There are many ISO 9001 manuals, documentation templates and implementation packages that allow you to implement ISO 9001 by yourself but the qualitative differences among them are significant. To help you choose, we are sharing with you our editor reviews which are based on our own research and actual user experiences.
Easy9001.com does exactly what their name indicates: make the ISO 9001 implementation really easy. To take the confusion out of the product selection, they offer just one single product, the All-In-One Easy 9001 Toolkit, which we found to contain everything an ISO 9001 novice needs to implement ISO 9001 and get certified.
The All-In-One Easy 9001 Toolkit contains not only easy-to-customize templates for the entire ISO 9001 documentation but also detailed guides for all aspects of the ISO implementation, everything necessary to set up an internal ISO 9001 audit program, a PowerPoint presentation, and everything else needed to get ISO 9001 certification. Many of the components of the toolkit are quite unique. Though we were impressed by the quality and practical usability of all components, we would like to point out the Insider Secrets for a Successful ISO 9001 Certification Audit: when it comes to passing the ISO 9001 certification audit, these secrets alone could be worth the price of the entire toolkit!
We reviewed all components of the All-In-One Easy 9001 Toolkit against the following criteria:
how good are the documentation templates,
is the toolkit complete,
is it fully ISO 9001:2008 compliant,
is it really easy to use,
is it appropriate for any company,
can beginners use it, and
how fast is it to achieve ISO 9001 certification using the toolkit.
The result of our evaluation: the All-In-One Easy 9001 Toolkit is impressive! It easily exceeded in all of the evaluation criteria above. All documentation templates are of high quality and easy to customize; there are even templates for work instructions! Based on our simulated ISO 9001 implementation at a small manufacturing company, we think that even an absolute beginner can achieve ISO 9001 certification in only two months.
The All-In-One Easy 9001 Toolkit makes ISO 9001 easy, but with easy there comes a potential trade-off: the resulting ISO 9001 system is rather minimalistic (though fully ISO 9001:2008 compliant). Easy9001.com justifies this by arguing that the most important goal is to quickly achieve ISO 9001 certification, and that after successful certification, the utilization of this ISO 9001 system will automatically lead to process improvements. Though we are strong believers in utilizing ISO 9001 as a business improvement tool, we can accept this approach of easy9001.com.
Even if you are not going to purchase their All-In-One Easy 9001 Toolkit, we recommend reviewing their website and their Easy Steps to ISO 9001 page because it gives an excellent overview of the necessary steps to reach ISO 9001 certification.
easy9001.com is fully compliant with ISO 9001:2008 and offers a free upgrade to ISO 9001:2015 (which is expected to be published in late 2015).
Business Value-Added: (85%)
Ease of Customization: (98%)
Malaysia-based Everise sells its ISO 9001 templates on several websites including: iso9001store.com and iso9001-standard.us. These websites illegally infringe on trademarks of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
ISO9001Store.com offers an ISO 9001 Template which consists of a template for the ISO 9001 quality manual, templates for the quality procedures and several forms templates. Though the ISO 9001 Store advertises that the templates are easy to customize, we found the opposite: the templates seem to be merely copies of the ISO 9001 documentation of a manufacturing business. This, of course, makes a big difference as it is more likely than not that these documents will not fit your own company. To make matters worse, the ISO 9001 Template lacks detailed customization instructions that would be crucial in adapting their documentation to fit your company. Furthermore, The ISO 9001 Store doesn't even provide customer support by ISO 9001 specialists. The combination of these factors will likely lead to failure for any company trying to base their ISO 9001 system on these templates.
The ISO 9001 documentation itself contains a separate quality manual and procedures. The layout and structure is average and useable. However, the content calls for several cumbersome and time-consuming activities that are not required by ISO 9001:2008 and that add no business value (for example, maintaining a master list of documents). The resulting ISO 9001 quality management system would not be a tool to increase business processes and efficiency; on the contrary, the resulting ISO system would be an expensive burden on your company and a drag on its efficiency.
While the relatively low price of the ISO 9001 Template may be tempting, the time spent trying to use these templates and the decreased efficiency imposed on your company will be lead to significant costs to your business. As a funny side note, the ISO9001Store tries to make their products more appealing by adding bizarre bonus materials, such as an e-guide to selling time shares and an e-book “How to get rich over night”.
The bottom line is that the products of the 9001 Store are inadequate to set up an ISO 9001 quality management system.
Business Value-Added: (36%)
Ease of Customization: (13%)
QualityManualTemplates offers a range of outstanding ISO 9001 quality manuals, procedures, forms and guides. Their well-written and professional templates set themselves apart from others mainly through this key feature: they are very easy to customize because they include very detailed step-by-step customization instructions, and because they are user-friendly. Though QualityManualTemplates.com offers a stand-alone quality manual template and individual quality procedures, most companies interested in implementing a complete ISO 9001:2008 quality management system will want to choose one of the two integrated documentation templates:
The Quality Manual & Procedures Template follows the structure of the ISO 9001:2008 standard; the quality manual part is clear and to-the-point, and the quality procedures strike the right level of detail. Very user-friendly and particularly easy to customize.
