John O’Hanlon – quality and accreditations manager at IT Governance – talks us through his vast experience implementing ISO 9001 in a number of organisations and how it has prepared him for his job today…
As a novice, I first started implementing ISO 9001 in 2005. Back then, there was no ‘all-in’ solution, or none that I could find, anyway, and I remember struggling with the documentation. I wasn’t sure where to start or what level of detail I needed to go into. I searched online, but it was much a case of knowing where to go and what to download. I spent months creating the quality manual from scratch and my sources weren’t fully verified either. I wasn’t sure it was aligned to the Standard, let alone to the ‘business’ objectives.
I got there in the end, but it was a difficult learning curve and I’m not sure I would go back and do it again like that.
Since then, I have implemented ISO 9001 in four different organisations and I can confidently say I can now tackle the documentation side after 11 years’ experience.
With that in mind, for small organisations or for quality managers with small amounts of experience, I would definitely recommend using pre-written templates from a verified source that is aligned to the Standard to help you implement the QMS. It will save you so much time searching for the documents online, and will walk you through the process, right from A-Z, with assistance along the way. Getting your templates from one source also makes sure your documents talk to each other and are in line with each other.
Toolkits can also help you understand how to make the documentation work for the QMS, making it an essential tool for beginners.
The ISO 9001 QMS Documentation Toolkit from IT Governance contains all the documents you need to implement the Standard from scratch, perfect for beginners or SMEs looking to implement the Standard for the first time.
As well as 72 pre-written documents developed by ISO 9001 experts (including all mandatory documents), the toolkit contains three different project tools (ISO 9001:2015 Gap Analysis Tool; ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 Gap Analysis Tool; and ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 Conversion Tool), a requirements map and a documentation dashboard to track the progress of your QMS.