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ISO9001 is only the Foundation

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but even after all these years the ISO9001 quality management system (QMS) requirements still come under attack and mostly from those in the quality profession. I recently read another super critical appraisal of ISO9001 from someone who commented they were on the “front lines.” I’m not sure what front lines they’ve been on, but it’s obviously not the same ones I’ve been on.

My experience with ISO9001 goes back to 1987 at a key division for a major company—so the journey has been a long one. I continued to be involved with ISO9001-based quality management systems for another 22 years that included corporate oversight and support of more than 60 registered facilities at a Fortune 50 company.

I never have stressed, and do not now, that ISO9001 is an end-all system. Experienced quality professionals should readily know ISO is just a beginning, not an end, to the journey. Any company that becomes certified and expects to have a fully effective QMS will likely be surprised and disappointed. The staff that helped drive the initiative, most probably the quality group and the managers, missed the point entirely.

                                                                                                                                            -02 DEC 2016