How can I translate ISO 9001 into something employees can understand?




We are trying to implement an ISO 9001:2000 Quality System at our company and we are now rewriting our manual and our procedures etc.

But isn't it all this just a waste of time and money if you dont get the people within your company to understand ISO and see the benefits of it?

I believe this is the biggest problem when you are implementing a QMS.

How can you get your personnel to work according to the ISO 9001:2000 QMS? I dont believe that just establishing their needs and expectations in regard to acknowledgement, satisfaction and individual development will do the job. How do you change the vague requirements in the ISO 9001:2000 manual to something you can work with?

I hope somebody can help me with this

Re: commitment

Hi there, and welcome,

I'd say you described the problem very accurately, and it's a common one to say the least. I have no patented solution, but the main thing is to get people to participate when you build the QMS. To make it their system...


Craig H.


I have often said, in frustration, that it would be easier to "do" ISO 9000 in a start-up company - maybe I'll try that one day.

The fact is that you have a "going concern", one that is successfully conducting business. The angle we took was to document what we were doing, and do a "gap analysis" (I didn't even know what it was called then) to figure out what else was needed. Often many of the requirements of the standard are in place already, or almost. They just don't have a big signpost on them. Find them and provide the signpost.

This might be even easier to do with the 2000 series than it was with 1994.

Hope this helps. Good Luck!!

Brad Serangeli

One thing that I have found usefull is that when you go to your people you simple state that all you want to do is to have written document that shows what they do and why they do it. Alot of these people now feel that there insigfigant jobs mean something to your overall product.
Isn't the simplest reason for ISO to :state what you do, do what you state?

Randy Stewart


Welcome rmf,
I have found that if you instill a sense of ownership in the project you get better results. As for understanding ISO, don't go there. The people need to understand their process and procedures not ISO, it's your system not ISO's.

My next question is why are you re-writing? Don't change your system or procedures. If they're working why change? It's not a requirement, it serves no real purpose and it confuses everyone. Adapt where you need to, insert if need be but don't change you business systems just for ISO.

It's not an easy task, but not an impossible one.

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