The Quality Policy - How General or Specific should a Quality Policy be stated?

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#1
Top management shall ensure that the quality policy
a) is appropriate to the purpose of the organization,
The above is from the ISO9001 at 5.3
How specific or general must this purpose be stated here ?
Must the purpose of the organization be stated at all ?
Should this be connected to the scope of the QMS ?
Ex: If one is in the business of manufacturing battery operated toys, should it state this, or just toys, or entertainment goods, or electromechanical products.
Will CB's have a good look at this in the Stage 1 and often suggest correction ?
 
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Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#2
Re: Question on the Quality Policy

The above is from the ISO9001 at 5.3
How specific or general must this purpose be stated here ?
Must the purpose of the organization be stated at all ?
Should this be connected to the scope of the QMS ?
Ex: If one is in the business of manufacturing battery operated toys, should it state this, or just toys, or entertainment goods, or electromechanical products.
Will CB's have a good look at this in the Stage 1 and often suggest correction ?
Most quality policies that I've seen make no mention of specific types of products or services. In fact, most are so generic as to be interchangeable except for company names. I don't think anyone pays much attention to them.
 

harry

Super Moderator
#3
Re: Question on the Quality Policy

In theory, the policy serves as a road map to guide the establishment of objectives and related kpi's but operations people are so well versed with the processes that they don't need the guidance provided by the policy. In-fact, many wondered what it is as evidence by the number of questions asked here.
 

ScottK

Not out of the crisis
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Re: Question on the Quality Policy

In theory, the policy serves as a road map to guide the establishment of objectives and related kpi's but operations people are so well versed with the processes that they don't need the guidance provided by the policy. In-fact, many wondered what it is as evidence by the number of questions asked here.
I agree with the that theory and use the Quality Policy that way. ISO9001 and 13485 specifically say it shall "provide a framework for establishing and reviewing quality objectives".

In reality - The quality policy is that the company makes of it.
I've found it most useful in implementing and ISO9001 system because it's good jumping off point for training the general population of the organization and developing those first quality objectives. Once the system is established I use it for refresher training and in management review for reviewing objectives.

Does it mean anything to external customers? Probably not.

As to the original question - no. I've never writen one that calls out products or processes. The products/processes should be called out in the scope of the QMS as required in 4.2.2 a or the scope of the registration.
 

PE-2011

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
Re: Question on the Quality Policy - How General or Specific should it be stated?

The above is from the ISO9001 at 5.3
How specific or general must this purpose be stated here ?
Must the purpose of the organization be stated at all ?
Should this be connected to the scope of the QMS ?
Ex: If one is in the business of manufacturing battery operated toys, should it state this, or just toys, or entertainment goods, or electromechanical products.
Will CB's have a good look at this in the Stage 1 and often suggest correction ?
Dear Mr.Somashekar,
Quality Policy and Objective is like Vision-Mission, goals-achievement - of an organization. But Scope is what is company's business like Design, Development, Manufacturing of ..... product.

Example - business of manufacturing battery operated toys company, can have Quality Policy like "To become No.1 toys manufacturing company" or something and can have QMS Scope like "Design and Manufacturing, Supply of ..... toys."
 
S

samsung

#6
Re: Question on the Quality Policy - How General or Specific should it be stated?

The above is from the ISO9001 at 5.3
How specific or general must this purpose be stated here ?
Must the purpose of the organization be stated at all ?
Should this be connected to the scope of the QMS ?
Ex: If one is in the business of manufacturing battery operated toys, should it state this, or just toys, or entertainment goods, or electromechanical products.
Will CB's have a good look at this in the Stage 1 and often suggest correction ?
Mention of 'products' in the policy is neither necessary nor it is implied from the stated requirement. The requirement speaks "be appropriate to the purpose of the organization" and in my opinion, the foremost purpose of an organization cannot be just to produce the products but to create and retain customers, identify and satisfy their requirements (all other interested parties included). Products are 'means' (not the reason to exist) by which organizations achieve their purpose (mission) and the purpose can't be anything other than/ less than 'customer satisfaction'. Such an intention as well as the means to achieve it is essentially included in all the quality policies and IMO it should serve the purpose of CB as well.

One can say it's (customer focus) a very generic statement but afterall this is why the organizations operate and exist.
 

Ajit Basrur

Staff member
Admin
#7
The above is from the ISO9001 at 5.3
How specific or general must this purpose be stated here ?
Must the purpose of the organization be stated at all ?
Should this be connected to the scope of the QMS ?
Ex: If one is in the business of manufacturing battery operated toys, should it state this, or just toys, or entertainment goods, or electromechanical products.
Will CB's have a good look at this in the Stage 1 and often suggest correction ?
Hi soma,

How specific or general must this purpose be stated here ?

It can be very general but ensure that the "standard requirement" like continually meeting expectations etc. should be complied.

Must the purpose of the organization be stated at all ?

Not required as its covered in Vision and Mission. Many companies say that they want be top manufacturere in that state or city or reach Sales of xx billion etc.

Should this be connected to the scope of the QMS ?
Ex: If one is in the business of manufacturing battery operated toys, should it state this, or just toys, or entertainment goods, or electromechanical products.

Again not a must as covered in Vision and Mission.

Will CB's have a good look at this in the Stage 1 and often suggest correction ?
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#8
Thanks for all the views. I was of the opinion that the "appropriate to the purpose of the organization" part of the policy must come from committing this that and everything stuff by what we do in the organization like for example
providing of electrical machines or
providing of transport services or
providing of medical devices or
something such.
 
P

pldey42

#9
Good set of answers, to which I'd like to add, if I may:

Managers are keen that the management system is effective, and this is one characteristic that auditors specifically check. To do that objectively, quality objectives have to be measurable. But how to audit quality objectives? How to be sure that, as managers, our measurable quality objectives are useful to our business, its customers and stakeholders? Answer: identify measurable quality objectives that are consistent with the quality policy.

This is why, as someone said, 5.3.c "framework for establishing and reviewing quality objectives" is arguably the most important of the requirements for the policy, and why "meet ISO 9001 requirements" is rather weak as a policy.

A good quality policy is top managememnt's answer to the questions, "What are we doing? For whom? Why?" It's often answered by the mission and vision, which is fine. (It doesn't have to be called the quality policy; whatever it is, it just has to meet the requirements.)

IIRC Disney's Magic Kingdom at Orlando has a quality policy which is something like "Every child leaves the park with a smile on his or her face." (Can anyone point me to a reference for this? I'd hate to have remembered wrongly.)

It's a great policy because it drives a huge range of behaviours. The rides are not only fun, but they're safe. There are amusements while they wait in queues, like meeting characters and watching bands. The park is clean -- kids cry when they step in a nasty mess. You never see the characters out of costume, on a smoking break or gossiping. All the lights work at night. When there's a problem it's dealt with quickly by empowered employees. Keep 'em smiling, all the time.

The behaviours driven by this policy go beyond the rides, to the whole experience - walking in a clean, safe environment, good management of accidents and lost kids, proactive management of safety, fun between one ride and the next, ... It's measurable too: watch 'em leaving the park and count the smiles.

I think a good quality policy is magic, because it drives behaviours both in normal operations, and when there's a problem. It also aligns everyone towards what matters, and renders it all measurable through the quality objectives. Good policies often include something like, "Deliver what the customer wants, in full, on time, and working." (But dressed up in management-speak, of course.)

5.3 is IMHO the most under-rated clause in ISO 9001l; yet in the hands of good leaders, it's perhaps the most powerful.

Hope this helps,
Pat
 
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