What are the similarities between the criteria of ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004?
There are numerous aspects that are common between the criteria of ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004. For instance, it is imperative to note that the two quality standards address environmental policies and therefore provide invaluable information on environmental conservation standards (Block, 2000). Both standards of quality complement each other. In addition, studies have shown that both series apply relevant procedures when assessing and identifying the impacts and aspects of the set policy regulation.
In line with this, it is factual that the two standards have similar procedures of training which they follow to ensure that their trainees are competent to tasks that are carried out (Block, 2000). For instance, the aim of training procedures is to produce trainees who have competent skills and knowledge on how to implement policies and alongside creating awareness on environmental conservation. According to Block (2000), both standards have written responsibilities, policies, and roles on matters related to the environment. Moreover, they have documented management systems that foster flexibility in executing daily activities.
Research evidence has revealed that both standards have internal and external audit systems in place (Block, 2000). Furthermore, it is essential to mention that the audit systems have similar formal schedules and procedures geared toward environmental management. For this case, they experience constant review in the management system even though it happens at different levels. Empirical studies have shown that the standards keep records and hence they have common record systems (Block, 2000).
Needless to say, records which they use have similar procedures both in terms of control and audit. This is one of the factors that enhance the use of a quality management system that is able to adapt to emerging changes in the environment. According to Block (2000), both standards have evaluation compliances and hence have similar strategies in responding to non-compliance. Moreover, since matters related to the environment are very complex, they both apply corrective and preventative actions.
It is important to note that communication is a common aspect in both cases and it enables them to organize a wide range of activities and working procedures. At this juncture, it is arguable that irrespective of some of the differences between the two quality standards, there are myriads of similarities that exist between ISO 14002 and ISO 9001. Studies have shown that due to their similarities, it becomes easier to integrate them since they are highly compatible.
How can we integrate ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO 14001: 2004 documentation system?
Integration of the standards is usually possible due to similarity in terms of the elements and resources that make them compatible with each other. It is important to ensure that the standards’ system serve similar roles before they become integrated (Spilka, Kania, & Nowosielski, 2009). Needless to say, in order to integrate the standards’ documentation system, there is a need to establish a sincere document control and management system that will ensure that all the requirements of both standards are met. In line with this, studies have shown that there is a need to identify corresponding aspects in both standards to make collective documentation (Spilka, Kania, & Nowosielski, 2009).
In this case, there are numerous sections that should be considered in the process. For instance, the general requirements of the standards are crucial to consider. That notwithstanding, it is important to consider the mode of communication, responsibilities, and authority in both standards. This ensures that the integration process streamlines the needs of each standard. Besides, it is worth identifying and assesses their quality policy and their objectives to ensure that none is left out (Spilka, Kania, & Nowosielski, 2009). From a careful review of history, it is evident that the standards differ in their training, awareness, and competence procedures.
Therefore, there is a need to establish a balance between the two in order to increase the efficiency of the integrated systems. Moreover, there is also a need to consider documentation procedures and requirements. This has to do with managing, controlling, and executing policies in organizations. In connection to this, external and internal communication is crucial while trying to streamline documentation requirements (Spilka, Kania, & Nowosielski, 2009).
Such requirements include values, mission, and objectives set by each standard. Notably, the latter helps to reduce duplication of duties and yet the system adheres to the requirements of a particular quality standard. It is essential to mention that this can be made easy by formulating a documentation map for the standards and then constructing a harmonized one from those that are available. In addition, streamlining documentation procedures helps in increasing the level of effectiveness and credibility (Spilka, Kania, & Nowosielski, 2009).
In spite of the identified factors, there are other areas that should be given more focus. These include control of non-conformity, preventive actions, corrective actions, and internal audit. These are some of the significant requirements that are often considered to provide a platform for the integration of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 series (Spilka, Kania, & Nowosielski, 2009). However, it is imperative to note that some of the factors are mutually exclusive and therefore, they might fail to fit in the integrated management system.
Hence, in order to achieve quality management and environmental performance, some of the dissimilar aspects should be dropped. Needless to say, if factors such as operational procedures and policies cannot be excluded, then there is a need to identify a criterion to harmonize them in order to achieve an integrated documentation system.
How the company will change due to their efforts in achieving ISO 9001: 2008?
