IS0 9001:2015

Clause 5.2 Policy

** Clause 5.2.1** requires top management to establish, implement and maintain a quality policy that:

  1. Is appropriate to the purpose and context of the organisation and its strategy.
  2. Provides a framework for quality objectives.
  3. Includes a commitment to meet applicable requirements.
  4. Includes a commitment to continual improvement of the quality management system.

We can see that ISO 9001 requires that an organisation’s quality policy is appropriate to both its purpose and its context and supports its strategic direction.

Requirements for communicating the quality policy are under Clause 5.2.2. It must be:

  1. Available and be maintained as documented information. (In any appropriate medium.)
  2. Communicated, understood, and applied within the organisation. (IE: translated into understandable language or guidelines as appropriate within the organisation, to ensure that all persons have the required awareness applicable to their own role or activities.)
  3. Available to relevant interested parties (stakeholders,) as required.(EG: In a published Quality Manual (if available), via a company website / social media or other published publicity material for example.).


Top management must be heavily involved in the establishment, implementation, monitoring and updating of the quality policy. (I always encourage management to make full use of this requirement as a well thought out, relevant Quality Policy, can make an excellent rallying point for management and all other employees alike.)

Audit Check:

Clause 5.2.1 Points 3 & 4 are invariably checked when an auditor is reviewing a policy document! A generic / bland policy may also determined to not be aligned with context of the organisation or its strategy…

Auditors are also being encouraged to not only speak to employees to check awareness and understanding of the policy as it applies to them, but to interview top management to establish their approach and commitment to quality. Records (IE Management Review) may also be evaluated during an audit to determine top management’s commitment and involvement.

This article is the property of David Barker Consulting © and is free for you to use. If you wish to reproduce elsewhere, please be so kind as to ask permission first and credit me as your source. If you need any further assistance, feel free to use my contacts page to get in touch and let me know how I can help!

David Barker CQP MCQI

ISO 9001:2015

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