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Applying the Principle of Continual Improvement In ISO 9001

Continual Improvement of the organization’s overall performance should be permanent objective of the organization. (ISO 9004:2009)

Continual improvement is applied in ISO 9001 Clause 8.5 “Improvement”. CI is achieved from 3 different actions:



The opportunities for continually improving QMS can be identified through the use of the quality policy, quality objectives, audit results, analysis of data and management review.


1. Continual Improvement

This is clearly defined in ISO 9001 Clause 8.5.1 “Continual Improvement”. Normally, a CI project is initiated by the top management, particularly if there is cross functional involvement. A project team is usually formalized and supported with resources to carry out the improvement project.

3. Preventive Action

2. Corrective Action

This is clearly specified in ISO 9001 8.5.2 “Corrective Action”. Whenever nonconformity is encountered in QMS, the problem must be resolved without undue delay according to the correction action procedure established in QMS. It is a requirement that the corrective action should be effective in eliminating the root causes of the nonconformity to prevent its recurrence.


This requirement is defined in ISO 9001 Clause 8.5.3 “Preventive Action”. Through the analysis of data on processes, products, suppliers, customer feedback, audit, etc, potential nonconformities could be identified and preventive actions taken. Preventive action shall be taken according to the established procedure in QMS and it is a requirement to review the effective of such actions taken.

ISO 9001 8 Principle - Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships

Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships

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