ISO 9001 Quality Objectives
What is the purpose of quality objectives?
The purpose of quality objectives is
to determine conformity to (customer and regulatory) requirements, and facilitate the effective deployment and
improvement of the quality management system
What are the specific requirements in ISO 9001
for quality objectives?
The requirements (clause 5.4.1) for quality
· Establish quality objectives at relevant functions
· Include objectives to meet product
· Quality objectives must be
· Keep these quality objectives consistent with the
· Make all personnel aware of the importance of the objectives
and how they
can help to achieve them (clause
Where should quality objectives originate
objectives must orginate from the organization’s quality
policy. Developing a QMS must be a strategic business decision and therefore top
management must provide the necessary direction and leadership, starting with establishing the quality policy
policy provides top management’s vision on quality management for the
organization. It provides the organization with focused direction, i.e. high level goals and objectives for quality
Besides your own organization, requirements for quality policies and objectives
(e.g., for product as well as product realization processes) may also come from the customer, regulatory bodies and
industry standards or codes.
Your quality policy and objectives must be consistent
with the scope of your QMS and must complement other business objectives of your organization such as those
related to growth, finance, profitability, the environment and occupational health and safety. Aggressive
sales or marketing strategies must not be at the expense of quality management.
The goal of an organization should be to integrate the various management systems
(including quality management) used to achieve its strategic business goals and objectives. It is unfortunate that
many organizations choose to dis-associate quality management from operational
What are these other strategic business goals and
must integrate and keep quality management policies and objectives consistent with strategies, policies and
objectives for other business, areas such
share and growth, customer base and diversification, competitor information, pricing, sales, etc.
· Organization: size, structure, responsibilities and accountability, etc.
· Product: quality, performance, reliability, maintainability, design technology and innovation,
demand, mix, packaging, pricing, warranty, support, etc.
· Processes: facility, capability, capacity, technology, reliability, quality
· Supplier management: quality, delivery, price, consistency, flexibility
· Workforce: labor availability, competence, mix, utilization, compensation, health and safety,
· Capital: sourcing, availability, cost, prioritization of use, return, etc.
environment, regulatory issues, governmental policies, communications, etc.
What should an
organization state in its Quality
Clause 4.1.a -
requires that you document your quality policy and clause 5.3.c requires that you specify your commitment to
‘meet requirements’ and ‘continually improve the effectiveness
of your QMS’. Clause 1 specifies requirements for the scope of your
QMS. Therefore, it would be logical and useful to use the wording in clause 1 to define your quality
The wording of the quality policy should preferably specify what requirements are
being complied with (e.g., customer, regulatory, ISO 9001, etc.). It must also clearly state your commitment to
continually improve the effectiveness of the QMS.
Beyond that, you may state other complementary and important policies (business
growth; product or manufacturing technology; workforce competence; business flexibility,
How do quality objectives flow from the Quality
What you state
in your quality policy, must lead to establishing quality
objectives, e.g. if you state in your quality policy that you will
“meet customer requirements”, then from this, you might derive customer focused objectives for - product
defects; customer complaints and returns; on time delivery, etc.
Similarly, for the phrase -“meet ISO 9001 requirements”; from this you might derive
process objectives for effectively using ISO 9001 requirements to manage and control your QMS processes to achieve
conformity to the standard.
Stating that you will “continually improve the effectiveness of your QMS” in your
quality policy - can lead to a number of objectives, as your QMS is comprised of many processes each with related
risks; so it is possible to have one or more improvement objectives for each process.
Thus, we can see that each statement in your quality policy may result in one or more
quality objectives. These quality objectives do not need to be stated in your quality policy, but top management
must clearly be involved in providing direction, establishing and reviewing these
Who should be involved in setting
Top management must provide
the leadership and direction for quality management within an organization. The establishment of quality objectives
should be part of the business planning or QMS planning processes.
Top management must establish the organizational structure and internal environment
that motivates personnel to achieve the organization's quality management goals and objectives. They must provide
adequate resources to develop, implement, maintain and improve the QMS.
Quality objectives may be set at various functional levels of the organization - top management; departments; processes; functional groups; work cells; project teams;
individuals; etc. In determining quality objectives, top management must obtain input from these sources. Top
management must also ensure that quality objectives from all sources are consistent with each other as well as
other business objectives such as sales growth and profitability.
They must ensure also buy-in and ownership of all quality objectives to facilitate
their deployment and achievement. The Quality management representative can play a significant role in coordinating
the development and deployment of quality policies and objectives.
Input from customers and regulatory authorities must also be
Can you provide some examples of
quality objectives for an
objectives may be established to measure the performance of products; processes; customer satisfaction;
suppliers; use of resources; and the overall performance and effectiveness of the QMS. Quality objectives may be
established for all QMS processes.
Examples of quality objectives:
Product - reduction in
defect rates, PPM’s (defective parts per million), scrap rates, rework; improvement in on time delivery (see clause
Process - objectives
generally focus on improving process productivity through the elimination or reduction of variation and waste in
process - inputs, outputs, conversion activity and related use of resources.
Objectives may be used to monitor and improve process - productivity; reduction of
cycle time, errors, omissions and failures; etc. Examples could include objectives for - set-up time; run rates;
process cycle time; etc.
Customers - # and $ value
of product returns; reduction in # of complaints; improvement in customer satisfaction rating; % on time delivery;
# and $ value of service or support issues/delays; etc, (see clause 8.2).
Suppliers - # and $ value
of material defects; % on time delivery; # of complaints with supplier.
Resources - (includes
facility; equipment; labor; etc.) - objectives could be established based on availability; capability; maintenance;
personnel competency, absenteeism; production rates; efficiency; safety; etc.
For the QMS - customer
satisfaction feedback; internal audit results; # of and results of improvement opportunities;
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