Let's try to answer all these questions, in order.
What is a checklist?
A checklistis any exhaustive list of things to do or check to perform a certain activity
It is a sequence of steps to follow to get from point A to point B in the shortest possible time, with the maximum possible effectiveness, without getting lost on your journey.
You know the classic shopping list?
Well, no, that's not really a checklist, unless you keep its content unchanged over time, instead of writing it out all over again.
You can use it both "retrospectively", to check if the process or activity was conducted correctly and to analyse why it did not achieve the results, or as a preventive measure, as a guideline for carrying out the activity.
The 5 immediate benefits of a checklist
Checklists are mostly lists with checkboxes on the left (or right) side of the page, which leave room for a tick after the task has been completed.
It is, of course, possible that other formats are also used.
Relying on a complete, concise and exhaustive checklist is the simplest and safest way to complete activities that involve many steps and require particular attention.
If you have well-made checklists available, these will be the most important benefits you will experience:
It will help you complete all tasks (you will never skip a step if you have a good checklist);
It will show you the way (it's like driving with or without a sat nav, if you have a checklist, you always know where you are and how to get to your destination);
It will decrease stress (you do not have to remember activities and processes, you can clear your mind from the worry of achieving the result and relax by concentrating on execution);
It will increase your speed (having already planned the activities to be carried out and the methods, you will be faster, because you will avoid forgetfulness, repetitions, cognitive processes to access memory etc.);
You can use it to record and improve your performance (keeping and analysing the results of your activities over time, in relation to the quality of the planning carried out with the checklist, allows you to continuously improve them).
How to construct a checklist
The checklist must be:
Succinct: it must serve the activity, not complicate it, or the risk is that you will not use it or will take shortcuts;
Simple, clear and precise: it must not leave room for interpretation or doubts;
Legible: it must use easily legible and adequately sized fonts;
User-friendly: you must be able to find it easily, and you must be able to use it in both digital and paper format, if necessary;
Poka yoke ("foolproof"): give it to a person who is not an expert in the activity in question, and ask him/her if it is understandable; the correct use of the checklist should not depend on the competence of the individual user (just as a good cooking recipe should be understandable even to someone who has never cooked).
Why prepare an ISO 9001:2015 checklist
An ISO 9001:2015 checklist suitable for Quality Management Systems will help you during the audit phase to collect audit evidence.
It will be like having the whole standard in SMART format, always with you.
Doing audits will become a breeze for you, because a good checklist:
Includes ALL the requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 standard;
Has requirements summarised to save you reading time, but is also complete;
Contains, in addition to the summarised requirements, the documentary evidence required and the notes of the standard providing useful suggestions for audits;
You can use it both on a PC and for printing.
An ISO 9001:2015 checklist is the ideal tool for:
Conducting your internal audits faster;
Avoiding forgetfulness and stress during your audits;
Ensuring that your system complies with the requirements;
Checking during external audits that the auditor of your organisation is complying with the standard requirements and not "wandering off track";
Learning by heart all the requirements of ISO 9001:2015.
The final piece of good news?
We have an ISO 9001 checklist ready for you.
It is the same one we use every day for ISO 9001 audits at our accredited customers.
Save time, gain experience. Try it!