Posts Tagged ‘training’

It is a very common occurrence when I go on site to conduct my Competent Auditor session that I get asked, “Well that’s OK, but what does an audit look like and what questions should I ask?” Taking that on board, my colleague Amanda and I are putting this video out to see what reaction it gets. Would it help you, your colleagues or your clients get a clearer picture of how they should go about an audit and how to handle the responses?

It is only the trailer as the full video lasts around 12 minutes which starts with a good audit then follows with the three reasons it fails – system inadequate, disregarded or needed

Please leave your comment below and I’ll send the full version to those of you who offer the most constructive feedback. PLEASE don’t get hung up on the actual content and interpretation as we all know each of us will probably approach it in our one unique way ūüôā

Remember we are always here to help and support you in your 9001 work. See for yourself by clicking through to the 9001 Support Centre.

It is stating the obvious that more and more communications are taking place on mobile devices such as phones to tablets – so why should we Quality Management Specialists miss out?

I am in the throws of designing an App with a colleague here in the UK that I feel will add value to those running a QMS – but I would love to know what you think should be included.

Given all that a QMS has to cover, what are the major elements you think would look good in the palm of your hand. Whilst this will work really well for CPD purposes for yourself, also think of practical issues where having that information or form on a mobile device would really add value.

You can make use of simple text, pictures, audio, video, surveys, email and more so don’t feel there are any limitations – make the suggestion and leave it for us to decide if it is doable.

The plan is to launch it in September and I’ll make sure you have the opportunity to be first in queue when it is ready to download. Looking ahead, there are already some exciting ideas getting short-listed so please give me some feedback here so we can consider yours. It will get credited if it is included.

First off, I need to say a quick ‘welcome’ to the new members of this group.¬† Many thanks for coming on board after seeing the blog. This is where we kick around some fresh ideas about 9001.

Now this time,¬†instead of telling a story in the usual format, I¬†have decided to throw a case study into the mix.¬† Let’s¬†see how well you respond to the challenge of actually putting your knowledge¬†into practice.¬† It’s just a bit of fun but, in all seriousness, I am sure you like me want to keep your skills honed and there is no better way in my opinion.

Bear in mind these two questions and leave your replies in the box at the bottom:

a. Would you raise a CAR based on what you know already and if so what would it be and which paragraph would you raise it against.

b. Are there any other areas where you are thinking there is a possible CAR but would seek out more evidence before making a decision?

CASE STUDY STARTS

The company is a single site and fabricates cabinets out of metal sheet by using a computerised laser cutting machine; a forming press; general machining and TIG and MIG welding.

You discuss the control of documents with the QA Representative and start by asking to see the Index and Change Control system. You are handed the Quality Manual and told that the index is at the back in an appendix. You verify a list of procedures only but note that there is no revision number included, only the title. When you query this you are told ‚ÄúWell if we added that then every time we amend a procedure then we would have to amend the manual which would be a real bind‚ÄĚ.

When you ask if there is any other document containing this information then you are told ‚ÄúNo, we‚Äôve always done it that way‚ÄĚ. You ask to see a copy of the relevant procedure for Document Control but are told they have never been told they need one which is when you spot it is not on the list.

You enquire as to how the procedures are authorised and reviewed before issue and how the company then communicates with staff that amendments have been made. You are shown that each procedure has the author’s name typed into the footer of each procedure with the date of issue and that staff aren‚Äôt told of amendments.

New or amended procedures are filed in the main binder with a copy in each of the 4 departmental binders (Sales and Purchasing office, Drawing office, Warehouse and shop floor) and the old version shredded.

CASE STUDY ENDS

I look forward to hearing your opinions and I will send an Amazon voucher as a thank you to whoever I feel puts together the best case.  Make your Quality stand out!

In ISO 9001 the concept of keeping training records seems one of the simplest required, but more often than not I find it is the one area of the system that companies get, well, the wrong way round.

It is very common to find that the training records are there for each member of staff and within them I will find certificates from training sessions and other relevant qualifications for what the current job holder has achieved. Unfortunately, this doesn’t demonstrate competence for the job in hand as required by the standard merely what training and experience relates to the current job holder.

