Quality – It’s Not My Job

Responsibility and Authority In my humble opinion this is one of the most important clauses in ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems because to affect improvements staff must have the authority to make changes and clearly understand what they are responsible for. I have to go one step further and say that staff then need to held accountable for the results. If not, they will quickly learn that, in reality, they can do what they want and get away with it. [...]

You’re Only as Safe as Your Contractors

You can have the best WHS management system in the world. You can have an incident investigation system that drills down to the root cause and takes the corrective actions required to prevent it happening again.  You can have an executive management team that takes work, health and safety very seriously. You can have the best in-house training in the country.  BUT, if your contractors don’t effectively manage the safety of their workers it could all be for nothing. One [...]

Control Your Records or They’ll Control You

Firstly, we need to clear up a misunderstanding. In ISO speak a record is NOT a procedure, a policy, or a work instruction. These are documents. A record provides evidence that a task has been completed or results achieved. So I can prove that I did an internal audit because I “wrote” (could be an electronic record and may include pictures to support your findings) an audit report. Another example is that I can prove the required result was achieved [...]

New Version of ISO 9001

The new version of ISO 9001 is out in draft form. With around 40% of the Standard changing this is a major revision due to be released in September 2015. There will then be a three-year transitional period. During this period, companies have time to adjust their management system to the new standard. Click here if you wish to purchase the draft. New Structure In ISO 9001:2015 there will be 10 clauses (in ISO 9001:2008 there are 8 clauses). Clauses [...]

Keeping Documents Under Control

Before you start yawning, let me point something out. Information drives every action in any organisation, thus the ability to control this information can mean the difference between success and failure. It is important that your staff have access to the latest version of these documents and that changes are bought to their attention. Otherwise you are teaching them the old way of doing things, not the new way. It doesn’t matter how well you document current best practices, if [...]

Do I Need a Quality Management System?

The answer is . . . . it depends. It depends on your current business needs, where you want your business to be in the future, and how you want to use it. The way I see it, every business owner or manager wants to grow their business and reduce costs. Believe it or not, ISO 9001 can help you achieve just that. If you want your business to grow then ISO 9001 can help you to: Win lucrative tenders. [...]

Marketing Your Certification (legally)

Congratulations, you’ve done it! Your company is now certified to ISO 9001, AS 4801, ISO 14001, ISO 50001. Maybe of one of them, or maybe all of them. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into this so celebrate it and market it. You’ve got your certificate and you can snap into full-on bragging mode and you should. Not only have you earned it, but being vocal about one’s ISO certification can make the company money. But like every [...]

The 7 Major Changes to ISO 14001

The standard ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management Systems is being revised. The International Organisation for Standardisation’s working group met in early February this year and has produced a draft. The revised ISO 14001 standard will be published in 2015. Once published, it is likely to remain unchanged well into the 2020s. The 2015 version of ISO 14001 will be significantly different from the current 2004 version. But don’t be afraid. You definitely don’t need to chuck your existing system out the [...]

Simple Rules on Purchasing – Part II

Following on from my last blog, here is some more common sense on purchasing from the ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems standard which says - 7 Product Realization 7.4 Purchasing 7.4.2 Purchasing Information Purchasing information shall describe the product to be purchased, including, where appropriate: a) requirements for approval of product, procedures, processes and equipment, b) requirements for qualification of personnel, and c) quality management system requirements. The organization shall ensure the adequacy of specified purchase requirements prior to their [...]

An Insider’s Guide to Design – Part II

Following on from my last blog, here is what you need to do to meet the requirements of the second section on design for which the standard says – 7 Product Realization 7.3 Design and Development 7.3.2 Design and Development Inputs Inputs relating to product requirements shall be determined and records maintained (see 4.2.4). These inputs shall include: a) functional and performance requirements, b) applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, c) where applicable, information derived from previous similar designs, and d) [...]