ISO 9001 Internal Audit and TQM

Audit, audit by exception


In ISO 9001 internal audit process, can we include the TQM function? If so, then which clause of ISO 9001 refers to it?


With regard to the ISO 9001:2008 internal audit process and its relationship to total quality management (TQM), it should be noted that TQM was a concept used by many companies worldwide prior to the existence of ISO 9000 quality management systems.

A few of the commonalities that are shared between TQM and ISO 9001:2008 include their focus on:

  • Reducing costs
  • Increasing profits
  • Leadership’s involvement
  • Ensuring customer satisfaction
  • Ensuring employee competency and involvement
  • Resource management
  • Quality system planning
  • Development of mutually beneficial supplier relationships
  • Accomplishment of objectives that support the organization’s mission (i.e., quality policy)

The primary difference that sets ISO 9001:2008 apart from TQM is that ISO 9001 has defined requirements for the establishment of documented procedures and records to provide evidence of conformance.  The concepts of TQM permeate quality systems that are based upon ISO 9001:2008 requirements.  In my opinion, if your internal audit criteria is ISO 9001, you’re also verifying that TQM concepts are being utilized within the quality system.  More information regarding TQM is provided in Juran’s Quality Handbook, 5th Edition.  Also consider reviewing the eight (8) quality management principles provided in ISO 9000:2005, Introduction, subclause 0.2.  These principles are applicable to all ISO 9000 family of quality management system standards.

Bill Aston, Managing Director
Aston Technical Consulting Services, LLC
800 Rockmead, Suite 170, Kingwood, TX 77339
Office: (281) 359-ATCS (2827)

For more information on this topic, please visit ASQ’s website.

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