M is for Manual

Helen profile image
December 17, 2020
Advent Alphabet Series

Next up in our A-Z! For some, the image of a quality manual is a dusty lever arch file that gets shoved on a high shelf in the Quality Office, the dust ceremoniously blown off in a bit of a panic a few days before the annual ISO surveillance visit, it’s probably not been looked at since the last surveillance visit, and it’s most certainly not been updated either!

Well maybe those were the bad old days, when companies were obliged to have a procedure for Every. Single. Thing – or so it felt!Happily, ISO9001:2015 has changed for the better, the onus on documentation is now mostly covered in the standard by the ubiquitous “documented information determined by the organisation as being necessary for the effectiveness of the quality management system.”

A quality manual should be a living, breathing document that signposts towards documented activities or describes the company’s approach – which itself needn’t necessarily be documented.

These days, of course, it’s also rarely in a lever arch file. It sits in a company’s cloud – although it’s still subject to all the relevant authorisations and controls.

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