5.5.3 Internal communication

ISO 9001 clause 5.5.3 states “Internal communication
Top management shall ensure that appropriate communication processes are established within the organization and that communication takes place regarding the effectiveness of the Quality Management System.”

Employees are the key target audience for internal communication. It is impossible to build an efficient business without a strong information sharing culture, teamwork, and shared values. Internal communications help to support these concepts in a practical way.

Example messages

Information communicated internally might relate to:

  • Quality policy and objectives
  • Quality system procedures
  • Quality system performance
  • Suggestions and feedback
  • Importance of meeting customer and/or statutory requirements
  • Changes in product requirements
  • How employees contribute to achieving the quality objectives

Example methods

  • Team-briefing
  • Notice-board
  • Intranet
  • Company newsletter
  • Employee surveys, suggestion schemes

Should I document our internal communication procedure?

It is not a mandatory requirement to document and control your internal communications process for achieving ISO 9001:2008 certification. However, you should always look to adequatley define and control any operational processes that forms an integral part of your overall management system.

If the need for a planned and controlled internal communucation process is vital in achieving product quality; then a documented procedure is generally required.  

How's best to document the internal communication procedure?

Implement an internal communication process that:

  • Establishes a system for communicating with employees
  • Ensures that communication takes place
  • Ensures that communication is effective

Looking for help documenting your internal communication?

We provide an Internal Communication Procedure in many of our ISO Templates.

Measuring internal communication

The effectiveness of internal communication should be regularly assessed. This may be done through management reviews, employee surveys, audits and informal discussions. 

External links

  • The IAF have published a useful guide to Auditing Internal Communications here.