The purpose of any quality manual is to describe the boundaries of the quality management system, via the management system’s scope, the applicability of ISO clauses, internal process definition and the quality policy.

The quality manual also communicates the structure of the QMS's documentation hierarchy, the organizational reporting structure and other information flows. 

The idea is that confidence in a business’s products, or services can be communicated and acquired by prospective customers through the use of an approved quality manual.

The quality manual is usually one of the first, high-level documents of a multi-tiered structure that is created or revised when establishing or updating a quality management system and can be used as a mission-statement for your organization’s

A quality manual includes information about your organization’s strategic direction its goals, its mission, and policies, and as a useful induction tool for new staff and as a road map for how the QMS operates. 

The manual also includes requirements needed for the organization to be compliant with the ISO 9001 standard.


NOTE: 

A quality manual is not a requirement of ISO 9001 and is therefore, not a mandatory document.

However, many mature organizations with existing ISO 9001 certification or those currently working towards certification often prefer to retain and update their existing quality manual.


The quality manual demonstrates management’s accountability for the QMS and for determining and fulfilling customer requirements, it communicates the structure of the QMS to employees, business partners, and stakeholders, as well as keeping the QMS in-line with ISO 9001 standards.


Some of the more common ISO templates include:

Quality Manual

- Policy statement

- Objectives

- Introduction & Scope

- Quality Management Principles

- References and Definitions

- Context of the organization

- Leadership

- Management System Planning

- Support

- Operation

- Performance Evaluation

- Improvement

- Appendices

Documented Procedures

- Preventive Actions

- Corrective Actions

- Control of Non-conforming Products

- Control of Documents

- Control of Records

- Internal Audit

- Other Operational Procedures

Process Maps

Reports

Forms

SWAT and PESTLE analysis