Qualityze Podcast : Maintaining and Managing Quality Policy: How can EQMS software help?
Quality policies describe your company’s intentions, goals, and guidelines in relation to quality. You must create one to define your company’s policies that will benefit various stakeholders. Instead of just a written statement, make it more valuable and practical. For example, be sure to include a plan for continuous improvement. Moreover, top management’s responsibility is to exchange information with interested parties. Further, they intend to distribute and communicate the quality policy internally.
Ensure that your employees feel committed to your organization’s objectives by providing them with the conditions they need to succeed.
Your quality policy is essential to the functioning of your QMS and, consequently, to your business in general. This highest-level objective will guide every action and decision by your team for the system’s function. Having a thoughtful, intentional quality policy in place and communicating it across your entire team will help align your team to the same goal. It goes beyond importance — it’s an inevitable component of your QMS’s success.
Please consider the following points as a guide for those of you who are considering how to structure your Quality Policy.
What are the steps involved in establishing a quality policy?
To continually improve your company results, your quality policy must include a commitment to fulfilling all company and stakeholder requirements. A quality policy should be created after verifying the organization’s context, identifying specific processes, and clearly defining its goals to support the company’s strategic direction.
In addition to providing a reference system for setting objectives, the document’s description should reflect a commitment from management.
A company’s quality policy will provide an overview of how quality is thought about and practiced day-to-day for all stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders.
The policy is frequently consulted and tested to ensure that objectives, targets, and critical analysis align with the policy as stated during quality audits. The text must be clear, easy to understand, and without excessive formality or confusion.
It is essential to consider your company’s strategies and specificities when drafting this document. Using examples and templates from the internet may not reflect your organization’s strategic direction and objectives, resulting in nonconformities in audits and problems with your management system.
It comes under the responsibility of top management to establish, document, and communicate the quality policy and to make it available to interested parties. The quality policy is typically documented in a company’s quality manual, communicated to employees during a training session, and displayed throughout the facility as a reminder.
An organization must ensure that all employees understand, implement, and adhere to the quality policy. Different places have different methods of making policies public. Here are some examples of how companies have raised awareness about the policy by exposing it to the public:
The organization must conduct periodic assessments of how this knowledge is seeded within employees and hold continual training to explain how company policies are measured and controlled throughout the organization. You should also inform everyone who works for and on behalf of your organization, including subcontractors, temporary workers, and remote workers. Each of them must know their roles and responsibilities regarding the policy.
It takes more than just writing a slogan to create a quality management policy statement that is both purposeful and meaningful. In the company’s quality declaration, it is imperative to define the importance of these fundamental subjects clearly. Organizations must also be held accountable for meeting stated expectations. Under ISO quality policy, the company’s goals and direction must be derived from the knowledge and experience of top management and be written, documented, communicated, and enforced.
ISO standards require you to meet several further requirements. For a policy to be considered compliant with ISO, it must first complete the ISO goals. Then, it must actively and adequately serve your organization’s business purpose as defined by the context and meaning of your organization.
Quality management policies should also clearly support the business’s strategic direction and serve as a basis for determining quality objectives. You must evaluate objectives that work toward achieving the policy’s overarching goal. Ensure your company’s commitment to continuous improvement of its quality management system and meeting all applicable requirements is included.
Related Article: A Guide to Quality Objectives
All interested parties must access a current version of the quality policy’s documentation. In addition, all employees must understand and apply the quality policy, so easy access is essential.
Identify three key functions of your business by examining its roots:
Your quality policy statement will combine these functions to bring them all together, aiming them at quality, and stating your intention, commitment, and goals.
There is a good chance that any number of plans you have already developed state this information – your company’s purpose, context, and strategic direction. Growth and development plans, financial goal setting, and forecasting all play a crucial role in keeping the entire organization on the same page.
Make sure you pin down your executive leadership team to determine these three critical definers if these foundational building blocks do not exist in your organization – whether you are a small business, a start-up, or simply focus more on getting stuff done than writing stuff down. The mission and growth of your organization should be driven by the overarching purpose, context, and strategic direction of your organization.
A quality policy is a statement that focuses on your quality goals and commitments. As you write it with your QMS implementation team, you will weave together your purpose, context, and strategic direction. The policy will fall into place once the deep work is completed. To maximize your business’s quality performance, your ISO quality policy statement should be specific to your company, establishing the quality benchmarks that will make the biggest difference.
While organizations need not adhere to any specific quality policy format, they should ensure that their statement addresses their purpose, context, and strategic direction.
Let’s take a look at a sample quality policy statement.
All Services, Inc.
Quality management is based on these fundamentals.
“All Services, Inc. strives to provide excellent telecommunications services and provide excellent customer service without compromising quality. By providing advanced networking solutions at the lowest costs possible, we will assist our customers to experience operational excellence. Our services are continuously improved, and we adhere to ISO requirements for excellence. Our goal is to meet or exceed our customers’ expectations while meeting applicable standards such as ISO – 33.040 – Telecommunication systems.”
There is no doubt about whose responsibility it is to maintain quality management starting with the company’s fundamentals.
The quality assurance statement you develop and approve will be used by your organization as a guide for developing all quality objectives. The quality policy can be used to direct customer interactions while keeping the company’s overarching goals at the forefront.
A quality objective is what is desired, measurable, and achievable by a process in terms of quality. The quality of your deliverable can be influenced by any number of specific facets of your company. Taking policy steps down into your operation, they facilitate the delivery of high-quality products and services for your clients.
For example, All Services, Inc.’s policy clearly states its aim to deliver excellent telecommunication services for its customers. Creating an objective to measure the time it takes to respond to customer complaints is one way they can actively demonstrate this part of their quality management policy. It can be written as “address all the customer complaints regarding poor service within 12 hours.” and “keep your customers informed if it takes longer than 12 hours to resolve the issue.”
As you plan and implement the ISO standard, you’ll spend most of your time working on your quality policy. But you can’t just finish it and call it a day. It will become a working piece of your quality management system after your quality policy has been released as a controlled document. Your company’s baseline should be reviewed yearly during a management meeting to ensure that it remains appropriate. Every organization has to deal with changing business conditions and a changing strategic direction. If those changes occur, you will probably need to change your quality policy and related objectives.
Unfortunately, paper-based systems for managing quality processes and policies are not as efficient as they once were. As an alternative, you can implement a cloud-based enterprise quality management solution. An EQMS helps establish closed-loop workflows of industry proven best-practices, building a culture of quality within organization. In addition, the software makes the change process error-free and efficient.
The next-generation EQMS solutions like Qualityze EQMS Suite are robust, reliable, and secure. Moreover, they provide greater flexibility to manage end-to-end quality across the globe.
ISO 9001 policies can be complex to implement owing to several factors. However, we are ready to assist you at Qualityze Inc. and will help you transform your QMS into Quality Decision Making Engine.
For more information, please get in touch with our customer success team at email@example.com, or you can give us a call at 1-877-207-8616, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.