Posts Tagged ‘Management Representative’

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 ūüôā 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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šľöŤ≠įWhen 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 Рif 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.

 

 

 

I must confess to being quite surprised and disappointed at the number of times that I still hear the story about the 9001 auditor who dutifully conducts the surveillance audit but never goes out of the office.  Gallons of tea or coffee seem to be consumed together with a significant number of your custard creams, bourbons or garibaldis.

The kicker here is that whilst the company inevitably gets through the audit with little or no admonishments, the owner or CEO is left to pick up the tab but often feels disillusioned (or some have said cheated). ¬†This is because, being interested in more than just the ‘badge’ – which is commendable, they know the shortcomings in their system and are looking for the opportunity to discuss possible ways of dealing with them – but it needs the auditor to pick them up first. ¬†Certainly, if they never even go for a look round then the chances are slim.

Here’s how it impacts on the Management Representative

Such omissions make the life of the management representative even harder as the rug is pulled from under his or her feet when their protestations about what the auditor will see when he comes in all goes up in smoke. ¬†“What was that all about?” comes the reply from colleagues. ¬†See, we can just wing it.

Now, I appreciate that auditors must not cross the line and move into consultancy mode. ¬†However, I always looked forward to those guys who would engage in the business and suggest alternative ways of working or even leave you in no uncertain terms that certain aspects must be addressed even though you didn’t want to hear it. ¬†You ended up moving the system forward together.

So, how come we still end up in this day and age with this situation? ¬†Well, dare I say ‘anything for an easy life’ comes to mind and I must stress that can apply to both parties. ¬†Perhaps the prospect of loosing a site if they takes umbrage to their auditor raising numerous NCRs could be another issue.

But what can you do?

Well, that’s the tricky one isn’t it because retaining the certification is clearly of paramount importance. ¬†However, you could have a quiet word at the opening meeting or failing that with your certification body and perhaps ask for a new auditor next time. ¬†There doesn’t seem to be any formal feedback system on this one – although I’ll stand correcting. ¬†I always find that strange seeing as the standard places a great deal of emphasis on customer satisfaction.

Time to practice what gets preached perhaps because, after all, such a situation does devalue all the hard work you’ve put in, even the standard itself and will not¬†prevent second party audits from being heaped on you as the customer sees less and less value in that certificate hanging on the wall.

Be interested to hear your experiences, but excuse me for now as I’ve got a brew on – and whose just cleared us out of all the Rich Tea then? ¬†I swear I’m going to put a lock on that biscuit tin!

Recognising that businesses need information as quickly as possible in order to implement it and gain benefits, ¬†I am now offering the full set of ISO 9001 Training Guide videos under the banner “9001 – The Collection”. ¬†Rather than work through the free series each fortnight for six months you can be in total control of what you watch and when you watch it.

The aim is still the same, to lighten the load for the beleaguered Management Representatives who are often left to run the system on their own. You will hear me empathise with that situation here in the video taken from the new website:


Below are a selection of the comments I have received from subscribers of the free series and I feel they are testament to the warmth of feeling being displayed towards these videos:

* The videos are fabulous.¬† Your blog is a goldmine – and that and your videos have been a particular help to me.¬† Your clear communication style is wonderful, and one I want our audit team to try and emulate. You’ve gone viral here at Midland. Thank you for making this available and sharing your knowledge.¬† I hadn‚Äôt intended to write a fan letter, sorry I went on, but I wanted you to know your work is much appreciated. JB, Chicago, USA

* I would just like to say how informative and professionally set up your videos are, they really are priceless. TM, Kent, UK

* I would just like to start off by saying that I am thrilled to have your programme help me with my ISO journey that I have recently been put in charge of implementing at my company.  I am very new to all this and you are a saving grace to me.  I can’t thank you enough for your valuable insight. NW, California, USA

* Thanks Pete, the blog and the videos are actually a gold mine. Thanks a tonne , I  have recently been appointed as the MR for my organisation and I did not know where to start. JWT, Nairobi, Kenya

* I commend you for providing a wealth of great information that is easy to follow and gets you thinking about those methods in implementing good auditing techniques.  I especially like the Audit Methodology sections to help re-enforce the concepts and create new ideas on how to improve upon ones system. These are great refresher courses for all auditors at any level.  Thanks again, I look forward to receiving more information and reading your blogs.TL, Ohio, USA

* At the outset, I must thank you and congratulate you for your work. The guides are simply too good. The guides will help me conduct Internal Process Audits and design and improve upon the various checklists on the shop-floor. Looking forward for to a great association with you. AP, India

* And last but by no means least, thanks for the support videos.  What a fantastic idea!  They’re actually good too! MW, North Yorkshire, UK.

The new site has free samples for you to view so all you need to do is click onto “9001 – The Collection” so you can take advantage of them as well.

ps: By the way, subscribers to this blog should email me using the link at the very bottom of that website for news of a special discounted offer on The Collection!