ISO 9004 is a member of the ISO 9000 family of standards. Significantly different than previous versions, the 2009 version of ISO 9004 is no longer just a support and guidance supplement to ISO 9001.
Focussed around 8 key quality management principles, the standard provides a framework for top management to guide an organisation towards improved performance and sustained success.
While ISO 9004 is not intended as a certifiable standard, many clients have expressed interest in measurement of their QMS system maturity, to provide a platform for benchmarking and to more easily identify improvements.
To this end, LRQA will shortly be launching a full system maturity evaluation service based on the principles and guidelines contained within ISO 9004:2009.
How can ISO 9004 benefit my organisation?
The standard is geared towards top management requirements with the generation of forward plans, strategies and policies to meet medium to long term goals.
Very much challenging the norm, it provides the basis for a more holistic approach and for identifying system maturity levels which in turn can be used as a foundation for benchmarking and improvement identification.
ISO 9004:2009 links with, and complements, all management system standards based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) approach. It is consistent too with the LRQA methodology of engaging top management to establish the longer term view, linking ISO 9004 evaluation findings and comments to organisational strategies and objectives. It also focuses on organisational risk, which also complements the LRQA Business Assurance and risk-based assessment approaches.