IS0 9001:2015

Clause 6.2 Quality objectives and planning to achieve them

ISO 9001:2015 requires organisations to establish quality objectives. They need to be established for all relevant functions, levels and processes of the organisation, (and potentially appropriate externally provided services it utilises.) The objectives are determined by the business itself, to be consistent with achieving conformity of products / services and enhancement of customer satisfaction. IE They should be part of the business planning processes and add value, not just be a quality system "bolt on." Documented information on the objectives also must also be maintained.

Top management need to ensure these objectives:

  1. Align with the quality policy (and strategic improvement objectives of the organisation.)
  2. Are measurable, (Depending on the objective, simply meeting, or not meeting an objective, can be considered measurable as long as it can be verified as such.)
  3. Take into account applicable requirements. (EG: those of statutory, regulatory, customer and other relevant interested parties)
  4. Have monitoring, measuring and evaluation in place, to ensure they are being achieved.
  5. Are communicated at all appropriate levels (EG: Management Reviews, KPI notice boards, reports etc.)
  6. On a regular basis, are reviewed and updated, so as to maintain alignment and compatibility with the business strategy, policy, and operating environment. (See article 4.1 – Context and 9.3 Management Review)

In order to achieve its quality objectives, top management must also ensure the business follows a process to determine what actions need to be taken and resources required, who will be responsible, what are the target dates / timelines and how the results will be evaluated. (IE: Planning.)


Quality objectives should take the widest view of "Quality". They can (and indeed should!) focus on the customers experience of the quality of product or service directly provided, but should also consider how this can be impacted by the wider organisation. That is, to use joined up thinking when considering what areas of the Business Management System should be focussed on. Objectives will be unique for each organisation and be need to be updated as the needs of the business changes. Examples of applicable areas to consider might include:


Safety, staff engagement / satisfaction surveys, staff turnover, productivity, absenteeism, % trained per role.


Customer surveys, on time delivery monitors, customer returns as % or PPM (Parts Per Million defective), Non Conformance Reports received, Concession requests raised, NCR close out rates, Warranty claims received, services support lead time, scrap %, Improvements suggested / implemented.

Operations: (Overall performance and down to individual process level.)

Reduction in internal defect rates, scrap rates, rework, reduction in cycle time, changeover time, process audit results, plant availability / breakdowns monitors.

Bought Out / Supplied parts and services

On time deliveries, PPM defects received, NCR's raised, Concessions requested, Completeness of documentation received (test certificates, dimensional reports etc,) Service Level Agreements achievement.

Other Supporting Processes

New Product Introduction milestones achieved to plan, Internal Systems Audit results and achievement to plan, Customer Invoicing accuracy.

Improvement objectives are probably already present in your organisation, even if they are informally agreed at the moment, but remember Quality Objectives have to be relevant to product / service conformity and must be "SMART". IE.

  • S pecific
  • M easurable & M onitored
  • A ccountability established
  • R esourced
  • T imebound

Lastly, focus on the "Vital Few" areas which need improving, to many objectives overload individuals and departments and lose Management focus when trying to track a plethora Key Performance Indicators. (KPIs.)

Audit Check:

Auditors are being advised to check that not only are objectives defined, but also that they reflect the quality policy and overall business strategic objectives, including customer requirements, and that effective planning is taking place.

The level of planning can also come under scrutiny to ensure it includes the way the objectives are effectively cascaded to all levels of the organisation and to ensure objectives are adequately resourced. (See SMART above)

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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