ISO 9001 The Basics Explained: Start at the beginning

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You have taken the first step to find out more about ISO 9001:2015. If your resources allow it, you will need to gather an initial team together and assign them all roles and responsibilities according to their abilities. In an ideal world, you would need a:

  • Project manager – They lead your team through the whole implementation process. They must be respected by the team they are leading, have excellent project coordination skills, an optimistic influencer and be an experienced communicator. They will be responsible for seeing the implementation all the way through to completion and have the authority over the project. 
  • Project team – The team may consist of just one or many more people, taking direction from the project manager. Each team member will be assigned their own roles and responsibilities to contribute to the QMS implementation. Their performance will be managed by the project manager.
  • Top management – This refers to the leadership within the organisation. They demonstrate their support and commitment to implementing the QMS by dedicating the necessary resources and promoting awareness of the project. All major decisions will be made by top management.

In world surrounded by budget cuts and limited resource, you may not have a project team and have to spearhead the implementation project yourself and gain support from top management to provide the necessary resources for you to do this. Its not ideal to be seen as ‘the guy who manages ISO 9001 for us’ (this is a key reason the term ‘Quality Management Representative’ was removed from the standard for the revision), but if you are limited with resource, it will be your job to make your team aware of their responsibilities to the QMS and educate them on how to contribute to it properly.

This series will help you understand how to do this effectively whilst implementing it into your organisation.

>>> Start with learning about the requirements

But I’m not ready to put a team together…

If you’re not ready to put a team together, you may be facing one of the following situations:

I just want to know the basics of a QMS structure…

Perhaps you don’t know much about ISO 9001, so you aren’t sure if you even want to implement it into your business? There is no obligation for you to commit any additional resources to implementing ISO 9001 at the end of this series, but this ISO 9001 series will help you to understand the ISO 9001 practical application to your business.

You are free to skip to any of the lessons at any time, you don’t have to take the lessons in the exact order they are published and you don’t even have to read each and every one of the lessons if you don’t want to. Take your time, browse our posts, and we are here to help if you need a chat.

It’s our goal but I’m not looking to implement a QMS straight away…

Its quite common to be lacking the resources to dedicate implementing ISO 9001 as a whole, however you can certainly take away tips on specific practices the standard encourages and use them as a platform to improve your business processes. You can also bookmark any of the lessons, so when you are ready, you can revisit the lesson for guidance on what to do next.

I don’t have the budget or time…

Perhaps you have taken the quiz and identified you will need to start from scratch, don’t worry you’re not alone. It’s quite common to be lacking the resources to dedicate resources to implementing ISO 9001. If you are looking for a solution, our team of experts are happy to give you advise on the best way to progress in this situation. There are many ways you can move forward with a low budget. Contact us today via our contact form.

I just need help with putting the documentation together…

The ISO series will help you to understand which documentation is mandatory vs. optional. Each of the lessons will provide you with a clear criteria you need to meet for each clause. Some of the documents may be a bit lengthy and need a bit of extra input or experience, we can help you with this. With each lesson, we will list documented information that you need, which is also available from our store (we have a lot of free documents you can use as templates). Samples are available too so that you can see what you are investing in before you commit to buying anything. As always, each business is different so the documents also have guidance on what information needs to be added by you and explained in a little more detail.

With no obligations in front of you, there’s no pressure so you can take your time with the lessons ahead. Perhaps just complete one lesson a week if thats all you can spare, or contact us for more help and guidance on what you can do.

P.S. Did this article help you? If you got value from it or know someone who would, please share it or leave a comment with suggestions.

Sam Kinch

Looking for help with documentation? Visit our store.

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