Processes [procedures] are a key component of ISO compliance.
To be ISO compliant, you need to be able to tell the auditor how you do business. Your procedures describe how you do business. You need to be able to show that you follow those procedures. You will need to show specific documentation and appropriate signatures.
ISO9001 identifies about 40 procedures that need to be followed. They don’t define the procedures, you do. I would recommend that if you need others for your business, document them as well.
A definition might be – Procedures at every stage consume one or more resources [employee time, energy, machines or money] to convert inputs [data, material, parts, etc.] into outputs. These outputs serve as inputs for the next step until an end result is reached.
Inputs will always include information [data]. An employee will use the information to perform their task and as a result of performing that task, they will generate or extend that information. That output [data] becomes the input for the next step.
Control is Critical
Procedures are what give a company control over their activities. Procedures identify the steps that must be followed. It allows a company to measure the process and come up improvements to save time, money and increase quality.
ISO auditors will need to see those procedures. They will need to see evidence that your company follows those procedures. They will need to see who approved the completion of an activity. They will need to see documentation – the inputs and outputs of activities. They must be able to see document histories – how did the document arrive at its current state.
ISO is about Quality
ISO is about quality. Procedures and control of those procedures have proven to be good way to manage quality. If an activity is performed the same way every time, you can measure it and potentially improve it.
If your company plans on taking on ISO9001 compliance, it is a great idea to cultivate a culture of compliance.
Contact me if you would like to explore this further…