A short piece from me on this one but one that I see as deserving of comment. This is because more and more companies tell me that they are ‘accredited’ to ISO 9001 when they should be saying ‘certified’.

Here in the UK it the certification bodies who are accredited by UKAS so that they can deliver their services to you. Once you are successful they then certify you to the relevant standard.

Not sure what brings this on, perhaps it sounds grander. Whatever, you need to ensure your website, social media and any printed material is telling the right story.

Back to more inspirational comment next time🙂

Peter&Helen WB smallIt can take a while to get a case study completed  – but isn’t it worth it! Read on . . .

Turner Hire & Sales Ltd have been established in South Yorkshire since 1972 hiring and selling industrial plant from their branches at Rotherham, Wath, Worksop and Sheffield. The company decided they needed to give their customers a clear signal of their desire and determination to provide an even better quality product and service. This led them to look at the international quality management standard ISO 9001 and search for a local consultant.

In doing so Managing Director Mick Holmes came across another Rotherham based Chamber member, Pete Thornton-Smith of the 9001 Support Centre at Thornbank on Moorgate, at a Quality Conference in Sheffield back in 2014. They soon struck up a good understanding of the work required and how to ‘make it happen’.

Mick makes the point, “I always feel much more comfortable working with local experts and found that whoever I asked, one name kept getting recommended, so Pete was subsequently engaged to work with Quality Manager Helen Hollingworth and began working with Turner Hire late 2014 and we are delighted with the outcome”.

“Pete demonstrated a vast amount of knowledge as regards the standard but more importantly, how to work with us to ensure that we installed an effective system that everyone understood. A jargon free area if you will. In addition, we threw him a few curve balls it has to be said, but he calmly dealt with them and returned them with interest”.

Mick goes on to say “The certification of compliance with ISO 9001:2008 recognises that the policies, practices and procedures of our firm ensure consistent quality in the product and service that we provide to our customers. With this certification, our customers can be confident that Turner Hire & Sales Ltd is dedicated to maintaining the highest efficiency and responsiveness in achieving our ultimate goal – guaranteed customer satisfaction”.

“Achieving the certification was a smooth and natural progression for the company, because it essentially formalised the structures, standards and processes we already had in place. Having gained certification for all our sites at the end of 2015 with ISOQAR, we are in a much stronger position commercially and have been delighted to see the benefits that Pete talked about early on in the project”. Peter and Helen are pictured with the certificate.

It goes without saying we would recommend Chamber members to collaborate together as much as they can and if you need 9001 (and 14001 or 18001 for that matter as we do) then Pete’s your man. He really does ‘Lighten the Load’.

You can contact turner Hire and Sales on 01709 828444, www.turnerhire.com or email them on enquiries@turnerhire.com

As always Pete can be contacted at the ISO 9001 Support Centre on 01709 301303 or via his website www.iso9001supportcentre.com or email at  pete@iso9001supportcentre.com

 

As I go round the sites of the smaller SMEs then one aspect that can get the biggest moan is the need to put every form update though change control. Now this might seem scandalous to the purists amongst you but for a small company, say 50 or less and without a dedicated QA resource, it all adds to the angst of maintaining a 9001 system.

 

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The forms that get the headlines are those that tend to be ongoing lists, you know the approved suppliers list, the audit schedule, training skills matrix, corrective action register, non-conformance register and the form amendment record itself. When any of these just get updated or added to then to have to put them through the formal change control cycle can start to act as a barrier.

A working solution if you are in this situation is to add a ‘Working Copy’ date to the form in addition to the Revision reference and date. All these date changes get included in your index which itself can now work on a ‘Working Copy’ date but only when these nominated forms get updated. For everything else it goes up a revision.

They wouldn’t get added to your Form Amendment Record because you are just filling them in but would clearly show what ‘working’ version was current which, after all, is the main requirement

Clearly if you change the format and structure of the form by adding and deleting data boxes then the template becomes another revision and would go through change control. However, just to manage lists then this provides a working alternative with everything still in control.

Do any of you face this administrative situation where you work or where you have installed systems? If so please give me some feedback and remember that more 9001 support is available at the 9001 Support Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I was about to start a Management Review session for a client the MD put his head round the door and stunned everybody by asking “Do you need me in this meeting”. This was before the new standard was published so it brought a smile to my face as I knew what changes were afoot. Changes that you, like me, doubtless welcomed as being a step in the right direction.