The Process Oriented Quality Manual & Procedures Template goes beyond the minimum requirements of ISO 9001:2008 by including additional procedures, by fully integrating quality manual and quality procedures and presenting all in a format that follows the sequence of a typical business system (thus meeting the spirit of ISO 9001's process approach).
Both manuals are excellent and can be easily and quickly customized. In our opinion, The Quality Manual & Procedures Template is a good choice for companies whose primary focus it is to achieve ISO 9001:2008 certification quickly and easily as a marketing tool. However, we recommend The Process Oriented Quality Manual & Procedures Templates to companies whose primary focus is to improve their business processes and quality.
The Process Oriented Quality Manual & Procedures Template is also included in The Certification Package, the implementation package that includes all the products that QualityManualTemplates offers. The Certification Package contains the most important tools needed for ISO 9001 certification at a package price.
QualityManualTemplates is fully compliant with ISO 9001:2008 and offers a free upgrade to ISO 9001:2015 (which is expected to be published in late 2015).
Business Value-Added: (80%)
Ease of Customization: (94%)
BinaryNine sells ISO 9001 templates on its website ISO9000-Standard.com which illegally infringes on trademarks of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
This publisher offers what they call an “outstanding” quality manual. However, we found their quality manual to be a sub-standard ISO 9001 manual that appears to have been developed in an attempt to please auditors but without adding value to the company. We found it to be relatively hard to read, bureaucratic and not user-friendly. The price is high at US$ 199, even when considering that the package includes a PowerPoint presentation. However, the indirect costs to a business may be the most significant if the resulting ISO 9001 system imposes many bureaucratic hurdles rather than streamline business processes.
This company has NOT updated its products to the current ISO 9001:2008 standard.
Business Value-Added: (12%)
Ease of Customization: (56%)
9001Simplified claims to be different from other providers by going back to the purpose of ISO 9001 (improve company performance and quality) and setting up an ISO 9001:2008 quality management system that adds real business value and that is efficient, non-bureaucratic, and easy to use. We found this claim to be largely true.
9001Simplified managed to really simplify the ISO 9001:2008 requirements and create unique ISO manuals that are free from unnecessary requirements and bureaucracy that is so common in other ISO 9001 documentation; instead, their ISO 9001 manuals focus on improving business processes and efficiency.
Interestingly, 9001Simplified offers two different manuals: the Implementation Manual and the Streamlining Manual. Both manuals are templates for the entire ISO 9001 documentation and fully integrate quality manual, procedures, and policies; both manuals come with detailed and easy-to-follow customization instructions. The main difference between both manuals is:
The Implementation Manual is specifically designed for companies that want to implement ISO 9001:2008 for the first time as this manual includes many explanations, clear processes and detailed instructions that will make the ISO 9001 implementation quite easy; most importantly, employees will more readily accept ISO 9001:2008 because this manual is user-friendly and simply makes sense.
The Streamlining Manual is a super-efficient manual that is ideal for companies that want to make their existing quality system more efficient.
9001Simplified also offers a package: the Complete Package which includes the Implementation Manual, Forms Collection, Streamlining Manual, a set of startup documents and a detailed beginner's guidebook. Initially we were surprised to find both ISO 9001 documentation templates included. However, the reasoning makes sense: the Streamlining Manual is to be used to upgrade and streamline the original ISO 9001 documentation about 1-2 years after ISO 9001 certification (in fact, your auditor will likely expect you to revise your ISO 9001 documentation due to the ISO 9001:2008 requirement for continual improvement); using their Streamlining Manual is an easy way to meet ISO 9001:2008's improvement requirement with a very efficient ISO 9001 QMS and at minimal efforts.
9001Simplified is fully compliant with ISO 9001:2008 and offers a free upgrade to ISO 9001:2015 (which is expected to be published in late 2015).
Business Value-Added: (98%)
Ease of Customization: (92%)
FormsNMore offers not only forms but also two ISO 9001 manuals and a separate ISO 9001 procedures package; however, they don't offer an implementation package. We reviewed both manuals, as well as the procedures package, and found them of generally high quality.
The Quality Manual is a no-frills template for the ISO 9001 required quality manual (without procedures), while the Quality plus Procedures Manual also includes the templates for the required quality procedures (which are also available separately in form of the Quality Procedures Collection). Both manuals, as well as the procedures collection, have have two main characteristics:
they are concise and include the bare minimum that ISO 9001:2008 requires - which is an advantage for those who seek quick and easy ISO 9001:2008 certification but are not really interested in utilizing the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system as a means to improve their business;
their price is very reasonable.
