This clause asks you to support your quality management system by managing your internal and external communications and by providing the resources required such as:
- Competent people.
- The appropriate infrastructure and work environment.
- Suitable monitoring and measuring technologies.
The last word – knowledge, appears for the first time in an ISO 9001 standard in this 2015 version. The standard says that if your organisation is going to operate effectively and satisfy customers then you need to determine the knowledge required by staff, provide it, maintain it (knowledge needs change over time), protect it, and ensure that it is available to those who need it.
Clause 7 – Support contains a section on Documented Information which replaces the previous Control of Documents and Control of Records clauses from ISO 9001:2008. Your organisation must decide what information they wish to retain, how it is updated, controlled and adequately protected just as it did before BUT, it affords more flexibility in how these needs are met.
Documented information is now defined as being information required to be controlled and maintained, and the medium on which it is contained (such as a server). So, whenever ISO 9001:2015 uses the term documented information it implicitly expects you to control and maintain that information and its supporting medium. However, this isn’t the whole story.