A quality management system (QMS) enables businesses and other organisations to consistently meet their quality objectives in the delivery of the products and services they supply.
The international standard, ISO 9001, describes a form of quality management system that can be externally audited for compliance by an independent certification body. An organisation gaining certification to ISO 9001 can display that status in all of its corporate literature and communication materials.
Quality management systems complying with ISO 9001 are designed to ensure that both customer and supplier expectations will be met in any transaction. A quality assurance system will provide a means of ensuring that all processes and procedures affecting required quality attributes will be under control and that all relevant inputs of skills, capabilities, labour and materials, both from internal resources and external suppliers, will meet requirements.
An ISO 9001 compliant system will also have procedures for the identification, analysis and rectification of defects, or non-conformances, as well as for the reduction or elimination of similar incidents in future.
In sum, an ISO 9001 quality management system should be an administratively right-sized, operationally-relevant, dynamic system with a focus on achieving a steady and continuing improvement in the certified organisation’s quality performance.
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Click here for background information on ISO 9000.