The quality policy should be underpinned by individual objectives either across people, departments or processes:
- Is written by the company and for the company (perhaps with a little coaching from a consultant!)
- Commits to continual improvement (the most important area of the standard)
- Discusses or links to how quality objectives are developed – interesting one here – which came first the policy or the individual objectives – we are convinced it should be objectives first. No need for a detailed breakdown in the policy, much more likely they are an agenda item in review meetings. Better still an objective should be displayed at the place the process is done, even better, with live information so everyone can see how they are doing and contributing.
- Once a decision about policy have been made, everyone affected is made aware how it will impact on them – how they are made aware is down to you. How effective your communication of policy has been will be included as part of an audit.
- The policy is regularly reviewed to ensure it is still suitable and subsequently communicated within the company and available to interested parties
As mentioned earlier about Management Review, this becomes one of the prime focuses of the standard and should not be undertaken lightly. Don’t do it for doing its sake. Do it because it involves everyone and they are affected.
Example of a quality policy:
It is the policy of ABC co. to provide its customers with a high quality service and to meet contractual specifications and requirements. Where applicable, these services will conform to relevant National and International Standards or regulations.
The context and strategic objective of the company is to achieve long-term profitability by providing the highest possible level of event management service to our customers. All services should be executed in a manner which sets and maintains a level of service consistent with the requirements and expectations of customers. All employees will also strive to continually improve services and processes to enhance customer satisfaction.
This quality policy is measured and reviewed through the quality objectives. These are set and reviewed by the Directors on a monthly basis at Management Reviews. Implementation of the policy is the responsibility of every member of staff, starting with the Directors who take policy decisions. The Operations Director acts as the Quality Manager. He is responsible for maintaining and implementing the quality policy and quality management system.
The Quality Assurance Manual and procedures are dynamic documents. They describe the policies, procedures and operating practices to be followed. It is mandatory that every member of staff understands how the system affects them and knowingly contribute to the continual improvement of the company.
A copy of this Quality Policy and the Company Objectives statement is issued to all employees and is available to other interested parties as appropriate.
The Quality Management System is consistent with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015. It ensures that activities are controlled in a manner compatible with achieving required service levels and obligations effectively. It is mandatory that all staff adhere to the documented procedures in order to achieve a consistent approach.