© Transition Support Last edit  24/11/2023 







Transition Support

A flexible approach to business improvement

Misconceptions about ISO 9001

There is no doubt about it that there is a lot of rubbish about ISO 9001 on the Internet and it is there for everyone to see - but does it have any effect?

For those who know different, they quickly click to another destination but regrettably there are many who quite innocently may be taken in by it.

We believe that the most harm, comes from those that portray ISO 9001 as a goal or a system. In actual fact it is nothing more than a document, agreed by the representatives of over a hundred countries.

The next most serious issue come from those that portray ISO 9001 implementation as no more than a set of documents. IF you were to stop and think just for a moment and ask yourselves to identify the factors that affect the ability of your organization to produce quality products and services - would documentation be number one? Of course not! We all know of laws, rules and instructions that don't actually work in practice. They sound like the right solution, but when you blow the smoke away and take a look at the reality, you find that it all comes down to how people behave.

Its a Friday afternoon, the policies and procedures are in place and the ISO 9001 certificate is on the wall and you are told to get that ***** product out of door or else....! You naturally do what you are told to do. The person issuing the instructions is forced to take action or else his/her job is on the line. The manager who receives the call from the irate customer, also knows what should happen but......when our backs are against the wall, we behave according to our natural instinct - do it and pray for forgiveness.

It doesn't have to be Friday for this to happen or for it to be an urgent shipment to a customer. The press is littered by examples of organizations that have strayed from the straight and narrow. They all know the rules, the policies and procedures but all the same they stray. Extenuating circumstances require them to deviate. So, ISO 9001 and all the documentation it caused to be created, actually works only in situations where there is no pressure, where processes are predictable and where the objectives and the activities and resources needed to achieve them can be predetermined.

More on the many misconceptions about ISO 9001 can be found in Chapter 3 of the ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook 7th Edition.

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