The ISO 9001 quality management system requires for organizations to write different procedures to prevent non-conformances and to guaranty that specific jobs and processes are carried out correctly.
When writing these effective procedures it is essential to take the following into account:
Different documents are essential in the QMS and each type of procedure or document has a specific role and objective. Some of the most commonly used documents in an ISO 9001 QMS are:
Organizations need to define a structure and a standard way to write these effective procedures in order to guaranty that they are written in a consistent manner. Knowing the structure will facilitate the process of gathering the essential information necessary to write an effective procedure.
The structure may vary from organization to organization; however, a structure that many organizations use is provided below:
In order for a procedure or any document to be effective, it must be understood by the people who will ultimately use it. That’s why it is important for these people to review the document at different stages of its development. Effective procedures have been reviewed directly by the people who will be using it the most.
A procedure should not be developed with the view or information of just one person. Most processes or activities that need to be document could be complex and having different perspectives can enrich the procedure. Effective procedures will multiple views into account.
Procedures should not be difficult to read. On the contrary, they must be clear and concise. Sentences must be as short as possible to make sure that it is comprehensive and easy to read. If procedures are never read or understood by the intended audience, they are not likely to serve as an effective tool in any process. Effective procedures need to be readable by everyone involved in the process.
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