The quality policy (part of the organization's strategy regarding quality issues) in the organization has several functions. The most important is its importance to the board of the organization. It is the basis for establishing goals and tasks in the processes implemented and provides a framework for maintaining and improving the goals of the organization, products and services. Its next function is the importance for the staff, where the defined and communicated enables the employees to better understand the strategy of the organization's operation, its mission, goals and tasks, and clarifies the responsibility of the owners of all processes for its implementation. Also from the clients' point of view - properly chosen quality policy is a declaration of why buying a product or service can be an organization that believes that it wants to meet its needs and expectations. Hence, it strengthens the positive image of the organization in the eyes of the society and improves its credibility.
Quality policy as part of the strategy
The most important document of the quality management system is the quality policy. It is part of the organization's strategy that concerns the operation, development and improvement of the quality system. It contains management declarations regarding the application of standards requirements, continuous improvement, the allocation of resources necessary for the development of the system, identification and meeting the needs and expectations of customers, and the goals set by the system. It can contain information on the potential participation of contractors and partners, stakeholder requirements, employee improvement process. The quality policy is a fully public and published document. Therefore, specific goals can be transferred to an unpublished quality policy attachment. This protects the organization from the flow of confidential information.
Quality policy instead of the strategy
The quality policy is also called the quality strategy. It can also be part of the Quality Book, in which it is the whole of the objectives and plans of the company or organization that concern quality and are accepted by management. For a quality policy to be fully effective, it should be linked to the mission of the company. "Quality policy is the most important quality management document, signed by the person with the highest rank in the organization". The quality policy should be created as soon as possible, because it contains a declaration of compliance. This document is the basis for the subsequent creation of specific goals that are related to specific functions and levels of the organization.
The objectives of the quality policy should lead to continuous improvement of the enterprise, while achieving the intended goals should be measurable.
The quality policy is a showcase of the organization, which the company makes available to a wider group of interested organizations. It has a great marketing importance. It is also a signpost for good business management.
Top management role
Top management, with the participation of people working in particular departments, should develop and establish a common quality policy, consistent with other policy directions of the organization. The basis for its development is the analysis of the organization's operating conditions and forecasts for the future along with the assessment of the resources and resources of the organization. When determining quality policy, management should take into account the adopted development strategy and its main goals. The policy should be clear and understandable to stakeholders, inside and outside the organization, periodically reviewed and amended to reflect changing external conditions and internal processes.
The starting point for determining the quality policy are the expectations and needs of the organization's clients. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze who is the client of the organization (customer groups, segments) and what are the actual needs of these customers in the context of the products offered, their characteristics or properties. The next element is the identification of strengths of the company (SWOT analysis element), because they are based on the specificity of the company that sets it apart from others. It is also important to define goals for implementation, the implementation of which is related to the development of business in the medium and long-term context. As a result of the implementation, which the organization will be able to better meet the needs of customers. A helpful tool is a form to identify the most important elements of quality policy.
Quality policy examples
If you're looking for examples of quality policy, we suggest entering quality policy at Google. Remember, however, that the policy describes your organization. Universal, general policy is of no use.
It is required that the quality policy be known to all members of the organization. It is understood that this requirement means that the employees understand how they implement the content contained in this document at their workplace. The policy should be reviewed and updated at least as often as the organization's strategy. Usually, such a review is carried out once or twice a year
Note: There are various concepts of vision, mission and main purpose in the literature. In some works they are treated as similar or identical concepts, in others they are defined separately.
The quality policy should be
- closely related to the mission, organization goals, enterprise (supporting employee development, meeting customer requirements, etc.)
- take into account the commitment to ensure compliance with the standard and continuous improvement of the quality management system,
- include declarations and commitments that will be the basis for developing quality objectives.
The quality policy should concern
- the image of a given company and opinions about it, mainly taking into account the quality level,
- the role of employees responsible for implementing the policy,
- employee development, technology,
- description of pro-quality activities,
After developing the quality policy, you should
- present it to employees,
- regularly update it and check its suitability for the enterprise.
The quality policy demonstrates the objectives of the quality management system, while its structure is described in the quality manual. The main tasks of the quality manual include:
- description of the quality management system,
- presentation of quality policy content and procedures (or only their lists),
- identification of the standard used and possible exemptions,
- presentation of the manner of meeting requirements (connection matrix),
- providing proof of documenting the system,
- assistance in the supervision of quality-related activities,
- providing a manual for employees to learn in terms of quality,
- being a guide to the organization's quality system,
- showing that the system meets the requirements,
- informing interested parties about the organization's quality system.
- Aldowaisan, T. A., & Youssef, A. S. (2006). An ISO 9001: 2000-based framework for realizing quality in small businesses. Omega, 34(3), 231-235.
- Levine, D. I., & Toffel, M. W. (2010). Quality management and job quality: How the ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems affects employees and employers. Management Science, 56(6), 978-996.
- Midor, K. (2013). An innovative approach to the evaluation of a quality management system in a production enterprise. Zeszyty Naukowe/Akademia Morska w Szczecinie.