Emphasis on Communications in ISO 9001:2000

When you are implementing or auditing the new ISO 9001:2000 requirements, it is important to look across the clauses for related activities. For example, top management must communicate its commitment, the quality policy, responsibilities and authorities, as well as, establish an internal communications process regarding the effectiveness of the quality management system.

The infrastructure must provide communications services, plus arrangements must be made for communicating with customers. Communications is also referenced in design planning (for interfaces between groups) and in purchasing (for communications with suppliers).

5.1.a) Management Commitment
Top management must provide evidence of its commitment to the development and implementation of the quality management system and continually improving its effectiveness by communicating to the organization the importance of meeting customer, as well as, statutory and regulatory requirements.

5.3.d) Quality Policy
Top management must ensure that the quality policy is communicated and understood within the organization.

5.5.1 Responsibility and Authority
Top management must ensure that the responsibilities and authorities are defined and communicated within the organization.

5.5.3 Internal Communication
Top management must ensure that appropriate communication processes are established within the organization and that communication takes place regarding the effectiveness of the quality management system.

6.3.c) Infrastructure
The organization must determine, provide, and maintain the infrastructure needed to achieve conformity to product requirements, including supporting services such as communication.

7.2.3 Customer Communication
The organization must determine and implement effective arrangements for communicating with customers on product information; customer inquiries, orders, contracts, and amendments; and customer complaints and other feedback.

7.3.1 Design and Development Planning
The organization must manage the interfaces between different groups involved in design and development to ensure effective communication and clear assignment of responsibility.

7.4.2 Purchasing Information
The organization must ensure the adequacy of specified purchase requirements prior to their communication to the supplier.

Develop a comprehensive communications approach by considering the overall requirements for communicating with customers, with suppliers, and within the organization.