Personable ISO 9001:2000 Quality Manual???


Change Agent and Data Storyteller
Super Moderator
If you write it, they will read it...

Okay, so it's a play on whatever baseball film that Costner was in (he's been in so many, it's hard to keep track :) ). The ISO 14001 forum has a discussion on merging the manuals for multiple standards, so I'll mention a bit about what I said there.

Our Chilean sister facility has developed an Operations System that combines ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001. Not all of the Elements are the same and yet somehow they managed to develop a 28 page Operations Manual that covers all three Standards and addresses all of the applicable "shall's" :cool:

Their manual is not written in the form of an ISO Standard. It's written for them...for their Customers....for all of their Stakeholders. The language is simple and appropriate for the industry and location. And, truth be told, it's actually rather interesting to read. They've managed to successfully blend three systems into one truly functional and dynamic system, while keeping it true to who they are.

It's not easy to write a manual that isn't just a revamp of the Standard, where you read "organization" to mean "insert your company's name here" ;) . Obviously, though, it can be done.

Richard, my concern is that your Managers seem to want you to revise something that is, technically speaking, done. Why spend the time revising it now? It meets the shall's...sure, it's nothing that for the continual improvement. Tell your External's later that you revised the manual's format so that it would appeal to your Stakeholders (including Customers). For now, imho, it's done...go focus on other parts of the sytem that need work (if necessary).

Al Dyer

Albiet my cynical opinion, the only people that will read the Quality Manual after desk audited to ensure that all the shalls have been addressed are:


The guts of a quality system are in the procedures, instruction, and forms/records.

-An auditor doesn't want to read a policy manual when on the job!

-The customer usually has an M.R. or such that will file it with the other policy manuals that read the same, especially if there is too much prose. Quality/engineering types are not usually the type that want their reading to be cute and sweet. As Joe Friday said, just the facts mam!

-The supplier will do the same thing, except that they will review it before filing.

Is it really cost effective to make a technical quality manual read like a Tom Clancy novel or a romance paperback?


Please don't take this as scarcasm towards you personally, just the thought processes of some people that direct such endeavors.

Jimmy Olson

I figured everyone would get a kick out the comments I received from management. Believe me, I'm laughing just as much as any of you, if not more.

I've actually managed to reach a compromise (I didn't think that was possible with managers:) ). Instead of trying to liven up the whole thing, the introduction will be rewritten to be more reader friendly. I think I might put in a warning after the intro though so that people will know the rest of the manual may be extremely boring. :vfunny:

Al Dyer


Keep up your sense of humor and thought process, you will go far!:)
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