The Abdelkader Bakheet Law Firm and Legal Consultants will be able to attend to customers more efficiently after adopting the ISO 9001: 2008 quality program. The customers of the firm will be more fulfilled. The company will have put in place better methods of communicating with customers. It will also institute regulatory measures to ensure quality customer service when offering legal services to its clients. The methods used in communication at Abdelkader Bakheet Law Firm and Legal Consultants will be improved.
Managers and employees will be able to understand one another without major communication break downs. Information will therefore be communicated to different departments effectively. In addition, the company will be in a position to manage the transition in a more stable manner. The techniques used to offer legal services at Abdelkader Bakheet Law Firm and Legal Consultants will also be most appropriate and updated on a regular basis. The latter step will be necessary for the organization since legal costs will be lowered significantly. This will be achieved through the standardization of working conditions as well as service delivery to clients when providing legal assistance.
If Abdelkader Bakheet Law Firm and Legal Consultants are certified by the ISO 9001:2008 standards, the company will be assured of security for its investments. Financiers like banks will be ready to relate and also do business with this legal firm. Studies indicate that banking institutions often rate the credibility of a company based on the general public opinion (ASQ, 2012). Hence, Abdelkader Bakheet Law Firm and Legal Consultants will be giving back to the community through community development projects. This will be achieved when the company gives its employees a chance to be involved in volunteer work. Such volunteer works will be financed by the returns of the company in union with the banks.
The effort to achieve the standards of ISO 9001: 2008 will bring an overall change at Abdelkader Bakheet Law Firm and Legal Consultants. The company’s organizational process will be moved from the current level to the standards of the ISO 9001: 2008 certification (ASQ, 2012). The company will be able to assure its employees of a suitable working environment, especially when dealing with complicated legal cases.
The company will equally be able to become more compliant with the legal regulations in the United Arab Emirates. In the long run, Abdelkader Bakheet Law Firm and Legal Consultants will emerge as one of the best performing professional companies dealing with law-related services. The company will be set in a position that will enable it to operate at lower costs. Safety in production will also improve the quality of services provided by the company.
This will occur as the company embraces better branding methods that are stipulated in the ISO 9001:2008 certification. This law firm will be able to attract well-trained employees because it will be operating under a certified quality program. The company will finally enjoy low insurance costs because of the adoption of high quality and profitable operational procedures when offering legal services.
Suppose you are the quality manager and you are responsible for preparing and conducting an internal audit
How will you do it?
Sander (2009) notes that the chief objective of auditing is to formerly monitor how a management system operates. It entails checking whether the management system meets the required standards of quality. When carrying out an internal audit, I would start by verifying whether the operational procedures used in the company meet the legal stipulations. In this case, I will focus on ensuring that improvement is attained.
My audit will be spearheaded by practical auditing of the managerial offices. I will also make sure that I use an approach that incorporates not just a segment of the company but the whole of it. This will help in making my work more reliable.
Studies reveal that the questioning technique is the most applicable in the execution of internal audits (Sander, 2009). My concerns will be generalized. As an experienced quality manager, I will use both formal and informal setups to acquire an outcome that is relatively reliable. Every office will provide an opportunity for me. My methodology will not allow the existence of disparity between top management offices and the subordinates will also create an environment that will enable my respondents to be relaxed.
What will be your personal “touch” to make it successful?
In order to make sure that I incorporate my personal touch in the process, I will have to steer the entire internal audit towards the best specifications by formulating personalized audit concerns. My psychologically appealing research technique will be very resourceful at this point. All the stakeholders in my company will not have a direct understanding of what needs to be done. I will not leave them at the state of saying no or yes. My interview will involve the input of all workers. This will make the audit highly acceptable. Indeed, reasonable cooperation will be triggered by my friendliness.
I will aspire to incorporate real-life situations in my internal audit activity. I will also make use of all discussions which I normally have with fellow managers during tea breaks. It is true that many employees at different companies keep their work quite confidential. Research has shown that it is possible to gather factual and much-needed findings by developing a simple and cordial relationship with workers of an organization. I will give the whole organization a chance to respond to the quality assurance specifications based on my experience in the auditing field.
ASQ (2012). ISO Survey Reveals Increase in QMS Certifications. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 34(4), 37-38.
Block, M. R. (2000). Leveraging a quality system to establish an EMS. Quality Progress, 33(7), 82-87.
Sander, W. (2009). ISO 9001:2008 Internal Audits Made Easy. Quality Progress, 42(11), 67-80.
Spilka, M., Kania, A., & Nowosielski, R. (2009). Integration of management systems on the chosen example. Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, 35(2), 32-40.