ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System– What is it and why bother?

A Quality Management System (QMS) based on the ISO 9001:2015 standard is a process driven, customer focussed framework allowing a company to monitor performance, enhance customer satisfaction and continually improvement their products and services.

ISO 9001:2015 itself is not rocket science it is what businesses should be doing anyway – a good QMS sets the protocols and framework to allow you to analyse all aspects of your business, identify risks and areas for improvement.

The new 2015 version places more importance on risks and opportunities, it is much more business orientated then previous versions. The context of the business is very important, internal and external issues must be identified and monitored.

The standard is based on seven Quality Management Principles –

QMP 1 – Customer focus

QMP 2 – Leadership

QMP 3 – Engagement of people

QMP 4 – Process approach

QMP 5 – Improvement

QMP 6 – Evidence-based decision making

QMP 7 – Relationship management

There are many benefits gained by introducing a QMS aligned with ISO 9001:2015 and these include: –

  • Customer focus – happy customers will keep coming back
  • Continual improvement – highlight problems quicker and prevent them from happening again. Clearly see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Framework to monitor and deliver objectives
  • Risk identification, minimisation and monitoring
  • Recognise and maximise new opportunities
  • Proactive knowledge sharing and retention – lessons learnt shared, proactive not reactive.
  • Fit for purpose, right first time
  • Puts you ahead of competition – competitive edge
  • Internal consistency and efficiency
  • ISO – internationally recognised – exports etc.
  • Proves to customers, and potential customers that you are serious about best practice and improvement
  • Impartially audited and certified / accredited – if chosen
  • No longer just a tick box exercise – meaningful data creation
  • Streamline your processes and paperwork – ideal opportunity to review processes and how they interact with each other
  • Meaningful corrective actions – not just a slap on the wrist – encouraged to look at why things have happened and make identifiable improvements to the process not just non-conformance with the ISO standard requirements
  • Not set in stone – flexible to embrace changes to business environment i.e. differing customer requirements, new markets
  • Leadership and communication – involvement of all relevant staff members –senior managers must evidence that they are promoting, influencing and supporting it rather than simply delegating to others.


Douglas Management Systems Consultancy will work closely with you to help identify what is required and understand what steps are necessary for your management system (s) to reach your required level, including updating current working processes in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. In addition, we will work with you and your staff to ensure minimum disruption and maximum efficiency up-skilling and training staff, advising on, and implementing new procedures and processes and drafting documentation as required.

As your Consultants, we will prepare, assist and coach you each step of the way, carrying out a Gap Analysis to identify issues, agreeing an action plan and work with you and your staff to deliver sustainable seamless solutions.

Internal Auditing of your processes – Your consultant will plan and undertake internal audits and produce reports, non-conformances and opportunities for improvement. This impartial auditing presents a huge benefit as it will produce meaningful and usable information to improve your processes.

Unlike many ‘one stop shop’ providers, DMSC will help implement a tailor-made solution that ensures the system will work for you and not the other way around. The test of a good system is that you are unaware that you are following a system as it is just what you do