Companies that are certified to ISO 9001 can apply the standard in different ways.
I want my customers to get the most out of the standard and in my mind this means excellent control and continuous improvement. Other lead auditors are more concerned with compliance. These auditors might acknowledge my position but insist that strict compliance is the only way to gain control and improvement.
"Rubbish", I say. Let's emphasize those sections of the standard that further a company's goals and de-emphasize those sections of the standard that don't. De-emphasize does not mean to leave them out but it does mean to orient them to goals rather than compliance.
As an example, record keeping is part of the standard but most companies have record keeping processes that are already effective. Most companies provide a history of their work in a manner that is readily usable. The records are well organized, secure, legible, indexed and well identified.
The ISO consultant should certainly change a company's record keeping that is not organized, secure, legible, indexed or well identified. But let's not overkill this basic procedure and in doing so make it difficult and convoluted.
Let's spend the most effort with procedures that are not being done or are being done less then optimally:
Process Control - monitor, evaluate and modify
Resource management - Analyze the effectiveness of resources and make appropriate changes.
Customer satisfaction - get feedback from customers and act accordingly.
Preventive action - take appropriate action to remove weaknesses in the company's operations.
Management Review - Review the results of each section of the Management system and make warranted changes.
Audits - Verify the procedures and processes to make sure they are correct and being followed.
Improvements - Set Objectives, choose initiatives, plan projects, implement and validate results.
Let's also change a company's procedures that are ill-advised but, for the rest, let's document procedures as they exist.
.... in a nutshell
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