QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to Do?

How many pages is your QMS Manual?

  • 1 to 5 Pages

    Votes: 12 4.4%
  • 6 to 10 Pages

    Votes: 21 7.7%
  • 11 to 15 Pages

    Votes: 24 8.9%
  • 16 to 20 Pages

    Votes: 33 12.2%
  • 21 to 25 Pages

    Votes: 31 11.4%
  • 25 to 30 Pages

    Votes: 27 10.0%
  • 31 to 35 Pages

    Votes: 24 8.9%
  • 36 to 40 Pages

    Votes: 24 8.9%
  • 41 to 45 Pages

    Votes: 16 5.9%
  • 46 to 50 Pages

    Votes: 16 5.9%
  • 51 to 60 Pages

    Votes: 29 10.7%
  • Resembles Juran's Handbook

    Votes: 9 3.3%
  • We have no manual per se

    Votes: 5 1.8%

  • Total voters
I have created a quality manual for our company which is 40 pages. It simply covers every element with a paragragh or so, except for Management Responsibility is covered in the manual instead of a procedure.
My superiors feel the manual should only be 3 or 4 pages long. Most of this reasoning is from different companies who have claimed to be certified.
Am I wrong in assuming a 3 or 4 page manual would not be adequate, and what exactly would be accurate?
Thanks, Dawn

Scott Knutson

Boy, I've seen lots of different approaches to quality manuals, but I must say that I've never heard of a quality manual that small. The QS9000 manual says that you have to prepare a quality manual that ". . . covers the requirements of this international standard. The manual shall include or make reference to the quality system procedures and outline the structure of the documentation used in the quality system." I would have a hard time believing that you can address all of this in 3 or 4 pages.


Retired Old Goat
Staff member
You *might* get a registrar to buy it with ISO9000 by showing everything is covered elsewhere (in tier 2's, etc.), but I seriously doubt it would fly. I would ask for a copy of a Quality Manual from the company claiming to have done this which is currently registered. I've never heard of Company Confidential Quality Manual. Share it with us.

I simply do not believe it. I want evidence.

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member

I believe you are on the correct path. In agreement with Marc, placing policy (level 1) into the procedural level documents (level 2) makes it difficult for a Registrar (anyone for that matter) to do a good desk study. This may lead to problems during registration. This unstructured Quality Program method is the road less traveled, and probably for good reason. I would not recommend this method, although I have seen it work (to my amazement). Lengths for Quality Manuals will vary greatly. 3-4 pages? I'd have to see that to believe it. My original Quality Manual was 24 pages and was inclusive of some of the Managament Responsibility and the Quality System element points. If you add the organiizational charts, then 30 pages.

I may have been a bit more wordy in the Quality Manual than in our procedures, but I thought it more important to make this document an easier read as well as more visually appealing to our Customers. Generally speaking, a Customer will request the Quality Manual for your company and not the Level 2 documentation. How would you, or the General Manager in your company, feel handing out a 3-4 page Quality Manual? Is this how Senior Management wants to sell the company's commitment to Quality? Probably not. It sounds to me that you may be on the right road.

Howard Atkins

Forum Administrator
Staff member
I agree with Kevin.
Our QM is 30 pages and includes references to the level 2 documentation. Customers want to see this and we give it out all the time to them and by their reactions this appears to be what they want.
I suggest that the copies that you give out to customers etc. are marked "uncontrolled copy" this prevents problems with document distribution etc, and shows that you are aware of all the ramifications of controlled documents.
All the best


Retired Old Goat
Staff member
Up until about 1994 you could often get thru ISO with a very abbreviated quality manual. As time has progressed interpretations and expectations have drifted. I have a quality manual for ISO9002 somewhere in my mess here which is 14 pages. It wouldn't fly now.


In ref. to the size. My Procedure Manual not including the Visio Flow Charts relating to Procedures is over 50,000 words. The Quality Manual is over 35,000 words. It covers every thing. We have to realize that mistakes will happen so we need to prevent Major non-conformance to QS requirements. So don't hide anything. My new E-Mail is bmay1913@aol.com
Bill from Ford at Sharonville, Ohio

Alex Grguric

Ask your superiors "what font size for a 3-4 page quality document?" I think they must be refering to each element in the manual should not exceed 4 pages.


Quality Manual For Automotive Industries

Hi you all quality gurus!!!

I need a BIG favor from all of you.
Im in this quality course, and i have an assigment, that i need to look into the internet for the Quality Manual of an Automotive Factory, such as FORD.

Does anyone know where i can find this or someone has it please notify, could you send it to me, please!


Atul Khandekar

Quite Involved in Discussions

I am sure someone from Ford will be able to help you out with this. Not sure if Ford Quality Manual is available on the net though.

There are a lot of QS manuals from many other companies that you can find if you search using Google. Most would be in PDF formats. Yoy can download them from the internet and study them for your assignment.

Good Luck!:bigwave:

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