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Once we had all got sight of the new standard, most of us out there advising small SMEs began to wonder how MDs like my friend would cope with their new responsibilities. No longer could they simply declare, “If it’s quality then you need to talk to my quality man”.

The new section on Leadership is cleverly written to clearly differentiate between those duties the MD has to take on board and those he may delegate. However, if he has distanced himself in the past then doubtless many QA people will be giving him a crash course an all things 9001.

The changes will not affect those business where the workload is shared and the team addresses the relevant requirements of the standard knowing the boss had his finger on the pulse and is also chipping in with his contribution. However, they might be in the minority.

How do you you see this panning out where you work or with your clients? Will it also be the case that quality managers and indeed consultants will be excluded from an audit on the basis that the MD should be competent enough to hold a discussion by himself with the auditor?

Why not share your thoughts below.

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Let’s be honest, nobody likes to receive a Corrective Action Report. Whoever is on the receiving end more than likely takes it personally and probably finds every reason under the sun to get out of taking responsibility for it and taking action to sort it. So, begins another day in the life of a QA man.

I see this all too often so hit on the option that is so simple if you are really facing this where ever you work – just give the form a different name!

We are all told when we undergo our auditor training that wonderful acronym of – Audits Uncover Defects In The System – so we should promote that on this occasion. Why not try a System Deficiency Note which trips off the tongue nicely as an SDN? In addition you could consider using System Enhancement Note for the PARs – but you’ll have to be quick to get any mileage out of that I guess🙂 If you haven’t heard it is removed in the 2015 version, although I still think it can serve a purpose when recording action to mitigate ‘risk’.

I am sure many of you have already come to the same conclusion so share how you have retitled your CARs. Remember you can get more support in the form of training, the free App, virtual mentoring and videos by clicking through to the 9001 Support Centre.

ps: You can of course use the idea in any management system, not just quality.

 

 

 

 

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会議When it comes to authorising and approving procedures do you just type them and bang them out or do you print them and see to it that they get physically signed off?

It really surprises me how many systems I see like the first. There is no evidence of you having taken responsibility for either of these requirements. No names, departments, nothing.  When I query this I tend to get told well “I’m the only one who writes them”; “I show them the relevant manager first” or “We can’t wait that long to get them issued”. However, without some accountabilty how do you address the requirement to authorise and approve documentation on issue or amendment?

Now, sometimes I see the authors name typed in and perhaps with a date in the footer of the document which is better than nothing.  Strictly speaking though you would have to evidence that the ‘author’ is the only person with access to the system to create and amend documents which is a bit of a faff. However, you still can’t evidence that the process owner has had any input into what is strictly his or her domain.

Far better to include two signatories with the process owner (often the Head of Department)  authorising it and the QA person approving it.  That way the process owner takes responsibility for releasing information as to what happens on his or her patch. Without that, and I have seen this, you get the response “Well I wasn’t asked about it or shown it before it was issued”. The QA person should approve it so as to run the rule over it for adequate contact and auditability.

Now in this day and age you can obviously have, provided again that suitable control exists, electronic signatures to save the physical  printing. Would be interested to know what you do so please share your experiences. More helpful support at the 9001 Support Centre.

 

 

 

 

ShredderIf you already have a system in place you are doubtless pondering as you look towards the 2015 version whether to bang not only the manual but the mandatory six through the jaws of your shredder as well. (Yes, I know Preventive Action goes anyway but let’s run with it yeah)

The likelihood as I see it, having talked to my sites, is that they will be retained and the temptation to run amok resisted. It’s a bit like some of us now being allowed to get our hands our pension pot to do with as with please isn’t it. You so want to but you hold back.

The manual if written properly (i.e. in say 8 – 10 pages max) is a good marketing tool and the procedures are useful support for those getting there heads round the requirements in QA. However, what to do if you are installing your system?

I think that really depends on the skills and knowledge of the team (yeah, no management representative either doing all the work) who will look after these processes. In my opinion, if they know them inside out then there would appear to be no need to burden them with procedures provided adequate records are being retained to evidence control of each process. However, if they are lacking experience, there is no doubt that there is a good case for writing them. As with all parts of the standard – if not having a procedure risks the process falling over, then you need one.

I have to get my head round how to upgrade the 9001 Training Guides to accommodate the extra requirements and the general move-around of existing procedures so by all means let me know what you would like to see and in what format.  The current version for 2008 are here if you’ve never seen them and would like help with that version.