Quality Systems Consultancy Limited (QSC) is first and foremost a quality consultancy – it’s what lies at the heart of our business and it’s what we’re best known for.
In short, we’re here to make sure that you don’t slip up with your quality application, by providing solid advice and helping you every step of the way.
Achieving ISO 9001 or any other quality standard involves a logical steps starting with a review of the standard against the system you are currently operating and noting strengths and weaknesses. We can help you review this area to build a program of improvements to meet the requirements of ISO 9001:2015.
The new standard no longer requires you to have a Quality Manual, it no longer requires any written procedures, and has been revised to allow more businesses to achieve ISO 9001:2015 especially in the service sectors where historically ISO 9001:2008 did not always lend itself to this type of sector.
The new standard is built around seven quality management principles these are:
QMP 1 – Customer focus
QMP 2 – Leadership
QMP 3 – Engagement of people
QMP 4 – Process approach
QMP 5 – Improvement
QMP 6 – Evidence-based decision making
QMP 7 – Relationship management.
Can a small business achieve ISO 9001?
With ever growing demands for improved quality and service, and the number of companies employing one or two employees increasing, ISO 9001 is an ideal way of meeting customer demands and expectations. The standard is flexible enough to be adopted in businesses for small one man band companies to multi nationals.
The key benefits of implementing the ISO 9001 Quality Management System in smaller companies is that it instills disciplines and controls. The system helps businesses identify weaknesses and forces continual improvement. The system however does not have to be over bureaucratic. There are hundreds of small companies who are ISO9001 registered but do not have mountains of files or documents to complete. Yes there are certain requirements that have to be completed, such as a Quality Policy (download a free example PDF via this link), but other documents are no more than would normally be expected in any professionally operated company.
- Increased customer value
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Improved customer loyalty
- Enhanced repeat business
- Enhanced reputation of the organization
- Expanded customer base
- Increased revenue and market share
As well as the disciplines that ISO 9001 brings, a lot of your potential clients will not consider appointing you for tendering for work if you do not have a UKAS certified Quality Management System. You may be disappointed to hear this, but reality is that potential clients know that a UKAS registered ISO 9001 company has good systems in place that are robust and are audited regularly by an independent external third party. They know that the company is committed to continual improvement and if they do have a problem they know that it will be corrected and preventive actions implemented to stop re-occurrence.
So if your a small company trying to expand and grow, implementation of ISO9001 can certainly help. For more details telephone Andy on 07900 558547, Julie on 07818402094 or email us.
How do I apply for ISO 9001?
Applying to be registered for ISO9001 is a staged process. First of all you need to ensure that you have met all of the relevant requirements of the standard . If there are any areas you are not certain of give us a call on 07900 558547 and we will try to help you.
If your certain that you have covered all the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard, you will need to select a UKAS Accredited company to carry out the external audit. A list of UKAS registered companies are available on the UKAS website.Note: Costs of the accreditation varies from one UKAS company to another, so shop around.Having selected the company you want to audit your system, you will need to contact them to arrange for the auditor to attend site and carry out the audit.
The audit is in 2 stages, stage 1 is a document review. The auditor will check to see that you have the necessary documents in place, which comprise of a Quality Policy, Internal Audits / Management Review, Records and Documents identified in the standard including Corrective Actions for Customer Complaints. If you pass stage 1, you will be eligible to move on to stage 2 which is a process audit. If you fail;
Stage 1, its not the end of the world. It will simply mean that your system is lacking some detail and needs some additional work adding to it. QSC can help you with this should you require it.
Stage 2 is a process audit where the auditor will come to your office or site and carry out a full system audit against your processes and procedures and the ISO 9001 standard. If you have multi sites a visit to your other sites may be required (your UKAS audit company will advise you). If the auditor finds some slight issues he/she may raise some observations which you can put right after the audit. If the auditor finds some minor non conformities (areas that do not fully meet the standard) he/she will raise a Non Conformity report detailing the clause number and a description of the non conformity.
You cannot get registered to ISO 9001 if you have Non Conformities (NC’s) raised against you, however most NC’s are easy enough to correct and registration can be issued after a Corrective Actions have been implemented and evidence sent to the auditor. If a major Non Conformance is raised the audit may be stopped and you will definitely not be registered until the major area(s) have been corrected. A typical example of this is not carrying out any Internal Audits.If you pass stage 2 without any problems being raised, congratulations you’ve just been registered to ISO 9001. QSC can help you with any of the above, simply call us on 07900 558547 or 07818 402094.
