Management System Policy

Determining an appropriate management system policy can be difficult at times. The policy describes your philosophy about your management system; what your organization is all about; and what you want everyone to focus on: good products, timely delivery, happy customers, and continuously getting better. Some suggestions for developing your policy include:

  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it consistent with organization’s beliefs and direction
  • Be able to measure the success toward meeting the policy
  • Include “continuous improvement”
  • Communicate the policy and the meaning of the policy
  • Review it periodically

It has to make sense to your organization.

Each standard has some specific requirements about what the policy must include and the focus of the policy. If you are registering to multiple standards you may need more than one policy description.

  • It should be simple – basic. “Keep it simple”. Some companies use a memory trick like using their company initials in describing the first word of several thoughts; or keying in on the first words so employees only need to remember three words in order to remember the gist of the policy (e.g. MEET product requirements, EXCEED customer expectations, IMPROVE product and delivery.)
  • Be careful not to be too complicated or wordy. Fewer words are better. Remember all of your employees need to know not only the gist of the quality policy but also what that means to them in their positions. How does what they do contribute to the quality policy.
  • It should include the words “Continuous Improvement”.
  • Objectives should link to your policy. If you say in your policy that you provide “the best customer service”, how will you measure that? Same story for anything you describe – is it measurable? How?
  • Communicate, post the policy, and check employees on the policy. It is a way to focus everyone in the same direction towards the organization’s focus and goals.
  • The policy must be evaluated periodically for appropriateness. You can include this in your management review meetings as an agenda item to double check that the policy is still appropriate to your goals and focus.