Quality Policy - How to Write & Communicate your Policy Statement

What is an ISO quality policy? Top management is responsible for establishing, reviewing and maintaining the quality policy and quality objectives. The quality policy should build on corporate objectives and values and be appropriate to the purpose and context of the organization. The policy should demonstrate a commitment to continual improvement. The quality policy must be communicated, understood and applied thoughout the oraganisation.

ISO 9001:2015 ISO 9001:2008 Summary of Changes
5.0 Leadership 5.0 Management Responsibility

Top management is now required to demonstrate leadership and commitment in regard to the QMS. They should ensure that the quality policy and objectives are compatible with the business’s strategic direction, that the policy is understood and followed, and that the QMS is integrated into the organization’s business processes.

There are also additional requirements based on the need to identify and address any risks to conformity of goods and services provided to customers.

5.1 Leadership And Commitment

5.1

Management Commitment
5.1.1 Leadership And Commitment For The Quality Management System 5.1 Management Commitment
5.1.2 Customer Focus 5.2 Customer Focus
5.2 Quality Policy 5.3 Quality Policy Includes an additional requirement to make the policy available to interested parties and being available as documented information.
5.2.1 Establishing the Quality Policy 5.3 Quality Policy
5.2.2 Communicating the Quality Policy 5.5.3 Internal Communication
5.3 Organizational Roles, Responsibilities And Authorities 5.5.1 Responsibility And Authority

Amended, no longer requires the specific position of a Quality Management Representative.

Organizations ensure should that Top management has taken on or delegated the responsibility for management of the quality management system, and that they have established a means to monitor if processes are delivering their intended outputs.

5.5.2 Management Representative

What is a Quality Policy and Why is it Important?

Ensure you have a well quality policy statement.

Part of the reason why you need a well written quality policy statement is to ensure your employees understand that their job affects product quality and quality control, and therefore the success of the company.

Employees must be made aware that their individual contribution is important to the company’s overall success and commitment to quality.

How do you Write a Quality Policy?

Align the Quality Policy with Strategy

ISO 9001:2015 now requires your organization’s quality policy and resulting objectives to be appropriate to your organization’s strategic direction and operational direction (context). This means that once your organization has determined its context and the relevant requirements of its interested parties, Top management must review the quality policy and objectives, in light of this new information, to ensure continued relevance.

Your organization will need to understand and identify all the influences that affect its business and ensure that the strategy and direction takes this into consideration. Your organization will need to review its current quality policy as necessary to ensure that any changes in context, interested parties or their requirements is reflected in the policy, and to determine whether your organization’s objectives are affected (Refer to ISO 9001:2015 - 6.2.1a).

Please find below a number of quality policy statement examples.

Quality Policy Statement (example 1)

Company XYZ provides quality management, co-ordination, production and processing, manufacture and installation services throughout the UK and sometimes abroad. The Company has developed its expertise since its establishment and its aim is to achieve a high standard of construction and service to its customers.

It is the policy of Company XYZ to provide the customer with goods and services to the agreed requirement in accordance with the details and price.

The Directors, Management and Staff are responsible for Quality Control through the Quality Management System seeking improvement by constant review, with suppliers and sub-contractors being encouraged to co-operate. The Company is committed to achieving customer satisfaction by the use of quality procedures which will be operated to meet or exceed the requirements of ISO 9001.

 

5.2.1 Establishing the Quality Policy

This requirements for quality policies is comparable to the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 Clause 5.3 – Quality Policy. You should check that there is evidence that Top management have participated in the creation of the quality policy, and are reviewing and maintaining it.

The standard requires you should review the quality policy to determine whether the quality policy is appropriate to the context of the organization and its purpose (and set quality objectives), that there is a commitment to continually improving the QMS, and the quality objectives are consistent with the quality policy. Top management should demonstrate that the quality management statement is compatible with the strategic direction and context of the organization, as required by Clause 5.1.1b.

Top management must ensure their commitment to quality and that the quality policy:

  • Is appropriate to the organisation and ISO implementation
  • Includes a commitment to requirements and continual improvement
  • Provides a basis for establishing and quality objectives
  • Is communicated and understood within the organisation (staff training)
  • Is periodically reviewed for suitability

Go for something short, sweet and memorable.

