ISO 13485 2003 Translated into Plain English



COMING SOON: ISO DIS2 13485 2015 Translated into Plain English.

ISO 13485 2003 is quality management standard for medical devices.
This page presents an overview of ISO 13485 2003. It doesn't provide detail.

It starts in part 4 because ISO's quality management requirements start there.

Also check out the ISO 14971 risk management standard for medical devices.


4. Systemic Requirements

a quality
system for


Develop a quality management system for medical devices.

  • Identify the processes that make up your quality system.

  • Describe your quality management processes.

Implement a quality management system for medical devices.

  • Use quality system processes.

  • Control process performance.


Maintain your medical device quality management system.

  • Monitor the effectiveness of your processes.

  • Maintain the effectiveness of your processes.

Document your
medical device
quality system

4.2.1 Develop quality management system documents.

  • Develop documents to implement your quality system.

  • Develop a file for each model or type of medical device.

  • Develop a file for each type of related service.


4.2.2 Prepare quality management system manual.

  • Document your procedures.

  • Describe how your processes interact.

  • Specify the scope of your quality system.

  • Justify exclusions and reductions in scope.

  • Describe how your documentation is structured.


4.2.3 Control quality management system documents.

  • Approve documents before you distribute them.

  • Provide the correct version of documents at points of use.

  • Review and re-approve documents when you update them.

  • Specify the current revision status of your documents.

  • Monitor documents that come from external sources.

  • Prevent the accidental use of obsolete documents.

  • Preserve the usability of your quality documents.

  • Retain obsolete documents for medical devices.


4.2.4 Maintain quality management system records.

  • Use your records to prove that requirements have been met.

  • Develop a procedure to control medical device records.

  • Ensure that your medical device records are useable.

  • Retain records related to medical devices.



5. Management Requirements


Promote the importance of quality.

  • Promote the need to meet customer requirements.

  • Promote the need to meet medical device requirements.


Develop a quality management system.

  • Support the development of a quality system.

  • Formulate your organization's quality policy.

  • Set your organization's quality objectives.

  • Provide needed quality resources.


Implement your quality management system.

  • Provide resources to implement quality management system.

  • Encourage people to meet quality system requirements.


Maintain your quality management system.

  • Perform quality management reviews.

  • Provide resources to maintain quality system.

Focus on

Identify customer requirements.

  • Expect people to identify customer requirements.


Meet customers requirements.

  • Expect your organization to meet customer requirements.

a quality

Define your quality policy.

  • Ensure that it serves your organization's purpose.

  • Ensure that it emphasizes the need to meet requirements.

  • Ensure that it facilitates the development of quality objectives.


Manage your quality policy.

  • Communicate your policy throughout your organization.

  • Review your policy to ensure its continued suitability.


5.4.1 Formulate quality objectives.

  • Ensure that objectives are set for all functional areas.

  • Ensure that objectives are set at organizational levels.

  • Ensure that objectives facilitate product realization.

  • Ensure that objectives support the quality policy.

  • Ensure that objectives are measurable.


5.4.2 Plan quality management system.

  • Plan the development of your quality management system.

  • Plan the implementation of your quality management system.

  • Plan the improvement of your quality management system.

  • Plan the modification of your quality management system.

your quality

5.5.1 Define responsibilities and authorities.

  • Document responsibilities and authorities.

  • Communicate responsibilities and authorities.

  • Define how people should interact with each other.


5.5.2 Appoint management representative.

  • Oversee your quality management system.

  • Report on the status of your quality system.

  • Support the maintenance of your quality system.

  • Promote the importance of regulatory requirements.


5.5.3 Support internal communications.

  • Ensure that communication processes are established.

  • Ensure that communication occurs throughout organization.

Carry out

5.6.1 Review quality management system.

  • Plan regular reviews of your quality system.

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your quality system.

  • Maintain a record of your management reviews.


5.6.2 Examine management review inputs.

  • Examine audit results.

  • Examine product conformity data.

  • Examine opportunities to improve.

  • Examine feedback from customers.

  • Examine process performance information.

  • Examine corrective and preventive actions.

