Quality Policy Statement and Quality Objectives

When embarking on a new quality management system, one of the most important decisions you’ll want to make is regarding what it is exactly that you want to accomplish. What you decide now will have a great impact on the direction your quality system takes.

A requirement of an ISO9001:2000 quality management system is to formulate an organizational quality policy statement. This is an overall, high level statement that gives a general idea of where your goals are. It should not be too specific. Something like “Our goal is to achieve 100 percent customer satisfaction, strive for excellence and continual improvement in all our activities” is a good example of a quality policy statement.

Quality objectives are also a requirement of ISO9001:2000. Quality objectives are intended to be specific, measurable goals that you keep track of on a regular basis, and keep records of how you’re doing. Your performance in relation to your quality objectives is one of the records that will be looked at during a third party audit.

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28 Responses to “Quality Policy Statement and Quality Objectives”

  1. Christo says:

    Quality objectives, is this only quality related ? What about other objectives related to other departments, such as procurement, production, sales, etc., should it be incorporated in “quality objectives”, and if so should it be operational or strategic ?

  2. Timothy says:

    Measurable quality objectives are a requirement of an ISO9001:2000 quality management system, which is the subject of this blog. The ISO9001 standard does not specify how many you should have, or what they should be. You can choose any objectives you wish, as long as they make sense for your operation, and make sense to the independent auditor who will be looking at your quality system. If you wish to add other objectives, regarding other areas of your operation, of course you can do this. If you feel these additional objectives are a necessary part of running your company, then by all means incorporate them into your ISO9001 quality system.

    The only caveat I would add is that the more complicated your quality management system becomes, the more work will be required to maintain it, and the less people are inclined to follow your procedures. It’s often very difficult to get people to follow procedures on even the most basic of quality systems, if you start adding all kinds of other procedures it may make your life more difficult.

  3. Daniel says:

    Thanks for posting this. It is right on. How can you measure your system’s performance if your objectives aren’t measurable? Try to incorporate some objectives that your company already measures. This makes it much easier for everyone to focus on them.

  4. Felix says:


    Can you please send details about

    Quality Objectives explanation

    How to create Quality Objectives (Referring Quality Policy)

    How to link with Quality Policy

    How to achieve Quality Objectives (With example)

    If not meeting the requirement how to close

    Can you please provide all with examples


    With Warm Regards,


    Mail: felixlarance@gmail.com

  5. Mohan says:

    Hai Daniel , please provide me the detail of :
    How to create Quality Objectives (Referring Quality Policy)

    How to link with Quality Policy

    How to achieve Quality Objectives (With example)

    If not meeting the requirement how to close

    Can you please provide all with examples


    With Warm Regards,


  6. I want to prepare integrated policy where ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001: 2004 and ISO 18001: 2007 requirements comply in a integrated certificate. Kindly send available policies



  7. I want to built the quality objectives for ISO 9001 : 2008 for incoming raw material section. What type of objectives are there inward material section. Pl. give the clarification.

  8. Timothy says:

    ISO9001:2008 does not specifically require any quality objectives regarding incoming raw materials. If you wish to have such a quality objection, it is completely up to you to decide what measurement and objective makes the most sense for your operation. As an example, if your quality system calls for an incoming inspection, but sometimes your inspectors miss something, and the error is caught later in production, you might want to keep track of the number of errors that occur. If you typically experience 5 such errors each month, maybe your quality objective in this area should be 1 error per month.

  9. Arichnam Muthusamy says:

    How to have an objective for the Documentation control for the ISO 9001-2008.Can someone feed me some info or an objective.

  10. Timothy says:

    Why would you want to have a quality objective for document control? There is no requirement to do this, and I can’t see how such an objective would be possible, let alone productive.

  11. Timothy, document control is an integral part of a good quality system. For example, how can you be sure that an employee, whom has actually taken it upon themselves to adhere to a documented procedure, is actually operating according to the most current version?

    If an employee has an old copy of the procedure on his laptop, it would be necessary to ensure that when a new version of that procedure is implemented, the employee must be notified, delivered an up to date version.

    Therefore, a relevant Document Control Quality Objective could be defined thus:

    “My Company” will control all copies of the Quality Manual through maintenance of a Quality Manual Register. When content of the Quality Manual is amended all Quality Manuals will be updated with the latest version, to ensure the “My Company” will always be operating in accordance with up to date procedures. ;)

  12. Timothy says:

    Mr. Quality, you’re right of course that document control is absolutely necessary. However a quality objective must be measurable, and you must have a goal, an objective. For example, orders are shipped on-time 99 percent of the time, or customer satisfaction rating of 98 percent. Those are measurable, you can gather statistics to see where you’re at. And when you reach your objective, you must revise the objective so that you are continually improving. What you write about document control is a noble thought, but what’s the measurable objective? How do you measure it? How are you continually improving it? If an employee has an unauthorized copy of a document on his laptop, that’s a nonconformance and corrective action is needed.

  13. That is a good point Timothy and I guess adds to the definition of a policy versus objective. Where an objective requires 100% success, as you have stated it becomes a compliance. Perhaps then a relevant quality objective relating to document control is a stated improvement in response time to document change requests, whether they be driven by internal or external requests.

    Then again that also raises the point that much of your quality objectives should come as a result of either managerial review or customer feedback. Moreover, that would indeed make it far more difficult to Arichnam’s request for guidance in regard to document control related quality objectives, because each objective should be generated to address entity specific performance issues.