If the quality policy is simply written to satisfy the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 or ISO implementation projects then it might be worthless. You should keep it simple and keep it relevant to your organisation. Make it meaningful to the people in your organisation.

The quality policy should act as a driver for continual improvement. You will be required to ensure that you continually improve the degree to which the organisation’s products and services meet customer requirements and to measure effectiveness of the processes responsible.

To this end the continual improvement principle implies that you should adopt the attitude that improvement is always possible and that organisations should develop the skills and tools (policies and procedures) necessary to drive improvement, exceed customer requirements and deliver quality products.

Quality Policy Example 2

Our Quality Policy is defined and strongly driven by the following management principles and behaviors:
• Build a mutually profitable relationship with our customers, ensuring their long-term success, through the understanding of their needs and the needs of their customers as well
• Achieve our commitments for quality, cost, and schedule
• Enhance the systematic research and use of best preventive practices at all levels and ensure reliable risk management
• Drive continual improvement and innovation based upon efficient business processes, well-defined measurements, best practices, and customer surveys
• Develop staff competencies, creativity, empowerment and accountability
through appropriate development programs and show strong management involvement and commitment

Company XYZ strives to be the best provider of inspection services in the industry. Through the use of these guiding principles, everyone in Company XYZ is accountable for fully satisfying our customers by meeting or exceeding their needs and expectations with best-in-class solutions and services. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction 100% of the time.

 

5.2.2 Communicating the Quality Policy

This is a new requirement for ISO standards. ISO 9001:2015 requires the policy to be maintained as documented information, refer to Clause 7.5.1a. You should check whether the quality policy has been applied throughout the organization and that the quality policy is available to any relevant interested parties.

Remember, Auditors during certification audits will wish to test staff's understanding; so internal communication of the quality policy statement is vital for ISO certification and is understood within an organization.

Your internal auditor should check the policy is communicated and understood during an internal audit. A gap analysis tool or internal audit checklist can help with quality policy and quality.

Quality Policy Sample 3

The company believes that its market expects a continually improving service. We aim to continually improve the service we provide to meet our clients requirements and to produce finished work that we can justifiably be proud of.

The company aims to achieve the above by implementing a management system that complies with the international standard of good practice BS EN ISO 9001. It also includes a commitment to meet the requirements of our clients, learn from customers feedback, as well as legal and regulatory requirements. Also to continual development of the system and helping to ensure it remains effective.

Only by providing an outstanding service and product quality will we achieve our aims of long term success and sustained improvements.

All personnel within the company are responsible for the quality of their work. The company provides training and has established systems to assist all personnel to achieve the standards required. While we endeavour to produce work and offer a service that we can be proud of, we have to recognise that we don’t always achieve our own standards. When a customer complains, we are committed to investigating the complaint and will do our best to put right all justified complaints.

The policy, organisation and procedures necessary to achieve the required standards are described in our Quality Management System.

The Quality Manager is responsible for monitoring the quality system and reports regularly to the Managing Director on the system's implementation, status and effectiveness.

The objectives of this company are set out in the Business Plan. Objectives for individual jobs are to carry out he works to the satisfaction of the client and in accordance with the contract as agreed with the client.

 

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ISO 9001 Clauses - PLAN

 

Author: Richard Keen
Updated: 20th September 2019

Richard Keen

Richard Keen

Richard is our Compliance Director, responsible for content & product development.
But most importantly he is ISO's biggest fanboy and a true evangelist of the standards.
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  • Quality Policy Implementation Checklist
  • Quality Objectives Implementation Checklist
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  • Quality Policy
    • Align the Quality Policy with Strategy
    • Establish the Quality Policy
    • Communicate the Quality Policy
  • Quality Objectives
    • Develop the Quality Objectives
    • Establish Quality Objectives
    • Communicate the Quality Objectives
    • Achieve the Quality Objectives
  • Performance Indicators
    • Establish Indicators & Targets
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