How to Start

The are two options available for writing the system. These are as follows:

The “Standard” Based Approach

The Quality Manual is written summarising each of the procedures of the “standard” ISO 9001:2008 series. Theoretically, this covers the business processes. In practice, it can prove to be hard to understand and operate as duplication and extra cross-referencing is required, and this often ranges beyond the standard requirement.

The “Process” Based Approach

Procedures can be developed from the Standard and implemented directly into the Quality Manual. This system is easy to understand, and only those elements directly required by the Standard will be developed, thereby minimising the total amount of paperwork. In fact, in many instances, some of the Standard Elements may be combined or may not be applicable at that time.

The method that is recommended for progressing most Quality Systems is based on the “Process” approach. The systematic approach, enables people starting up their procedures, whether they do it alone or with the help of a Quality Consultant, to fully understand a number of things. What they are doing; why they are doing it; how they are going about it; where everything fits into place and what are the benefits for doing it.

Introduction

There are a number of stages to go through to write the Quality Documentation for you to achieve certification for your quality procedures. The Australian Standard models and guidebooks are prepared numerically from 4.0 to 8.5. It is necessary, not only to address all of these procedures, but also link them together to show how all the sections that affect your business are interrelated.

We have constructed a general route using the Document Development Questionnaire, which, if followed, takes you through the procedures needed for your business in a simple and logical fashion.

A. The first step is to ask these questions:

  • What does your company do, and now that you are proposing to document the quality system of the business, what is your company’s commitment to providing that product or service.
  • Who in your organisation does what, and how do their tasks interrelate with each other.
  • In terms of people and equipment, what do you need to carry out and improve your business?
  • Now that you operate in a Quality System environment, what arrangements are you going to make to have regular meetings, where the workings of the business are discussed and planned?

These questions help you start your Quality System preparation with a general overview. This section also ensures that all documents, including data, manuals, forms, registers etc., are developed and kept up to date. Thus everyone will know, what information is required, whether it is being used, and what purpose it has. This includes the document control register that records what all the quality documents are and where they are kept. The document control register will constantly be updated as the System progresses and new documents and forms are developed or revised.

B. Turn now to section 5 management commitment.

The area of management responsibility, commitment, a focus on the enterprise quality policy and its procedures are found in Element 5.0 of the AS / NZS 9001:2008 series. This helps you understand what your company has been doing and the direction you intend to take.

C. The next procedure to consider is 6 resource management.

Here, all the different types of resources from human to material, infrastructure and the work environment are considered, registered, identified and documented. This section will grow naturally as the System is developed and is very simple.

D. Once you can see where you want the company to be, how it will achieve that and have records to show how it is going to do it, you need to show what the forms, documents, people and machines are used to do.

Section 7 produce realisation shows how to plan and control the business activities.

By flow-charting your critical business processes, you are able to illustrate an overall view of all your business activities, then list and maintain your equipment.

E. You are now in a position to measure, analyse and improve the system through section 8.

This is a simple method of controlling your activities by documenting what you have done and how it is starting to fit together. You can then begin to document exactly what shall be done to improve the system through regular internal audits.
At this point, you have seriously begun to prepare your own Quality System, and will have a good understanding of what is involved in the quality management of your own business.

You now have elements and it is up to you to assess each of the processes, and address them.

The reason for a quality system is to ensure the central business processes are operating in the most efficient way. It helps the people responsible for the actions within each process, to know what and why they are doing something.

Keep the system simple, functional and relevant.


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