Purpose of the Quality Manual for an Organisation

C

CATERAF

#1
Hi,

I'm currently trying to help the company I work for get ISO 9001 certification and have done a very broad process map and started to define the quality policy and objectives, but i'm struggling a little with the quality manual.
I have no experience in anything QA-related so please bear with me as a I fumble my way through - this is somewhat of a challenge but I've found the Cove to have plenty of helpful information so far!

For a little bit of background about the company - we're a small railway engineering company (~25 employees) but we do a lot! We do innovation, manufacturing and recently, support services.

My current difficulty (of many!) is understanding the purpose of the quality manual from an organisation's point of view. I want to make a manual that is useful and used by the company, but i'm failing to understand why anyone would consult a manual after they've already initially been told the policy, objectives and the processes of the company?

The only time I see it being properly used would be if all procedures are placed in the manual, or for all management review meetings. This seems very minimal.

Perhaps it's because we're doing a wiki-based system that the manual doesn't seem as useful. I say this because the wiki will have everything categorised into functional company divisions so people would go there to find a procedure rather than look it up in a quality manual to find it out.

Any thoughts about this would be greatly appreciated! I'd love to hear how often and for what purposes other companies use their manuals??

Thanks!
 
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Peter Fraser

Trusted Information Resource
#2
Re: Quality Manual purpose for the organisation

If you are using a wiki (or any other electronic system) to describe your system then that IS your manual. I am not surprised that you find it difficult to understand the purpose of "the quality manual" - ISO9001 does not indicate any purpose for it (and even omits the quality policy from it).

Define your system, then use the standard to check if you have missed anything - you will be surprised how little you need to define to meet the requirements of the standard. Concentrate on producing something useful for the business.
 
C

CATERAF

#3
Re: Quality Manual purpose for the organisation

Thanks Peter!

That is an excellent response - and very fast!

It's good to see that I didn't really miss the 'purpose' while reading it. There's certainly plenty to wrap my head around.

As for the wiki being the manual - will we still need to create a few pages that are like a manual, and provide links to the things in the manual?
Or do we just need to have everything that the manual would have in it, and it can be wherever so long as it's there somewhere?

Thanks again for your response!
 
K

kgott

#5
Re: Quality Manual purpose for the organisation

Hi,

I'm currently trying to help the company I work for get ISO 9001 certification and have done a very broad process map and started to define the quality policy and objectives, but i'm struggling a little with the quality manual.

Thanks!
The purpose of the manual is provide a road map to the company order-to-cash-in-the-bank mangement system for staff, and to provide customers and potential customers with the impression that the organisation is a well oiled, switched on organisation who has a mangement system that's efficient, effective and will hold up stong through thick and thin.

Its not meant to regurgitate ISO 9001 but to show how its used to control and manage key processes.
 
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