How Can I Remember the ISO 9001 Clauses?



Is there any easy methods/ways to remember the ISO 9001 clauses 4.1- 4.20 clauses .I get always confused .It will be useful particularly when doing Quality audits?


John C

I was working with ISO 9002 for quite a while before I discovered the convenient way the standard was put together with everything in ‘real time’ order. From that moment I developed a liking for the standard and admiration for the people who first designed it (BS or US Mil Std people before them?).
Suddenly, I could visualise the standard laid out on the system it was supposed to control instead of just as an arbitrary set of requirements. It is still useful for me but, unfortunately, ISO 9001:2000 will probably put an end to this.

I see the standard broken into 4 distinct areas and it is very easy to remember them this way;

Section 1. Management’s direct involvement; 4.1 and 4.2;
Considering a company setting up a quality (documented) system; It is senior management that must make the decision and take responsibility and the logical first thing they will do is decide their policy (4/1/1). Then they will consider what people should be involved ( and what resources they need ( - with the people they’ll include a Management representative ( and, lastly, senior management remember that someone will have to review performance - they decide to do it themselves (4.1.3).
With everyone together and the objectives set (policy), the next thing is to put together the documented (quality) system (4.2.1)consisting of two parts - procedures first (4.2.2), of course and then quality planning (4.2.3).

Section 2; Getting down to business - dealing with the customer and the purchasing responsibilities;
We can’t do anything without a contract. (4.3)
And, if the contract is for a product we need to design, then we have to see to that. (4.4)
The output of design is documents and we have to control these and also our procedures and plans. (4.5) and changes of same (4.5.3).
Now we are going to build something so we need to purchase material (4.6.1), evaluate subcontractors (4.6.2) and give them the information about what we want to buy (4.6.3)
But if we are building with someone else’s material, then we have ways of looking after that (4.7)

Section 3. We are into the manufacturing (or business) area; It starts with controlling the flow of product (4.8) and the process (4.9), then inspection and test of what we build 4.10, which brings us to the need for control of test equipment (4.11) and indication of test status (4.12).
This leads to some rejects so they have to be controlled (4.13)
and we need to take some corrective action as a result (4.14)
and move the good and the bad product out (4.15)

Section 4. Reviewing and tidying up; Having contracted for a job and finally delivered the product, we now make sure our records are in place (4.16) and review our performance (4.17) before getting on with the next job. We probably find we need some extra training (4.18) and we may even get a call for some servicing (4.19) (whatever that means - I never figured this out - some people think it means repairing field returns but I think it means visiting your customer and maintaining or repairing equipment)
Oh, yes, Statistical Techniques! We forgot them, of course, so we’ll tag them on at the end. (4.20)
rgds, John C

[This message has been edited by John C (edited 25 October 2000).]

Al Dyer

No easy method,

Read, Absorb, Understand, and only answer questions after you review the standards.


Steven Truchon

I dont try to remember, that requires use of valuable memory space <gr>. But I do keep a printed list in full view at my desk and one taped down securely on my clipboard for reference. Over time and through many audits and related activities the list has become embedded in my mind and I find I dont refer to the list nearly as often.


Super Moderator
When asked for his phone number one time, Albert Einstein looked it up in a phone book. He said it was a waste to remember something that he could go to a reference for.

I feel the same way about clauses.


Fully vaccinated are you?
Originally posted by Steven Truchon:

I don't try to remember, that requires use of valuable memory space....
It took me a couple of years but after - well, I guess it's been 8 years or more - I pretty much know the old version by heart. The new version I will learn the old fashioned way - as I use it, sooner or later I'll remember it all. Probably. Hopefully. I'm getting old...

Greg Mack

It is really like learning the words to a song. You never really get it all until you listen over and over.

The same with the Standard. It is easy to remember though if you think about it in an orderly manner.

For example, The way it is structured would be how the parts of the system should be strung together in order - at least it works that way for me.

I am very comfortable with the new Standard already, and know it pretty much off hand. I achieved this by reading not only ISO9001, but 9004 and HB 90.0 (which helped me relate new sections to the old)

After that, I completed an adequacy audit on our current system to the new Standard.

If you don't want to do that, then you could tape you own voice reading each clause and play the tape each night before you go to bed.
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