Quality Management and ISO Standards in the UAE

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The ISO standards applied in the UAE

The ISO standards which are applied in the United Arab Emirates are the following;

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  • ISO 9001 QMS, which is the standard framework for Quality Management System (QMS) providing a framework for quality production in organizational performances.
  • The ISO 27001 is an Information Security Management System (ISMS) that provides structures for security needs for various organizations.
  • ISO 14001 EMS, which is a standard Environmental Management System by facilitating business practices that are friendly to the environment.
  • OHSAS 18001 is the standard Occupational Health and Safety Management System for improving workplace safety and building stakeholders’ confidence.
  • HACCP ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System, which prevents safety food hazards by ensuring that food is safe at consumption.
  • ISO/IEC 17025:005 is the standard for testing technical requirements and calibration services.
  • ISO 20000:2005 is the IT Service Management System (ISMS) for the identification of effective IT services to facilitate satisfaction to customers and businesses.
  • ISO 13485:2003 is a Quality Management System for Medical Devices which provides harmonized regulatory requirements for medical devices to manufacturers (Greenberg & Hemphill, 1999, p 1).

Demand for standardization of Quality Management System

With the increasing advancements in technology, every aspect of our lives has been affected, especially in the production sector. The standardization of quality management systems has benefited consumers greatly as consumers are now able to access and compare the qualities of various products since market competition is also increasing drastically. Quality ratings on standardization have made it easier for consumers to track and identify high-quality products. Fortunately, the same quality systems provide management systems and automation tools to manufacturers, which facilitate the production and maintenance of high-quality products.

As all manufacturers want to keep up with the ever-rising consumer quality demands, the demand for quality management systems keeps on increasing among manufacturers since consumers are known to be the greatest asset in any enterprise. As the demand for quality management system rises, manufacturing companies are advised to use these systems alongside other existing systems, so that management of quality data is maintained as well as the utilization of management systems in providing high-quality products (Baron, 2011, p 1). This helps not only in the product quality but also in coupling information necessary for future improvement of the manufacturing process.

Importance of quality control and quality assurance

Similarly, as market competition in the manufacturing industry continues to rise, consumer demands on quality keep on rising. As a result, all successful manufacturing companies are extensively managing quality control. This is done by carefully maintaining step by step plans of ensuring that products are of high consistency and reliability to suit all consumers’ needs. These companies require highly skilled personnel in every department to conduct quality control procedures in order to meet the standardization requirements of specific products.

Quality control and/or quality assurance are the most important tools for any manufacturing company as they determine the level of success of the company which is better defined by level of consumer satisfaction and position in market competition and as we all know this can only be achieved through production of high-quality products which meet standardization measures (Heaphy, 1996, p 1). Quality control and assurance involve conducting scientific procedures that are meant to prove the quality of products scientifically. As a matter of fact, products that fail to meet the quality requirements are not allowed to be sold as they are considered unsuitable for human use.

Quality management system

The main essence of quality management is to facilitate an organized relationship between consumers and suppliers towards mutual benefits. The quality management system can be defined as a set of activities controlling and directing organizations to facilitate continued efficiency of performance. The important drive of the quality management system is the identification of processes for producing high-quality products rather than detecting low produced products that have already been produced. There are two important benefits of a fully documented quality management system.

One is the significant benefit of consumer requirements where the organization gets to meet consumer needs by producing high-quality products and services in a consistent manner. The second important benefit is the ability of organizations to meet their requirements through the optimization of costs as we as complete use of available resources, including technology, information, and labor. These requirements can only be met best if there is objective evidence provided by the quality management systems in terms of information and data (Heaphy, 1996, p 1).

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Difference between a quality manual and a quality system

A quality manual is basically a document which states the security level of an organization. It is considered to be the most highly categorized document in any quality management system. One of the published definitions of a quality manual consists of the requirements for developing a quality manual while the other consists of suggestions in detail for creating a quality manual. Therefore, a quality manual consists of quality system procedures documented with the intended impact on quality through planning and administration.

