[from The Southey Sound – March 2011 (Edition 2)]

As mentioned in the previous edition, this is a system that is critical to the effective management of our processes such that our client benefits from knowing that we have a system of checks and procedures that ensure that the product delivered to him meets with the necessary standards and conforms to agreed quality levels. This system therefore encompasses a number of very vital aspects and has controls built into it so that there are clear guidelines as to what needs to be done and how it must be done.

One such example, is that of purchasing.

In order to be sure that we are getting the correct and appropriate materials and goods, it is a requirement that our suppliers too have the necessary systems and controls in place to guarantee that we get what we have ordered.

To achieve this,

our major suppliers are audited to make sure that they have sufficient quality assurance procedures which does not allow them to deliver the incorrect or substandard goods.

Our Quality Manager

will be reviewing our purchases and suppliers and will therefore be conducting audits on our major suppliers.


who are not able to provide sufficient evidence of having the necessary controls may be removed from our supplier database or given notification of improvements that we would like to see implemented.

A very important and fundamental part of the ISO9001-2008 system

is that of the notification of a Non-Conformance. A Non-Conformance Notification or a Corrective Action Request (CAR) is raised when there is a break down in the system and the goods delivered to the client do not conform to the set standards or where the procedures contained in the system are not followed. These CAR’s are issued when one of the above occur and are sent to the responsible person who is then required to analyse the CAR to determine the root cause of the problem and why it happened.

There are 3 very common reasons that cause these errors to occur

and they are :

  1. Lack of Training of the operator,
  2. Lack of Knowledge of the ISO system requirements and/or
  3. Not having a procedure that covers this aspect of the work.

What ever the reason, this system ensures that we review our procedures and implement the Corrective Action such that we do not repeat the mistake.

This brings us to the very core of the ISO system – continual improvement.

We need to continually analyse our activities and ways of doing things such that we identify the failures and implement the necessary actions and controls to prevent them from being repeated or we improve our present control systems so that they are more effective and relevant.By doing so, we reduce the amount of re-work and therefore make the organization more efficient and are able to deliver a better and more cost effect product to our clients.