How to use quality compliance to facilitate an ISO accreditation
Quality management practices are integral in a competitive marketplace. Quality standards and quality auditing of standards offer many benefits to your business and even more so if ISO accreditation is one of your business goals.
Before attempting any external ISO qualification, key compliance staff need to use quality auditing to conduct internal audits, so that quality standards are met and addressed well ahead of certification.
Smart reasons to conduct quality auditing before you seek ISO accreditation:
When business processes and outcomes are measured by quality standards, many costs can usually be reduced. In a successful quality culture every process and standard is constantly measured, and best practice principles applied.
When a business is continuously auditing internally and applying the changes that are identified as needed, there will be higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Quality management ensures that employees are engaged in the internal auditing process. Staff training and development opportunities are highlighted, and designated employees in each department may have the chance to up-skill responsibilities.
An ISO qualification is a recognised benchmark that allows customers to feel secure that the business they are dealing with has a high level of quality standards in place.
Quality management and auditing ensure continuous improvement within a business. Quality auditing of standards highlights best practice areas for performance improvement with people or processes.
The right staff will be essential to implementing quality standards. Key points to consider are:
- What skills and experience do your internal team need to manage the quality standards?
- How will the auditing team work with all your people to manage and evolve the quality management standards?
- Can your quality auditing team drive business change effectively?
Five Core skills staff need to have:
People with well-rounded business knowledge will underpin the success of your quality culture. Ideally, your team will share and complement these skills in one another.
When selecting the right people to be on the quality team ensure that they have these five core skills:
- Communication skills
Internal auditing requires a strong communicator who can be clear and respectful with all levels of the organisation.
- Business acumen/experience
Broad business experience across at least two departments is ideal. In smaller businesses, the necessary experience may be present in current employees. However, the larger the company, the more difficult it is to find the right staff who have understanding and appreciation for every area of the business. Look for people who can see the big picture along with the importance of processes and procedure.
Your quality management team needs to be able to analyse results of quality audits and solve problems as they arise.
- Creative innovator
Your quality management staff need to have a strong passion for continuous improvement to provide better customer outcomes and be advocates for positive change, not just change for the sake of change. Every innovation initiated must be a direct result of the quality auditing process and will require critical and innovative thinking to establish how the internal audit outcomes can be addressed.
Managing quality auditing and quality standards require excellent time and project management skills to engage the collaboration of all departments to reach and achieve organisational goals. Project and quality management skills are essential, and ideally, your key staff should gain a qualification like Quality Auditing or Project Management.
Achieving quality standards and ISO accreditation is the best way to have a winning culture of quality in your organisation. Your quality management staff are fundamental to the success of quality auditing. Investing in the right people and their training will ultimately offer great value to your business. A Diploma of Quality Auditing (BSB50920) is the ideal qualification for staff who are key to the process.