The ISO 9001 standards are part of the ISO 9000 family of standards published by the International Organization for Standardization. Specifically, the ISO 9001 defines, for any company or other voluntary organization, the criteria needed for setting up a strategy for quality management. Regularly updated since its creation in 1987, it now incorporates the concepts of process and continuous improvement in line with changing economic and societal challenges.
What are the goals of the ISO 9001 standards?
Thanks to the application of the precepts of the ISO 9001 standards, companies and organizations can develop powerful tools to:
- Integrate quality parameter as an end-to-end management tool;
- Satisfy customers or users by offering them products and services better aligned with their expectations;
- Constantly improve the quality of their services.
Definition of the 7 principles of quality management from ISO 9001
The concept of quality management, as applied in the ISO 9000 framework and more specifically in the ISO 9001 standards, meets seven basic principles:
- Principle 1 | Customer orientation: Efforts must be made to target customers and users as best as possible and meet their current expectations and anticipate their future needs;
- Principle 2 | Leadership: At each level of responsibility, managers and executives must relay the defined quality objectives and put in place the conditions needed to accomplish them effectively;
- Principle 3 | Staff involvement: Regardless of their positions, all staff members must be competent, well-regarded, properly informed about quality issues and motivated to achieve the quality objectives that have been set;
- Principle 4 | The process approach: Each action developed must be considered and evaluated, not independently, but as an interactive element of a global process based on a coherent and systematic quality strategy;
- Principle 5 | Continuous improvement: An environment of constant progress, according to the virtuous circle of the Deming wheel (plan > do > check > act), must favor an optimal adaptability to the contextual evolutions (both internally and externally);
- Principle 6 | Decision-making must be supported by objective data: The analysis and evaluation of available data, as well as the identification and anticipation of causal links, work all as guarantees for relevant and sustainable decision-making;
- Principle 7 | Partner relations: a good management of relations with the various partners (suppliers, service providers, etc.) must integrate their effective involvement in the quality approach of the company or organization.
ISO 9001 Definition – Summary, Benefits & Certification
Clearly designed to promote the conditions for an effective and sustainable quality management system, the ISO 9001 standards are already implemented by more than 1.1 million companies and organizations across all continents. In fact, the choice for this norm is particularly efficient in terms of performance, customer satisfaction, brand image, and growth prospects, especially in the case of achieving the certification – these are the main benefits of the 9001 ISO norm.
Image credits on Shutterstock for ISO 9001 certification.