How do I prepare a Quality Policy?
A Quality Policy should be appropriate to the purpose of the organisation. The essential elements of the policy are:
It should contain a commitment to comply with legal and regulatory requirements, as well as continually improving the effectiveness of the Quality Management System.
The Policy should provide a framework for establishing and reviewing quality objectives.
It should be easy to understand and regularly reviewed to ensure its appropriateness.
The Policy should be signed by the top management or CEO.
Ultimately the policy is a reflection on the commitment of the company and should be the cornerstone to the Quality System. The policy should be freely available to anyone that requests it. Remember! when you alter and update any document including the policy, you will need to maintain them in a formal manner. Failure to do so will lead to document control issues, and may lead to a Non Conformance during your audits.
How long does it take to get ISO 9001?
This is one of the most often asked questions. The truth is there is no set time scales that can be given because there are so many variables as each company/organisation is different.However you need to consider some of the following points which will give you some indications on your progress towards accreditation :
Have you got in place all the necessary documents?
Have you carried out business risk assessments, internal audits, communication, set targets and objectives etc and do you have records in place to support all of these?
Is there sufficient documented evidence (documents can be electronic as well as hard copy) to enable an auditor to follow the complete quality process from start to finish? Typically the auditor will want to see at least 3 projects at audit. Have you had a Management Review and are minutes available? Is all your measuring/monitoring equipment (where applicable) calibrated ? Do you have an Approved Supplier List, have you determined the criteria for supplier selection?
These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourselves. As a rule of thumb, you need to have at least 3 months worth of records to support your Quality System. Some people would argue that it is possible to achieve registration with less than 3 months records, but personally as an auditor as well as a consultant I think 3 months is a minimum. So if you are fully committed to achieving ISO9001 in a short space of time and you have the infrastructure and drive, it is possible to achieve ISO 9001 in 3 months from start to finish. But as I said earlier it could take considerably longer depending on the nature of the business, the complexity, the determination of the business and commitment.
QSC Quality Policy
Quality Systems Consultancy Ltd offers a professional service in advising clients on Quality,Environmental and Health & Safety Systems and information regarding legal requirements and regulations appertaining to the systems.
It is the Policy and Objective of the company to:
- Satisfy our customer’s needs and expectations taking into account legal and regulatory requirements ,by delivering world-class service to an agreed specification,on-time,every time.
- Operate,maintain and improve our documented Management System.
- Set and review our quality objectives to ensure continual improvement.
- Continuously review our operating practices with the aim of further improving our services to our customers.
- Achieving and sustaining these high standards requires a systematic and disciplined approach by all employees.The implementation of a documented Quality System that complies with BS EN ISO 9001:2015 provides a disciplined structure for the further development and improvement of company systems and services to meet our customers’ future needs.
- Compliance with the Quality System is mandatory for all personnel. Its success will be achieved by the commitment,dedication and participation of everyone in the company. Each employee will therefore receive the fullest training and support to ensure that the Quality System is understood, implemented and maintained throughout the company.
- This policy is available to all interested parties.
Should I appoint a Consultant?
Obtaining a quality standard like ISO 9001 isn’t particularly complicated and it’s possible that if you have the internal resources, you could probably do it all yourself.
Quality is like anything else . Doing it yourself means taking your eye of other possibly more pressing business issues. Try telling a customer that you can’t take his call because you’re working on the quality management system and you’ll soon see how costly things can get.
For this reason, many companies appoint a consultant in order to help them through the process and to ensure that all of the correct procedures are in place to get you through the registration process quickly and with the best chance of success.
You know your business like nobody else, but if you’re unfamiliar with the way quality accreditation bodies operate, then you could find yourself tripped up by something that could have been easily avoided.
QSC consultants , will work with you to ensure that your Quality Management System (QMS) is a true reflection of how your business operates. It’s not normally possible to simply use a template and hope for the best, which is exactly what some quality systems web sites will offer you – especially if they are selling a cheap QMS System.
We don’t believe in that approach at all. We only write bespoke systems for all our clients to ensure accuracy and integrity.There is no standard package when it comes to quality, so if you’re thinking of going for ISO 9001 registration, please call Andy Adams on 07900 558547 for an informal and confidential discussion .