  • Examine changes that might affect your system.

  • Examine changes in your regulatory requirements.

  • Examine previous quality management reviews.


5.6.3 Generate management review outputs.

  • Generate actions to improve maintenance of quality system.

  • Generate actions to improve your organization's products.

  • Generate actions to address your resource needs.



6. Resource Requirements

Provide quality

Identify quality management system resource requirements.

  • Identify resources needed to support the quality system.

  • Identify resources needed to meet customer requirements.

  • Identify resources needed to meet regulatory requirements.


Provide quality management system resources.

  • Provide resources needed to support the quality system.

  • Provide resources needed to implement the quality system.

  • Provide resources needed to maintain the quality system.

  • Provide resources needed to meet regulatory requirements.

Provide quality

6.2.1 Use competent personnel.

  • Ensure that your personnel have the right experience.

  • Ensure that your personnel have the right education.

  • Ensure that your personnel have the right training.

  • Ensure that your personnel have the right skills.


6.2.2 Support competence.

  • Define acceptable levels of competence.

  • Identify your training and awareness needs.

  • Establish training needs assessment procedures.

  • Deliver your training and awareness programs.

  • Evaluate effectiveness of training and awareness.

  • Maintain a record of competence.

Provide quality

Identify infrastructure needs.

  • Identify your building needs.

  • Identify your workspace needs.

  • Identify your hardware needs.

  • Identify your software needs.

  • Identify your utility needs.

  • Identify your equipment needs.

  • Identify your support service needs.

  • Identify your maintenance needs.


Provide needed infrastructure.

  • Provide needed buildings.

  • Provide needed workspaces.

  • Provide needed hardware.

  • Provide needed software.

  • Provide needed utilities.

  • Provide needed equipment.

  • Provide needed support services.

  • Provide needed maintenance services.


Maintain your infrastructure.

  • Maintain your buildings.

  • Maintain your workspaces.

  • Maintain your hardware.

  • Maintain your software.

  • Maintain your utilities.

  • Maintain your equipment.

  • Maintain your support services.

  • Maintain your maintenance services.

  • Maintain a record of maintenance activities.

Provide quality

Identify needed work environment.

  • Identify work environment for medical products.

  • Identify your organization's health requirements.

  • Identify your organization's clothing requirements.

  • Identify your organization's cleanliness requirements.

  • Identify your organization's working condition requirements.


Implement needed work environment.

  • Meet your organizations work environment needs.

  • Meet your organization's health requirements.

  • Meet your organization's clothing requirements.

  • Meet your organization's cleanliness requirements.

  • Meet your organization's working condition requirements.


Manage needed work environment.

  • Control your organization's work environment.

    • Control your organization's health practices.

    • Control your organization's clothing practices.

    • Control your organization's cleanliness practices.

  • Implement procedures to monitor working conditions.

  • Establish special arrangements for contaminated products.




This page summarizes the ISO 13485 2003 standard. It highlights
the main points. It does not present detail. To get the complete
plain English standard, please consider purchasing our
Title 45: ISO 13485 2003 Translated into Plain English.

Title 45 is detailed, accurate, and complete. It uses language
that is clear, precise, and easy to understand. We guarantee it

Title 45 can be delivered to you on CD or as an email attachment.
Title 45 is 104 pages long and comes in pdf and MS doc file formats.

Title 45 Contents

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Product License


Introduction to ISO 13485 Standard

Medical Device Quality Management Definitions

Knowledge and Skills QMS Auditors Should Have

Plain English Overview of the ISO 13485 Standard

ISO 13485 2003 Quality Standard in Plain English - Page 2 of 2

How to Develop a Quality Management System for Medical Devices

Quality Management Gap Analysis Tool for Medical Devices

Quality Management Audit Program for Medical Devices


ISO 14971 Medical Device Risk Management Requirements

ISO IEC 20000 2011 Service Management Requirements

ISO 9001 2015 Quality Management Requirements

ISO 9004 2009 Quality Management Guidelines

ISO 19011 2011 Auditing Guidelines

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Updated on April 11, 2015. First published on December 11, 2004.

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