The quality policy is a statement made by top management which expresses their commitment to achieve quality as a result of the company’s operation. The quality policy is more than a slogan, it is the output of careful consideration of the organization’s purpose, context, strategic direction and the basis for quality objectives.
By developing, communicating and maintaining a documented quality policy, the organization is held accountable to achieve the expectations stated in the policy.
Third-party auditors will look for objective evidence that the policy is effectively communicated and implemented throughout the organization. It is common for an auditor to ask several employees to describe the company’s quality policy. While the response does not have to be a recitation of the policy, every employee must be able to 1) demonstrate an understanding of the policy and 2) explain how it applies to their day-to-day activities. Thus, any preparation plan for an ISO 9001 certification audit should include the quality policy and how it can be applied to each employee’s work.