Preparing for ISO 9000 - checklist

Person pressing floating words ISO 9000

The 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 that might support your accreditation) and 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 (e.g. 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 (such as new production processes) 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.

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