Quality is essential in all we do and particularly in our chosen field of work.
Quality has been defined by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) as:
The totality of characteristics of an entity that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs.
An alternative might be - doing it right, doing it on time
Quality assurance is at the heart of all the procedures and systems and has been defined by the ISO as:
Within this definition and specifically within an office environment, an entity could be a procedure, process or activity that is provided to a customer or client (both internal and external).
Quality would therefore be expressed in terms of:
The way in which an organisation is able to assure quality is through the creation of a Quality Management System. This is defined by the ISO as:
A Quality Management System relies on establishing clear objectives, defined responsibilities, processes and procedures. Training requirements must be carefully specified as well as clearly defined performance standards. In addition a quality management system must be regularly reviewed, monitored and, where necessary, updated.
Whenever such a system is operating successfully, major benefits to the organisation, its staff and customers should be demonstrated.
The standards within the ISO 9000 Series have been updated in 2000 and place greater emphasis on continual improvements. The published standards now cover: