement, and finding a way on how to meet each requirement

Even though this way will lead you to eventually meet all the requirements, it is by no means that most efficient way. Moreover, the ramifications of such an approach are far-reaching, and last well beyond the implementation project.

One of the most problematic pitfalls in creating the procedures required for ISO certification – is that of creating an overly bureaucratic system. The basic principle of the implementation process is to “say what you do, do what you say”. Now if to meet the requirements of the standard, you say that you do things that you don’t really do – that will start creating an unnecessary burden for your organization.

Addressing the main pitfall for correct implementation

 Therefore, to avoid falling into the trap of creating an overly complex system template documents are required. Now, not all templates are relevant to your organization, and you must make sure to only select the relevant templates that you need.

Over the years, I have perfect the craft of creating a foundation for a management system that:

  • Adds value to the organisation
  • Doesn’t require a lot of changes within the organization

These two considerations are critical for the success of the an implementation project, and to ensure that, in their day-to-day work, people within the organisation will be actually following the systems set during the implementation.

With this in mind, I’ve created a simple, yet effective foundation for implementation, as follows.

ISO 9001 template procedures

ISO 9001 template procedures should be considered in three main areas. These three categories are distinctly different, but that are all required for a strong management system.

Key processes

The first step that any company must do during the implementation process is to create procedures on how the company carries out the key processes. Key processes relate to activities for:

  • Sales
  • Operation
  • Purchasing
  • Design and development

When mapping out these procedures, someone who is directly involved in doing the work that is mentioned in these procedures, might over-analyse the situation. More often than not, people would try to create procedures that tackle of possible scenarios within that process. And while that shows a good level of committed from the person – it still isn’t the best way to go about it. From experience, as an ISO 9001 consultant in Malta, I like to create procedures that covers the most common operating procedures. Granted, the unique cases will not be covered – however intrinsically, unique cases are not too common – and I’d rather create a system to perfectly covers the run off the mill activities.

Furthermore, when defining procedures, some people might open up a word document, and start writing, step-by-step the work needed to follow such a process. And while this is a good method from brainstorming – such a method might result in an overly long procedure – that would greatly discourage people from reading it in detail.

So with that in mind, I like to create flow charts – that require a little bit more thought on how to condense the information into much fewer words, and through the arrows, we can explain how the activities follow one another.

Supporting System

The supporting system refers to the activities that are required to effectively run a strong management system, but that are not necessarily needed by the client. These supporting activities are useful as they provide a strong structure for evaluating the current performance of the key processes, and to ensure that actions for continual improvement are being implemented.

The ISO 9001 template procedures that can be used within the supporting system are:

  • Quality policy – don’t start from a blank document. There are specific wording requirements that must be meet for a compliant quality policy.
  • Context and interested parties analysis – this document has been developed by Luke Desira, an ISO 9001 expert, and covers 6 requirements in 1 document; namely interested parties, internal and external issues, quality objectives, risks & opportunities.
  • Quality objectives – defining the objectives isn’t enough – we must make sure to track the progress of the extent to which we are reaching such objectives
  • Training record – which can also double as a training plan – is a centralized location whereby we can keep track of all training that is attended by employees
  • Corrective action – a central location whereby we can record all non-conformities, and actions that require out attention for improvement
  • Supplier quality – given that suppliers are other companies, run by people – they are bound to make mistakes (like any other human). Still we must make sure to keep track of the level of supplier quality.
  • Customer feedback – there are various ways in which we can collect customer feedback. However, an important consideration is to have a centralized location where this information can be stored, so that customer feedback can be analysed
  • Book of knowledge – everyday we are forced to take decisions. To grow and to learn. By keeping a central location where such knowledge can be stored, we will be able to have a ‘book’ with the most important knowledge of the organization.
  • Internal audit report – different from the internal audit checklist – this report captures the highlights of the internal audit, and is useful for the management and the consultant to have a meaningful conversation – with a focus on improvement actions.
  • Management review meeting minutes – the standard as a specific agenda that needs to be discussed – therefore, why should you reinvent the wheel, and start from a blank slate. By following the ISO 9001 template procedures, you will surely meeting this requirement – with absolutely no effort.

Quality Manual

Even though the quality manual is not a requirement for ISO Certification anymore, from my experience as an ISO 9001 consultant, I still like to use it. It is a way of consolidating all information within one document.

Request ISO 9001 template procedures

If, on the other hand, you are seeking to get professional advice from an ISO 9001 expert, or would like to get more information on the cost for ISO Certification (no strings attached), feel free to get in touch.