Preparing for ISO 9000 - checklist


Preparing for ISO 9000 - checklistThe ISO 9000 family of standards helps businesses put quality management processes in place. Read our tips for improving customer satisfaction and getting accredited under ISO 9000.

  • Read through the standards: ISO 9000 (which explains the terms used), ISO 9001 (the main standard) and ISO 9004 (continual improvement) to make sure you understand them.
  • Contact your trade association or local chamber of commerce for advice (and information on any grants); decide what training or consultancy support you need.
  • Make sure you have management commitment to understanding and meeting customers' needs; prepare a simple company quality policy.
  • Plan the quality project: allocate resources and personnel, clarify responsibilities and set realistic objectives and timescales.
  • Identify all the critical activities which directly affect customer satisfaction and how they interact.
  • Include other activities covered in the standard: for example, design, purchasing, production and service operations.
  • Involve employees in analysing your current processes; explain the aim of improving quality and how they can contribute.
  • Prepare clear documentation describing the agreed best method for carrying out each process, together with related instructions.
  • Establish a system for authorising each process (and for controlling and authorising subsequent amendments).
  • Identify quality indicators and set standards (eg response times, minimum quality standards).
  • Implement the processes: communicate them to employees and provide any training required.
  • Appoint and train an internal auditor.
  • Regularly audit processes to make sure systems are followed and standards achieved.
  • Correct any problems: for example, by revising processes to reflect changed circumstances or by strengthening implementation.
  • Contact the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for details of an approved certification body to assess whether you meet the standard.