Monday, 8 November 2010

ISO 9001 and the Quality Manual Template

ISO 9001 and the Quality Manual Template

Clause 4.2.2 of ISO 9001:2008 specifies the minimum content of the quality manual but it does not specify the format and structure. This is a decision that must be made by each organization during the planning and implementation phase and will often depend on the organization’s size, culture and industry. A quality manual template can help by providing a fundamental framework for documenting how an organization meets the requirements of ISO 9001. Without a template, the development of the quality manual can easily lose focus and direction.

Advantages of Using a Quality Manual Template

Many organizations find the task of implementing ISO 9001:2008 difficult as they simply don’t understand where to begin. A quality manual template can make it easy for any organization to prepare a compliant quality manual whilst offering the following advantages:

- Fully editable and customisable
- Viable alternative to using consultants
- Cost effective solution to implementation
- Saves manpower and resources
- Reduce overall development time

Components of the Quality Manual

ISO 9001:2008 provides guidelines of how organizations should endeavour to meet customer requirements and achieve satisfaction by maintaining a consistent quality practice. ISO 9001 has many requirements that, when taken together, provide assurance that a system's output will meet customer requirements. Based on these fundamental requirements, the quality manual template must address, among others, the following:

- How the quality system interacts with business processes
- What the documentation requirements are
- How management responsibility is manifested and communicated
- What the organization’s quality policy is and how it is deployed
- What the organization’s quality objectives are and how they reflect the quality policy
- How resources are managed
- How management reviews are undertaken
- How product realization leads to customer satisfaction
- How product and service provision is planned
- How the organization collects and analyses data
- How non-conformances are addressed
- How corrective and preventive actions are instigated
- How continual improvement is implemented

There is no requirement that changes to the quality manual be reviewed during management reviews but they do need to be reviewed and approved by the relevant personnel specified in your document control procedure.


Overall, ensure the quality manual template is able to describe how your organization delivers a conforming product or service to your customers. The standard requires it, and the credibility of your ISO 9001 registration demands it. Remember, the output of your quality management system is what matters to your customers!

Please download a free quality manual template example here:

Richard Keen ACQI, 8th November 2010