    I do believe we have just exercised a microcosm quality system. :)

  14. Innocent says:

    I do sincerly believe that objectives can and should be set for all processes of an organization including document control.

  15. Yogendra says:

    Hai Daniel , please provide me the detail of :
    How to create Quality Objectives (Referring Quality Policy)

    How to link with Quality Policy

    How to achieve Quality Objectives (With example)

    If not meeting the requirement how to close

    Can you please provide all with examples


    With Warm Regards,


  16. surey says:

    I want to quality objectives for ISO 9001 : 2008 for incoming raw material section. What type of objectives are there inward material section. and give good quality policy Pl. give the clarification.


  17. Francis says:

    I have a bit of a problem understanding QMS requirements for quality policy. During audit how do you tell a quality policy is suitable for purpose of the organization?



  18. Timothy says:

    Your quality policy is totally up to you, and it’s extremely unlikely an auditor would find it not suitable. Quality policies are usually somewhat vague, grandiose statements such as “Our policy is to provide quality products on time to satisfy our customers and continually improve”. No one will find fault with something like this.

  19. At Fourie says:

    I am in the process in implementing ISO 9001:2008 for a company with the following scope.”The design,development,prepares data, implementation,train and support of an Integrated Municipal Information System,with the utilizing of SPATIAL Technologies with the purpose to align customers particular strategies and business processes”.

    This is a first off ISO Implementation in South Africa. Almost all services are software related.CAN SOMEONE PLEASE ADVICE

  20. Timothy says:

    Advise regarding what? What is your question?

  21. Ravi Kumar T says:

    Could you please provide a sample quality policy statement for a services providing organization?

  22. saba says:

    hi all

    ] need IT service management (ITSM) policy sample based on iso 20000
    Can someone help me?

  23. vergel says:

    Im an employee of the company that has a section called “Review and Improvement” – a group of internal auditors. Is Review and Improvement Section considered as process? I’ve read that objectives “should” be set to all processes. If the answer to my question is yes, does it also means that there is necessary for our Review and Improvement section to have KPI (Key Performance Indicator)?

  24. Timothy says:

    ISO9001-2008 section 5.5.1 requires that management establishes quality objectives at relevant functions and levels within the organization. Like much of the ISO9001-2008 quality standard, this is subject to interpretation. If you want to establish a quality objective for your company’s group, of course you can do so. But “should” you? That’s up to your company’s management. I’m a fan of simplicity. If I were in charge of your company, I don’t think such a quality objective would be helpful. As far as “key performance indicator” is concerned, this is not a requirement, or even mentioned, in the ISO9001-2008 standard, so its totally up to management to decide if they want to implement this.

  25. kanchan says:

    kindly send me the quality policy for ngo

  26. Timothy says:

    Your quality policy can be pretty much whatever you want it to be. There is no single correct quality policy for an NGO or any other organization. It’s up to you.

  27. Perplexed says:

    I have been managing my organizations QMS for sometime now and have always believed to have a clear understanding of the differences between our quality policy and the requirement to have quality objectives at relevant functions. However, in recent years i have been receiving mixed messages from third party external auditors with regards our requirements.

    We have always taken approach that the management review process will identify objectives, though noted as actions, and these be measureable, given timescales. More recently we have been told to provide more examples and express as objectives and targets… by this they require objectives and for them to be measureable (given a timescale for completion)?

    Examples we have used in the past might well be on review of organization resource, so we identify a training requirement for an individual, a department or the organization and for this to be within a certain timescale – would this not be a correct interpretation of setting an objective and it being measurable?
    Likewise we may use example of reduction of internal non conformance as a result of a particularly process, giving current level of non conformance and a desired level. We give this say a year to monitor. Again is this correct interpretation of measureable objectives…

    The subject of interpretation appears to go as far as the external auditor also, as with different auditor come different interpretation..

  28. Timothy says:

    Hi, unfortunately you’re right that external auditors can have wildly different interpretations of the ISO9001 standard. When in doubt, refer to the ISO9001 standard itself. It’s an easy document to read and understand if you take the time. When going through external audits, I always have a copy of the ISO9001 standard by my side, ready to take out if I have to defend my position.
    Quality objectives must be documented in your quality manual or in a procedure. Objectives, targets, it’s all the same. They must be measurable, and they must be able to show improvement over time. Remember, the ISO9001 quality standard has primary goals of customer satisfaction and continual improvement. Improvement must be measured and recorded over time. Most quality objectives have a time element, such as 2 rejects or less per month, or 95% or better on-time delivery over a year. What you’re measuring should remain fairly constant over time so you can gauge whether or not you’re improving. If you measure different things each year, I’m not sure how you can quantify improvement. Training might be one way to reach a goal, but I don’t see how training itself can be the goal. How would it show improvement over time? Now if your objective was to reduce the scrap rate at final inspection to, say, 5% or less, that is a good objective. Maybe training the various process operators would be a good way to achieve that objective, but the training itself is not a good objective. Your example of reduction of internal nonconformances is a very good quality objective, but it must be expressed with a number. If the current rate of internal nonconformances is 2% per year, and your goal is 1.5%, that’s a great goal. If you reach 1.7% the next year, now you’ve shown improvement. And you can also focus corrective actions (such as training, better equipment, etc) to try to improve further. Continual improvement is very important in an ISO9001-2008 quality management system.

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