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What is the Purpose of a Quality Manual? - FocusIMS

What is the Purpose of a Quality Manual?

The purpose of a quality manual is to demonstrate your company’s dedication to identifying and meeting client requirements. This article shows you how to write a quality manual and why you need one.

What is a Quality Manual?

A quality manual outlines the organization’s goals for using and carrying out the procedures found in its quality management system. It may include all business-related regulations that impact your capacity to produce high-quality goods and adhere to ISO standards. Within the limitations outlined in the quality manual, these regulations specify how your department managers will carry out procedures.

What Should Be in a Quality Manual?

Your quality manual must concisely and accurately document the organization’s structure, policies, practices, and resources. It must include the following records:

Quality Policy Statement

A meaningful quality policy statement goes beyond marketing talk. It explains how key topics affect the company’s output. Its existence holds the organization responsible for meeting its goals. According to the ISO quality policy, top management must develop, convey, and implement the quality management policy statement. Their in-depth expertise and experience guide company goals, direction, and expansion decisions.

Quality Policies

A quality policy is a clear statement that supports your firm’s mission and strategic goals. It offers a framework for quality objectives and demonstrates your commitment to satisfy applicable standards, whether ISO 9001, client, legal or regulatory. It also shows your promise to improve your system continuously. 

Clause 5.2 of ISO 9001:2015 addresses quality policy. The quality policy frequently includes an organization’s vision or mission statement and guiding principles.

Standard Operating Procedures

A standard operating procedure is a series of written instructions outlining employees’ exact steps to carry out a common task. Employees must follow SOPs to ensure that the business maintains consistency and complies with industry norms and business standards.

The policies, methods, and standards provided by standard operating procedures are essential for the organization’s success. They can aid a company by minimising errors, boosting productivity and profitability, fostering a safe work environment, and developing procedures for dealing with problems and overcoming challenges.

Work Instructions

Work Instructions are written guides that accurately outline how to carry out tasks that, if not done following established procedures, could result in inconvenience or harm. Put another way, specify, command, or define the processes employees must follow to carry out any particular task or activity correctly.

Work instructions outline how employees must carry out a particular action. It details the instructions related to a specific operation.

Businessman reading quality manual

What is the Purpose of a Quality Manual?

You must understand what your clients want and why before you can effectively market your business. By conducting effective customer research, you can determine how to persuade customers that they require your products and services.

But there’s one thing we know from our experience with compliance management:

When a potential client requests a copy of your organisation’s IMS or quality manual, they are looking for more than just the fact that you have one. If you’re unsure of what they hope to learn, you’re losing their confidence and maybe even their business.

The purpose of a quality manual is multifarious.

A quality manual lets you analyse process outputs and make appropriate adjustments. It also serves other purposes, including information dissemination, evidence of conformity, and knowledge sharing. With a well-written quality manual, you won’t have to scramble for answers when a potential client asks about your risk management process.

See, the first question a client wants to answer when they ask for your quality manual is:

Are you managing your risks?

A well-designed quality manual assures your client that your organisation

  • Consistently meets quality standards
  • Reduces the chance of error
  • Minimises downtime
  • Enables process monitoring
  • Can successfully manage hazards
  • Performs consistent and thorough audits and inspections
  • Uses corrective procedures

A business that manages risks values its clients and employees and can establish and maintain certifications.

When a client reviews your IMS Manual, you earn trust when they see you have effective processes to manage your staff, suppliers, and assets. They want to know

  • How you handle scheduling and special projects
  • How attentive you are to their needs
  • How reliable your suppliers are
  • If your staff is well-trained and assets are maintained

 Complicated, poorly maintained records and inefficient processes invite skepticism and compromise your reputation. Understand that your IMS or quality manual provides reassurance about who you are and how you handle business.

FocusIMS eliminates the need for multiple management systems and gives your clients instant evidence of the confidence and trust they deserve. Sign up for a free 2-week trial and download your customised manual today.

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