Fridge Freezer Direct Is A Fully ISO 9001 Compliant Company
What Is ISO?
The changing face of international trade has led to the requirement by manufacturers and processors to have single, globally acceptable technical standards and conformance tests. As Health, safety, environmental and quality concerns differ between countries national governments must accommodate them when committing to global standards.
ISO 9001 is one of a family of standards a business can be accredited in, with the full title being “ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems – Requirements”. The standard defines the minimum requirements that a Quality Management System QMS) must contain.
A Quality Management System is a management framework that comprises of the procedures, policies and other requirements of a business or organisation that ensure customer requirements are met in a consistent fashion that results in good customer satisfaction.
To receive an ISO 9001 certification that is internationally recognised a business or organisation must be assessed by a UKAS (or other national accreditation body outside of the United Kingdom) accredited certification body by means of an external audit. A certification that is not backed by UKAS isn’t worth the paper it’s written on!
Over a three year cycle, every single clause of ISO 9001 is required to be audited in depth through internal audits, with the core business processes requiring a minimum of annual auditing. Prior to initial certification from a UKAS accredited assessment body, every documented procedure is required to be fully audited.
When an auditor finds a problem or something that doesn’t conform to the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard, they will raise it as a non-conformance. It is a requirement of ISO 9001 that all non-conformances are closed out (a corrective action that addresses the root cause of the problem, with the standard stating “The management responsible for the area being audited shall ensure that any necessary corrections and corrective actions are taken without undue delay to eliminate detected nonconformities and their causes”.
A Brief History Of ISO
ISO is the Greek word meaning “equal”, although the common misconception is that it stands for the International Standards organisation.
The earliest standards were made to enforce honesty among people. Unfair dealings and incorrect measurements were resented and systems were developed to enforce honesty and therefore satisfaction. One of the earlier known examples of standardisation dates back to the eighteenth century. Cannon balls were not the same size and weight systems and calibres were unique to each captured army so Napoleon created a standardisation and imposed this system on all the conquered and allied nations ensuring that all the cannons and cannon balls would be the same.
Taking a look around us we can see many more examples of modern standardisation. Consider a piece of A4 paper, units of weight and measurements, or even the format and size of banking cards.
The Plan, Do, Check, Act Framework
The core of the ISO family of standards is the Plan, Do, Check, Act framework. It is a cycle that can apply to any business procedure or process and can be an invaluable management tool.
- Plan: Establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with customer requirements and the organisation's policies. This feeds into “Do”:
- Do: Implement the processes. Here we go and do what we planned and record what we did and what happened. These records then feed into “Check”:
- Check: Monitor and measure processes and product against policies, objectives and requirements for the product and report the results. This feeds into the fourth step, “Act”:
- Act: Take actions to continually improve process performance which feeds back into plan. We identify ways we can improve and feed this back into the “Plan” stage of the cycle.
The Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle provides a business or organisation with the framework to provide continual improvement in every aspect of the business. An ISO compliant company continually monitors their procedures through Internal Audits, Management Review meetings and customer feedback to continually improve and ensure they are providing quality of service to customers in a consistent and ever improving fashion.
An Overview Of Quality Management Systems
The basis of the QMS is the quality policy. It is mandatory that every member of staff must be familiar with, and competent to carry out the procedures and practices which are applicable to their area of work and all members of staff must be trained in the meaning and implications of the quality policy during the induction process and retrained whenever this policy is amended.
When a Quality Management System is implemented in a company, ISO awareness training must be carried out. The policy statement must be explained to all employees of the Company and should be made available to the public upon request.
The quality policy must be appropriate to the purpose of the organisation, include a commitment to comply with requirements and continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system and provide a framework for establishing and reviewing quality objectives.