Keshav Ram Singhal
Let us begin with the concept of quality policy in a quality management system of an organization. The quality policy shapes an approach of the organization to its commitment. A quality policy must: (i) be appropriate to the purpose of the organization, (ii) be appropriate to the context of the organization, (iii) support strategic direction of the organization, (iv) provide a framework for setting quality objectives, (v) include a commitment to satisfy applicable requirements, (vi) include a commitment to continual improvement of the QMS.
A quality policy of an organization must meet the following minimum criteria:
(a) It should be linked to overall organizational goals,
(b) It should be relevant to the needs and expectations.
Accordingly, the quality policy of an organization must provide a framework for setting organization’s quality objectives.
A quality policy should also include explicit commitments to customer satisfaction and continual improvement. Quality policy of an organization should have a clear statement of outcomes. The policy should have understood within the organization.
Product quality depends both on perceived customer satisfaction and on well motivated persons engaged in QMS activities
There may be a situation when your organization may not have a quality policy, then you should try to develop a quality policy for your organization. It is often useful to first develop the overall organization’s policy, including policies for marketing, sales, production, finance etc. This exercise could make the quality policy easier to prepare. Organization’s commitment to quality should describe organization’s overall vision of what quality means to organization’s business and its customers. Clause 5.2 of ISO 9001:2015 standard requires organization to maintain the quality policy as documented information.
Clause 5.2.1 of ISO 9001:2015 standard frames requirements with regard to quality policy, which requires top management to establish, implement and maintain a quality policy that (i) is appropriate to the purpose of the organization, (ii) is appropriate to the context of the organization, (iii) supports strategic direction of the organization, (iv) provides a framework for setting quality objectives, (v) includes a commitment to satisfy applicable requirements, (vi) includes a commitment to continual improvement of the QMS.
If your organization has a quality policy, then you should evaluate your quality policy. Evaluate, whether your quality policy clearly linked to your overall organizational goals. If quality policy of your organization is not linked to your organizational goals, then you need to re-examine your policy and goals. Also find out answers to following questions:
- Does your quality policy is appropriate to the purpose of your organization?
- Does your quality policy is appropriate to the context of your organization?
- Does your quality policy support strategic direction of your organization?
- Does your quality policy provide a framework for setting quality objectives?
- Does your quality policy include a commitment to satisfy applicable requirements?
- Does your quality policy include a commitment to continual improvement of the QMS?
On the basis of answers to above questions, you may wish to revise the quality policy of your organization.
An illustration of a Quality Policy
…. (name of the organization) …. is committed in achieving customer satisfaction by providing … (the quality characteristics of product provided by the organization) …. For our customers, in context of continual improvement, so that our customers will … (outcomes in relation to customers’ needs / expectations to be met) ….
Another illustration of Quality Policy
We, … (name of the organization) …, manufactures … (name of the products) …. We manufacture and market these products both for domestic and abroad markets. Our purpose is to produce products to satisfy needs of our customers. We continually improve our products and services to satisfy needs of our customers better. Our quality management system is designed to ensure the maintenance of the product quality through evaluation, inspection and verification processes at all stages of production.
We are committed to comply with customer as well as legal requirements and also committed to continually improve the effectiveness of our quality management system. Our organization has decided to achieve quality objectives as set in the documented statement of quality objectives. The top management of our organization in the meeting of board of directors, at least once in every six months, reviews the quality management system of our organization.
ISO 9001:2015 QMS standard mentions following requirements in its clause 5.2.2:
- Availability and maintaining the quality policy as documented information,
- Communicating, understanding and application of the quality policy within the organization,
- Availability of the quality policy to relevant interested parties, as appropriate.