[This series of articles tries to emphasize the benefits of ISO 9001, and how to yield results from each major clause of the standard.]

Overview

Clause 10.0 is called “Improvement” and takes all the data you gathered under Clause 9, and demands you then use that data to improve the QMS, as well as your products and services.

Sub-clauses 10.1 and 10.3 largely state the same thing, so we can take them together. These require you to seek “opportunities for improvement” based on the data from 9.0, and then actively pursue continual improvement. This effort should seek to “improve the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the quality management system.”

In the middle, sub-clause 10.2 discusses the “corrective action” requirements, and requires you to implement a system to handle corrective actions. This assumes that your data will uncover something wrong, and you will need to pursue corrective action in order to get back on track toward continual improvement.

This represents the most important part of Clause 10: you must implement a very, very good corrective action system in order to get any value not only out of the Clause, but of the entire standard. Companies that complain about ISO 9001 not helping them improve almost always have a wimpy, ineffective corrective action system. I can’t emphasize this enough.

And with that, the ISO 9001 standard concludes.

Benefits

When implemented properly, Clause 10 should result in the following tangible benefits for your company:

  1. You will have a robust corrective action system that enables you to permanently correct problems you encounter, so they do not recur.
  2. (Extra points if you add “preventive action” to this same system, since it’s far more robust than what you might do under the risk-based thinking clause of 6.1. It’s better to find problems before they occur, then merely react afterward.)
  3. You will see improvements to your products and services, which will help you improve your relations with customers.
  4. You will see improvements in your internal processes, allowing you to do more with the same (or even less) resources.
  5. You will save money.
  6. You will improve customer satisfaction.

Click here for the full series of articles on The Benefits of ISO 9001:2015.

If you want to learn how to implement ISO 9001, check out my book Surviving ISO 9001, available on Amazon.

About Christopher Paris

Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 30 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001 and Surviving AS9100. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.

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