The International Standards Organization 9001 covers purchasing requirements in section 7.4 of the documentation. The acquisition of goods and services is how the standard defines purchasing. This includes components required for manufacturing processes and services provided to organizations, such as catering and cleaning. The standard covers three areas of the purchasing process. These are supplier selection, purchasing controls and inspection.
Selection of Suppliers
The ISO standard suggests that organizations should adopt a process for selecting and evaluating potential suppliers. Ideally, this includes issuing a questionnaire that asks whether suppliers are ISO 9001 accredited. If so, then there is no need to complete the questionnaire. Suppliers not ISO 9001 accredited should complete the questionnaire to prove that they meet the minimum quality standards required. ISO further notes that there should be a provision made to re-evaluate suppliers based on performance and quality.
ISO 9001 purchasing procedures state that there should be controlled purchasing documentation. This means creating a document that specifies what is required. Because the requirements of an organization may change, it is essential that an organization maintains revision controls of its documentation to record the changing requirements for audits.
The final area that ISO 9001 investigates is inspection. This is to ensure that the service or product delivered meets the minimum requirement described in purchasing control documents. Purchasing departments should establish control and reporting mechanisms for the inspection of goods and services that relate to the specifications in the documents to ensure that supply quality is maintained.
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