If your company seeks quick ISO 9001:2008 certification without changing your company's business processes more than absolutely necessary, the Quality plus Procedures Manual is good value. However, we recommend that you not merely try to achieve ISO 9001 certification, but that you utilize ISO 9001:2008 as a tool and opportunity to improve your business processes; for this purpose, the manuals offered by 9001Simplified would be a better choice.
FormsNMore.com is compliant with ISO 9001:2008.
Business Value-Added: (56%)
Ease of Customization: (72%)
SOP Templates sells a so-called "ISO 9001:2008 Complete Package" of which the company claims that it is the best, complete ISO 9001 certification package on the planet. Let's look at this claim and the product in more detail.
Looking at the content of this package, we found that it lacks not only some necessary ISO 9001 templates, for example the quality policy, but it also lacks guidelines, a project guide and customization instructions for the templates. Without these instructions, anybody but ISO 9001 experts would find themselves at a loss on how to use the documentation templates.
The lack of instructions may not be coincidental as SOP Templates is also advertising their consulting services. There are many companies that market ISO 9001 certification packages at a low price as a ploy to sell their consulting services later on.
Looking at the quality of the "ISO 9001:2008 Complete Package", it turns out that their so called operating procedures are not really procedures but more of a rewrite of the ISO 9001:2008 standard itself. In order to make these documents user-friendly and qualify as ISO 9001 procedures, significant changes would be necessary.
The included quality system forms are partially useful after some major modifications. The included "Master Document List" is a relic from a 20-year old version of the ISO 9001 standard (ISO 9001:1994); however, a master list is no longer required nor is it recommended because it has shown to be of little practical use and one of the most notorious sources of audit non-compliances.
If your company is looking for an ISO 9001 implementation package, we recommend to look elsewhere for better and more complete solutions.
Business Value-Added: (35%)
Ease of Customization: (32%)
Epsilon Quality sells its ISO 9001 templates under various names and websites, including: epsilonquality.com, iso9001consultant.com, 9001certification.com, isoqualitymanuals.com. Several of these websites illegally infringe on trademarks of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Reviewing their websites lowered our expectations about their ISO 9001 documents and instructions as their websites include a spectrum of inconsistencies, factual misrepresentations, misguided advice and errors; one site even plagiarized the design and product descriptions from one of their competitors!
Now to their products: Epsilon Quality offers an ISO 9001 quality manual template (Quality Control Manual), a set of ISO 9001 quality procedures (Quality Systems Manual) and a package containing these two templates (Complete Documentation Program). In addition, they offer the option - at a significant cost - to fully customize all templates for their customers. While we have not reviewed this option, we are more than dubious as the template approach to ISO 9001 implementation can only work if the customization is done by an individual intimately familiar with the company, its business processes and its culture. In our opinion, Epsilon's approach will lead to an ISO 9001 quality management system that won't fit the company and that will become an expensive burden.
The documentation templates are convoluted and bureaucratic, and they are written in a style that is difficult to understand for managers and employees alike. Instead of focusing on the intent and requirements of ISO 9001:2008, these templates include unnecessary requirements (for example, to maintain a master list of documents) that are time-consuming to follow, that add no value, and that provide additional opportunities to fail the ISO 9001:2008 certification audit.
Epsilon Quality advertises one particular feature: color coded sections. At first glance, using different colors to identify different sections seems to be a unique and appealing feature. In daily practice, however, the color coding offers little help in using the manual; instead, it adds an unnecessary, burdensome and time-consuming requirement. Furthermore, color-coded instructions and records require expensive color-printing.
It also should be noted that the Complete Documentation Program does NOT include an implementation guide, nor audit materials, nor training materials, nor any of the many other materials necessary when implementing ISO 9001.
At first glance, their prices seem to be reasonable and similar to those of other ISO 9001 providers reviewed by us. However, prices in the shopping cart are higher than advertised prices, and the “scholarship” option to receive discounts is obscure and utterly misleading. Due to the low quality of their templates and the lack of support materials and features, we consider Epsilon Quality's products poor value.
Please be also aware that the “certification” that Epsilon Quality is offering through its ISO Accreditation Service (isoaccreditationservice.com) is a non-accredited certification that is generally recognised as sham. Advertising such a certification could deter your customers and have a highly negative effect on your company.
Business Value-Added: (31%)
Ease of Customization: (48%)
More ISO 9001 documentation templates and implementation packages
We hope that our reviews will help you make the best purchase decision when selecting ISO 9001 manuals, documentation templates and implementation packages. However, we realize that there are also other ISO 9001 templates and packages that we haven't reviewed yet due to a lack of resources or because their publishers prevent us from publishing a review of their products. If you consider a product not included in our reviews, please see our tips in How to Select Good ISO 9001 Templates.