ISO9001:2000 minimum requirements for one person shop

Let’s say you own a small shop that manufactures spare parts. It is a sole proprietorship with you as the sole full time employee. You want to streamline your manual and procedures as much as possible, to include only the bare essentials to conform to ISO9001:2000. You’re the only person there, you need to maximize time making your product, but still have a quality system that satisfies customer requirements. What are the minimum requirements and how best to achieve them?

There are six required procedures in ISO9001:2000. They are as follows:
1. Document control
2. Control of Records
3. Control of non-conforming material
4. Internal audit
5. Corrective Actions
6. Preventive Actions

Beyond these, any additional procedures are optional. Sometimes you can get away with satisfying a requirement in your manual, without writing a separate procedure for it. For example, while it is a requirement that you have a periodic management review, it is not a requirement that you have a separate procedure for management review. You can document your management review method in your manual.

You have to make sure you follow all the requirements of the ISO9001:2000 quality standard. I assume you have a copy of the standard, or a good book that tells you all the requirements. If not, I recommend a book by Charles Cianfrani titled “ISO9001:2000 Explained”. This book contains all the elements of the quality standard, with very good explanations. It’s easy to read and I have found it invaluable for new clients.

There are many ways to keep it as simple as possible. For one thing, your quality manual sections and procedures should probably be 2 to 3 pages maximum. Any more than that and I’d guess you’re doing too much work.

I would also recommend you combine Corrective Actions and Preventive Actions, since they are so similar. You can use one form for both procedures, with just a check box on the form to denote whether it is a “corrective” or “preventive” action request. You may find that you can streamline other forms in a similar manner.

Without knowing your particular operation it is difficult to give any more specific recommendations. If you have a question about a specific area of your business, please feel free to post it here.

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