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ISO 9001 started life as BS5750 back in 1979 and it defined a management system for the control of a business to help meet customer requirements. Over the years it has been reviewed, updated and improved making it a truly international standard, it has over time evolved to be a standard that enables a company to demonstrate that it employs sensible and effective management processes.

It is worth noting that ISO 9001 is simply a guide to the organisation of sound and effective system management principles.

Revised considerably in 2015, ISO 9001 now looks to link the strategic direction for the business to the management system through simple processes such as SWOT analysis. This way the system becomes a tool for achieving that strategic direction rather than a badge on the wall task.

These tools or processes need to be defined and for most organisations there will be clear benefits from documenting these processes at an appropriate level so that they can be communicated and carried out consistently. I typically document these in flow diagrams, as they are simple to follow and audit.

The standard recommends a process approach to structuring the management system. I have been using this method since 1991 and fully understand the principle and requirements. The approach focuses on the needs of the business rather than pandering to the requirements of the standard. This will ensure your organisation gets the maximum benefit out of implementing ISO 9001.

I provide all types of training, consulting and support assistance to companies wishing to develop systems in compliance with ISO 9001.