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  ISO 9001/4:2000
  Quality Manual use

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Author Topic:   Quality Manual use
posted 03 July 2001 02:57 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How many companies do you think ACTUALLY use their quality manual as a guide? I was just tweaking the scope of ours to better represent what we do and I started thinking "what a useless piece of crap!" "nobody is going to use this or any other quality manual!" The procedures?, maybe. The work instructions?, probably. But the quality manual? Waste of time. Nobody reads it, it is reviewed only when it has to be and it really is only written because it is required. It serves no purpose really. I have written quality manuals for 5 different companies at this point, all of them have been acceptable to the Registrars. I had a thought, why not just require that registered companies use the ISO standard itself as a quality manual? After all, everyone I know uses the standard as a guide for their manual, in fact, most number their manual to coincide with the standard. Please don't write back telling me that the Quality Manual is the coenerstone of any QMS and your company uses it to cure Cancer, end world hunger, patch the hole in the ozone, blah, blah, blah. 'cause I know it ain't true. Nobody actually uses their quality manual for anything except sending to customers (who don't read it either) and passing ISO audits because they have to. I think I need to get on that TC 176 and act like the Jurors in the movie "12 angry men"! Where do I get an ISO TC application?


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Forum Contributor

Posts: 90
From:Rochester, NY
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 03 July 2001 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ISO GUY   Click Here to Email ISO GUY     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Call your Registrar and they can tell you where to get the application. I must say you have some pretty interesting comments. Have a great 4th of July!!!

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Al Dyer
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Posts: 814
From:Lapeer, MI USA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 03 July 2001 06:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Unfortunatly you are correct for the mass of companies. A policy manual is just as you said, a re-gurgitation of the standard that the auditor looks at and assesses if all topics are covered.

One bright spot is the good registrars that require the policy manual to make reference to the level 2 documents.

I've reviewed many registrars and the good ones give you a check sheet to map the correlation between the different levels of documentation.

Procedures, work instructions, and forms are the most used.

I could go into more detail, but the policy manual is the least used document in an organization (good or bad).

Think about it another way. The Policy Manual contains all the requirements plus a general policy statement. Too many companies make this general policy statement too intricate for all employees to understand.

One policy statement that has worked for me if:

"People striving to turn customers into fans."

Short, sweet, and easy to remember. Let management decide how the policy statement is
effective and suitable for their business.



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Laura M
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Posts: 310
From:Rochester, NY US
Registered: Aug 1999

posted 03 July 2001 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Laura M   Click Here to Email Laura M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bad quality manuals regergitate the standard. Good ones interpret the standard for a given company. It's easiest to follow the sequence of ISO9000, but not required.
That's why canned ones are trouble. Good policy manuals leave little question to who is responsible if there is a new requirement or a problem that needs addressing.

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James Gutherson
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Posts: 43
From:Sydney, NSW, Australia

posted 03 July 2001 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Gutherson   Click Here to Email James Gutherson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree whole-heartedly, in most cases organisations see the requirements for the ideal Quality Manual is that it is thick enough to prop up that uneven table leg in the corner.

To combat this, I have incorporated the Quality Manual requirements of ISO9001 into our intranet site, again structured around the way we do business rather than the Standard. A simple Matrix on the site provides the auditors with the references they need.

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Posts: 54
From:Manila, Philippines
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 05 July 2001 02:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Raffy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with you too guys. Actually in most cases, Quality Manual was been opened and reviewed only whenever there's a surveillance audit coming up.

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