How many documents do you need for ISO 9001:2015?



I spent the day yesterday with an amazing client of Best Practice, and it drew my attention to a small problem that a bunch of you’ve been struggling with: you’ve got loads of policies and procedures; what can you delete?

I'm going to draw your attention to section: 4.4.2 of ISO 9001. Now, remember that this is a management system standard that you can use to organize how you run your business. You don't have to get certified, but it is a good little recipe to follow to run any business; use this system to deliver the amazing promises that you make to your customers.

What do we need? Let's have a look at clause 4.4.2 of ISO 9001. The document says: "To the extent necessary the organization shall: maintain documented information to support the operation of its processes and retain documented information to have confidence that the processes are being carried out as planned." This is referring to records. If you want to check if you’re correctly following a process, or if a different part of the business is using a process you can check sheets and records. This will allow you to have confidence in your business processes.


If it makes you feel more confident, then you can keep that policy or procedure. If you're happy without it, go ahead and delete it. Maintain documented information to support the operation of its processes.

I often use the example of a chocolate cake. What do we need to bake a chocolate cake? A recipe, a list of ingredients and a picture of the finished product. That's enough to give us confidence that we've got our process, which is to cook an amazing chocolate cake.


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