As you begin implementing your AS9100D Quality System, an initial step in this process is to write your company Quality Policy. While simple, it is important to make sure appropriate steps are taken to create an effective Quality Policy. To help you tackle this potentially overwhelming task, we’ve compiled a list of tips to get you started.
- Identify Your Organizational Goal
Your Quality Policy should reflect your business goals. Once you’ve identified your goals, your managers and employees can use the Policy as a guide for business decisions. When faced with a decision on a project, the individual will be able to reference the Quality Policy and see if the outcome of the project aligns with the stated goal. If the answer is yes, they do match, then the individual knows to proceed. If the answer is no, then the individual will know to seek alternative action.
- Identify Key Customer Requirements
Knowing your customer’s key requirements will help you drive a successful Quality Management System. Do you need to be tracking food handling standards? Is the customer concerned about timeliness? Are there legal requirements that you need to comply with? Have certain materials been approved or disapproved for use? Knowing the answers to these types of questions will give you direction for the standards in your Quality Policy.
- Include Relevant ISO Requirements
There are some key requirements that you should be aware of. Your policy must be created for your organizational needs. Avoid copy and paste. Include a framework to set your quality objectives. This must include the way an objective is proposed, how it is approved and how it is reviewed. You must also include a commitment from top management to adhere to and fulfill the requirements of the policy. Once developed, the policy must be provided to everyone in the organization and to appropriate interested parties. Include your communication procedure in the policy and adhere to that. Finally, the Quality Policy must be maintained. Define someone to be the owner of the policy and they are responsible to be aware of all changes that may affect the policy, keeping it up to date and communicated.
- Allow Internal Input
Your Quality Policy is a key element of your Quality Management System and it should be useful for every employee in their job. You also will want your employees to take ownership of the policy and asking for their input upfront is a great way to do so. They need to be able to see how the policy relates to their specific role and not just be another poster on the wall. They are also very likely to have relevant information about their specific area and how it affects key customer requirements that will help you create a manageable, impactful policy.
- Communicate the Quality Policy
Now that you’ve created your organization-specific Quality Policy, it’s time to make sure everyone has access to it. The Policy should be simple and concise, easy to be remembered in times of pressure and decision. Communicating the policy to all will focus the organization toward meeting the requirements and goals that will help the company grow – the objective of any good Quality Management System.