Quality policy, Qualitywise.pl

The quality policy is the most important document in the quality management system of every organization. Organizations certifying their quality management systems for compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 should treat it as a starting document for establishing all system mechanisms operating in the organization. Regardless of the industry or size of the company, a properly formulated quality policy is the foundation for effective operation and achieving business goals. In this article, we will take a deeper look at the essence of quality policy and how to formulate it properly so that it brings the desired results.

What is quality policy?

The terminological standard ISO 9000 will help us understand this concept. It defines policy in point 3.5.8 as:

However, in point 3.5.9 it refers to the quality policy:

This second definition should not be surprising, but let us also note Note 1:

Therefore, quality policy is a set of principles, values and goals related to the quality of products or services that the organization adopts and publicly declares. It is a kind of guideline that defines the direction, goals and commitments in terms of quality. A well-formulated policy should be understandable to all employees and constitute a reference in making quality-related decisions.

Quality policy – requirements in ISO 9001:2015

The requirements for the quality policy can be found in the ISO 9001:2015 standard in the fifth chapter dedicated to “Leadership”.

ISO 9001:2015 p.5.2.1: Establishing the Quality Policy

Top management shall establish, implement and maintain a quality policy that:

a)         is appropriate to the purpose and context of the organization and supports its strategic direction,

b)         provides a framework for setting quality objectives,

c)         includes a commitment to satisfy applicable requirements,

d)         includes a commitment to continual improvement of the quality management system.

ISO 9001:2015 p.5.2.2: Communicating the Quality Policy

The quality policy shall:

a)         be available and be maintained as documented information,

b)         be communicated, understood and applied within the organization,

c)         be available to relevant interested parties, as appropriate.

When creating an effective and compliant quality policy, you should refer to the above points of the ISO 9001 standard. First of all, the quality policy should be consistent with the vision of the organization’s management – as in point 5.2.1.a). Therefore, we should not be surprised now why politics is mentioned in the chapter dedicated to leadership.

Elements of an effective quality policy

  • Compliance with the company’s mission and values: The policy should be consistent with the organization’s mission and values. Whether a company emphasizes innovation, customer service or sustainability, policies should reflect these priorities.
  • Customer focus: An effective policy should be focused on customer needs and expectations. The quality of products or services should be defined by what the customer considers valuable.
  • Ensuring employee involvement: The quality policy should encourage employees to engage in achieving quality goals. Proper formulation of goals and values that employees can adopt as their own increases motivation and involvement in improvement processes.
  • Continuous improvement: The quality policy should promote a culture of continuous improvement. Constant striving to improve processes, eliminate errors and increase efficiency should be an integral part of the company’s approach to quality.
  • Compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements: The policy should be consistent with applicable industry statutory and regulatory requirements. This not only ensures the safety and legality of activities, but also builds trust among customers and business partners.

How to write an effective quality policy?

  • Define the goal: Before you start writing a quality policy, clearly define the goals you want to achieve through it.
  • Involve employees: Involve employees from various departments in the quality policy creation process. Their knowledge and experience can bring valuable insights.
  • Formulate clearly and understandably: The policy should be simple and understandable to all employees. Avoid overcomplication and excessive bureaucracy.
  • Be specific: Indicate specific goals and actions to be taken as part of the quality policy. The more specific your assumptions, the easier it will be to monitor your progress and achieve your goals.
  • Update regularly: The quality policy should be updated regularly to respond to changing market conditions and the needs of customers and organizations.


When formulated and implemented, quality policy can contribute to increasing customer satisfaction, improving operational efficiency and building strong market position of the company. Therefore, it is worth devoting time and attention to its proper formulation and implementation. Let’s not forget that every employee in the organization should be familiarized with it. So with the help of quality policy you can assure awareness of impact on the quality by everyone.

Do you want to know all the requirements for a QMS?

We invite you to the ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 training organized by Qualitywise, where you will learn in detail all the requirements for the quality management system. Ask about the next date.

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Agata Lewkowska Ph.D.

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For people who want to know more:

Knowledge must have a solid foundation in order to avoid information noise. Therefore, the article was based on the following literature:

IATF 16949: 2016 Requirements for quality management systems in serial production and the production of spare parts in the automotive industry, 1st edition, 2016

ISO 9000:2015 Quality management systems — Fundamentals and vocabulary

ISO 9001:2015 Quality management systems — Requirements

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