Should you buy an ISO9001:2000 quality manual on the internet?

If you’ve looked into an ISO9001:2000 quality management system, you’ve probably found dozens of online companies offering to sell you your ISO documentation. What do you think about that? Ever wonder what you get for your money? Would “bought” documents work for you?

I’m going to answer this with a definite “it depends”. I strongly do not believe that you can purchase your quality manual, procedures and forms and implement your quality system quite so easily. It may sound nice, but only to people who are not terribly familiar with the ISO registration process.

However some so called “do-it-yourself” ISO quality systems might be worth looking into.

Here’s the deal: Don’t spend a lot of money on do-it-yourself documentation. You can find perfectly good documentation for less than 50 bucks online. This is far, far cheaper than even one hour of a consultant’s time, and might be worth your time. Keep in mind, tho, that just like a free lunch, there is no such thing as a turn-key ISO quality management system.

You can purchase ISO documentation online for several hundred dollars, and the sellers may lead you to believe that all you have to do is plug in your company name and you’re good to go. This is highly unlikely. No matter how much you spend on documentation, in order to get a quality system that works for your company, you’re going to have to do a lot of modifications yourself. No two companies are exactly alike, therefore no two ISO quality systems will be exactly alike.

If you’ve decided you want to have a go at creating your own ISO quality management system, I applaud your decision. For a small to medium sized company, you can definitely do it yourself. Keep in mind this is going to take some time, and quite a bit of effort. And buying some sample ISO documentation for under $50.00 might be a good investment. I wouldn’t spend any more than that, though.

Go ahead and buy the 50.00 documentation, and also buy one or 2 books on the subject of ISO9001:2000 quality systems. With a little reading and writing, and some sample documentation to give you some guidance, you can definitely do this.

But please don’t spend hundreds of dollars “buying” your quality manual. You can get the same information for less than $50.00, and you’ll save enough to buy some books. I also recommend you purchase a copy of the actual ISO9001:2000 quality standard, either from www.iso.ch, or www.ansi.org.

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One Response to “Should you buy an ISO9001:2000 quality manual on the internet?”

  1. John Tomaso says:

    I love your site. I would like your templates but don’t have paypal.
    Can you give an address for mailing a check or I can use AMEX ?

    I can wait till you get the mail.

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