Mathew Lowry

QMS Audit today

Yep, the auditor is in to check whether we still deserve our ISO certification. Although the worry lines on our quality manager’s face are deepening, don’t put fingertip to keyboard and comment us your sympathy – our Quality Management System rocks, and we’re actually enjoying ourselves.

Bullsh*t, I can hear you say. QMSs are a waste of time – a huge pile of paper that noone ever pays attention to … except for when the auditors shows up, right?


This was brought home to me by a colleague, who noticed at a recent tender opening that a competitor’s proposal was bulked up by a 500-page QMS.

Really? 500 pages?

I instantly felt sorry for the poor b*stards working there. Noone can actually use a 500-page QMS, but you can sure die trying.

A quick check on their website, however, paints another picture. No ISO certification mentioned anywhere.


So that’s how QMSs get bad press

For this poor company’s employees, their QMS must be the in-house joke – a huge pile of paper that only their bid team can find, and which only sees daylight when Bid Deadline Day arrives and some exploited intern has to print out 5 copies for folders noone will ever open (and how many trees died for those 2500 pages of trash?).

There’s only one possible reason why they don’t have ISO certification – they don’t actually use the QMS, in which case the last thing they need are independent auditors poking their noses about.

So if anyone forced to read a QMS is instead reading this, a word of advice: if the company ain’t certified, their QMS is a work of fiction, and not worth the paper it’s printed on.


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  1. Thanks for dropping by – I can’t remember the last time one of my posts got zero comments! ūüėČ

    You’re absolutely right that an ISO-certified Quality Management System does not guarantee quality, paradoxical as that may sound.

    My point was while an ISO-certified QMS is not enough, a QMS document submitted without ISO certification is simply a work of fiction, and should not be treated seriously.

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