TRANSFER TO THE PROCESS
by: Peter Fraser
This critical examination of ISO 9001:2000 looks through the hype and sees a less than perfect standard. While applauding the emphasis on business processes, it argues that the language of the standard can be at times confusing and suggests alternative definitions for some of the clauses.
ISO 9001:2000 undoubtedly represents an improvement over previous incarnations of the standard. Unfortunately it can still be a difficult document for businesses to implement. Fundamental among the problems is the way in which the adoption of the process approach is promoted within the document, apparently without a clear understanding of this very approach.
It is apparent that even if the standard is a good guide against which to assess a QMS, it is not, critically, a document around which to build one. The following observations will help interpret some of the more difficult language contained in ISO 9001:2000. They should also help understand how to adopt a process approach.
The following article by Peter Fraser of MandOS was published in the December 2001 edition of Quality World, the monthly magazine of the Institute of Quality Assurance.