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The Quality Management System You Never Knew You Had

“We don’t have much of an ISO 9001 quality management system yet”

New clients who are just getting started on their path to certification often say, “We don’t have a quality management system yet.” But if you are successfully running an organisation, chances are you do actually have a quality management system (QMS) in place. It may not be perfectly documented or 100% compliant to ISO 9001 but it’s there.

A good way to identify what and how much of a QMS you already have is to ask yourself “What are we doing to make sure our organisation runs smoothly?” and “How do we keep our customers happy?” You are likely to identify quite a number of existing quality controls this way.

These are examples of documents you are likely to find in your organisation as part of the QMS you never knew you had:






✔Work instructions


ISO 9001:2015 explicitly requires very few documents. How you control quality in your organisation is mainly up to you. For example, the standard doesn’t specify that you must have a document control register; it leaves the control of your documents entirely in your hands. It does, however, require you to control your documents.  We, find that maintaining a document control register is a very good way of doing this. But many clients have other equally compliant methods of document control.  Providing you can show that you are controlling your documents you are compliant.

You will be surprised how many bits and pieces of a QMS you already have in place without knowing it.

If you need help pulling it all together in preparation for ISO 9001 certification visit

Have you recently looked for quality control documents in your organisation? How many did you find? Share your favourite finds in the comment section.