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QMH (QM-handbook) according to DIN EN ISO 9001 ff. (ISO 9001:2000, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 9004 ff.)


The QMH (Quality Management Handbook) has to be created and implemented by every company wanting to introduce and certify quality management according to DIN EN ISO 9001 ff.. It describes all of a company's QM-related relevant processes. Work on and with documents is also exactly documented: which types of documents occur in the company and what the individual workflow, the lifecycle of a document of this type, looks like. E.g. the norm DIN EN ISO 9001 dictates a setup based on normed templates as well as the examination according to the double control principle. It also dictates the release / publishing as well as the management and archiving of outdated document versions. This is summarised under the term of Document Control in Quality Management. An electronic Document Management, such as bitfarm-Archiv, helps comfortably implementing the required procedures - documented in the QMH - within the company. It also helps supervising the procedures and provides added value.

The introduction and certification of a QM is mandatory in some economic sectors, e.g. the automobile industry. Not only the manufacturers, but also their suppliers, have to demonstate the introduction of a Quality Management System according to DIN EN ISO 9001 with the creation of a QMH and the subsequent audits / assessments. They also need to have it examined at regular intervals.

The QM manual is designed to serve as a starting point for employees, auditors, and customers who wish to learn more about the overall QM system. The manual's purpose is to provide:

  • An overview of the QM system's contents and structure.
  • "Philosophy," the company's ideals, and its quality policy
  • The interactions between the processes

Some companies distribute the QM manual to consumers because it does not yet describe company secrets such as concrete methods (but simply refers to them).

What else should be considered when implementing a QM-Handbook?

In order to achieve these two goals, the QM handbook compiles a list of the most important features of the processes' structure and flow. It also refers to ISO 9001, as well as legislative requirements, procedural instructions, and, if necessary, other process-related papers. In this context, the QM manual is a useful tool for introducing quality management, implementing it on a daily basis, and improving it.

The process descriptions are written in a manner that resembles instructions. A procedure must run as specified in the handbook. At the same time, ISO 9001 mandates a process of continual improvement, which is documented in the manual. As a result, the quality handbook is transformed into a comprehensive QM document. Despite all of these considerations and the manual's ongoing updating, it can - and should - be kept as brief and straightforward as possible to ensure that it is read and used. The less text that is continuous, the better. It is sufficient to use diagrams, bulleted lists, and graphical representations. The finest QM handbook is one that displays its information at a glance.

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