A quality manual is described in the ISO 9001:2000 clause of standardization as the detailed justification of the scope of quality management, which describes the interaction between all processes involved in quality management systems. A quality system, on the other hand, is the process through which organizations systematically manage their quality aspects of operation in an organized manner to help facilitate effective planning and implementation and ease the process of assessing performance in organizations. It also involves conducting quality control and assurance procedures involving various technical activities and elements such as accountability and responsibility, organizational authority, procedures and practices, and, most importantly, organizations’ objectives and policies.

Documented procedures required by ISO 9001:2000

The specific documented requirements by the ISO 9001:2000 are the following:

  • Availability of the documents needed by organizations to facilitate proper planning, control, and operation of their activities.
  • A detailed quality manual whose specific requirements are contained in the 4:2:2 section of ISO 900:2000.
  • A documented statement of quality objectives and policies.

These requirements maintain that organizations should keep constant review of documents with the aim of keeping documents up to date and pre-approving them periodically. This requirement suggests a review of documents during internal auditing and submission of reports to management. Other documented requirements are meant for corrective and preventive action, control of records, control of nonconforming products, and internal audits.

Quality organizational structure

Quality organizational structure may be defined as the aspect of integrating total quality management with the structural organization. This entails the involvement of every aspect of organizations in terms of departments as well as employees with the unified goal of providing high-quality products and services. One of the significant importance of in-cooperating total quality management with organizational structure is to facilitate gradual quality growth rather than the one-time advancement. The most important tool in achieving this is through decentralization, where decision-making processes in organizations are controlled at a downward movement within the organizational structure (Heaphy, 1996, p 1).

This is because decentralization has a great impact on organizational structure. The quality structural system is classified into mechanistic and organic organizational structures which differ by the level of primness in the structure as well as the control embodied between the two organizational systems. This is specifically because the internal structure of an organization is greatly affected by the surrounding environment. Thus, a stable environment would automatically result in a high-quality organizational structure. This is evidenced in clearly established rules and operating procedures with a well-defined order of power. These organizations are mechanistic in that decisions are made from the top downwards.

Example quality management system

A good example is a quality management system by SME managers. This should involve three basic steps, which are development, implementation, and maintenance. Development entails considering the business processes or rather what happens in the business. The implementation clause involves putting into operation the quality management systems. Development defines providing support and improvements to the quality management systems (Greenberg & Hemphill, 1999, p 1). A detailed quality management system for SME should consist of the following;

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  • Stage 1: development – involves considering what happens in the business.
    • Step 1: determining what the main activities of the organization are. Examples include manufacturing, warehousing, distributing, among others.
    • Step 2: listing the organization’s activities by identifying the different components of the organization and determining how they fit together.
  • Stage 2: implementation – involves getting all the quality management systems into operation.
    • Step 3: involving all the concerned parties in the responsibilities of the organization and documenting their roles.
    • Step 4: collating the relevance of the documents with the activities of the business.
    • Step 5: creating a linkage between the standards of quality with the business activities.
    • Step 6: application of the quality management systems and standards to the organization’s activities.
    • Step 7: keeping the quality system relevant and functional to the organization’s activities
  • Stage 3: development – involves the facilitation of improvements for the quality systems.
    • Step 8: evaluating feedback from quality management systems to make considerations for new ideas.
    • Step 9: monitoring and measuring achievements and/or failures for improvements.

How ISO 900 is used to check organizations’ quality management system

With the rising market competition, many organizations consider themselves as unique as they put all efforts into earning better positions in the market. However, not all of them meet the required standards of quality management systems. This is where ISO 900 comes in to check the states of the quality management system in such organizations. This is done by auditing the organizations’-based quality management systems for effective management of their processes.

Additionally, the standards may require the organizations to request for auditing on quality management systems from their clients to facilitate confidence in organizations in regard to meeting consumer needs (Baron, 2011, p 1). Another option of quality management check is by engagement of independent quality systems bodies by organizations for the attainment of a certificate of conformity, ISO 9001:2008.

Reference List

Baron, M. (2011). Quality management systems: what is the definition of “quality”? Quality management 2.0 blog. Web.

Greenberg, N & Hemphill, L. (1999). Enterprisewide quality management system. QCI International. Web.

Heaphy, J. (1996). The importance of quality control. Heaphy associates: technical services for the solid surface industry. Web.

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