What you need to do first off is actually forget the person and focus on the job.  Take each position and list what skills your business requires from a potential job holder in order for the resultant output of work to be effective, as if you were recruiting from scratch. Most companies collate this information into a training skills matrix with the skill often down the left with the job title entered across the top.  Now you can add back each member of staff working for you under the appropriate job title and then what type of the records you have on their file as validation.

Instead of being swayed by what they have got already of file you assess them against the requirements of the job. Where there are gaps then you have neatly brought to the fore your training needs and requirements.  From there you can integrate those into an annual training programme and budget.

Some companies go to another level by highlighting the actual experience each employee holds for a task. for example, you might have a numeric, alpha or colour coded key to illustrate ‘Learning’, ‘Needs Supervision’, ‘Can work unsupervised’, ‘Can train others’ etc.

Sounds simple but you would be amazed how many companies shortcut the process.

Further information on maintaining your ISO 9001 system can be found at the ISO 9001 Support Centre as part of the service provided by The BPAS Group.

So you need to do some internal audits for 9001 – but can you just be ‘competent’ as it states in the standard or is it worth going the whole hog and becoming ‘qualified’? ¬†Certainly those of you who want to make a career of auditing are advised to take those few days away from the office on a UKAS approved course complete with an examination at the end.

However, what about those of us who will only ever conduct internal audits on our own system on our own site? Rather than the sterile classroom session wouldn’t it be better to get someone in to run bespoke sessions using your own system? That way you could use your own processes to help demonstrate the principles and, more importantly, ask questions to gain understanding as regards your own issues on site – get answers to to your specific questions so you can implement what you learn straight away. Sound good to you?

The formalities of this training can still be covered – session notes, multi-choice examination (even an open book one) plus a certificate of attendance for your training file. The question then is where do you look for such a session?

Well, having been asked on numerous occasions, I am now offering three half day sessions to do just that. The first is at my office in Rotherham, South Yorkshire to ensure you have a grasp of the principles. Then two more sessions follow but at your premises.  Here we get down to:

  • scheduling
  • preparing
  • conducting
  • and reporting audits

followed by how to raise and handle Corrective Action Reports through to a satisfactory conclusion.

All this closely linked to your system using your processes and terminology. You can even help set the agenda as I want the content to really be relevant to your situation. You will also receive copies of my report to take away “The five most common mistakes when doing internal audits”.

Finally, those last two sessions on site can be taken as a full day if you prefer and should distance be an issue then we can do them virtually over the web so you don’t need to miss out.

So, being competent will suffice if you know where to look – and now I guess you do – click here.

One of the most confusing aspects for management representatives to get their heads round when taking on a quality system has to be the concept of Corrective, Preventative and Preventive action.  As they return weary eyed from their auditor course and laden with notes and forms they have to be clear which one to implement and when. I have recently had this conversation again with a client so thought it worth repeating here.

It’s here where we start

Corrective action is the one that invariably gets used first.  If you raise a non-conformance you tackle the one more often than not isolated product or service affected to get it resolved so the order can move forward.  If you raise a CAR on an audit then whatever sample you have viewed and taken as objective evidence to justify a CAR needs tackling.  Both these are immediate actions to stabilise the product, service or system.

Now system failures require you to¬†prevent¬†the problem recurring – it’s happened – but how do you ensure you are not faced¬†with¬†the same issue in the future. ¬†That is the Preventative Action. ¬†It might take a bit¬†longer¬†to both think of it, implement it and to test it remembering that you need something concrete to prove to yourself that it has worked. ¬†It is worth adding that if your root cause¬†analysis on your non-conformances¬†reveals¬†a recurring theme,and I recommend¬†three¬†occurrences¬†over a short space of time here, ¬†then you should move that issue onto a CAR as well¬†because¬†it is no longer an isolated instance. ¬†There is no need for absolutely every non-conformance to lead to a CAR – unless of course the customer¬†concerned¬†demands it!

Don’t make this mistake

Just stating ‘staff to be¬†retrained’ or ‘procedure to be changed’ or ‘additional data to be recorded’ isn’t sufficient on its own. ¬†You need to be sure that changes have been¬†implemented¬†and followed so you need to use subsequent¬†quality¬†records as objective evidence. Perhaps in the above scenarios – a short test to demonstrate understanding; an audit on the problem area or a measure of the new data being recorded. ¬†The other point to remember of course¬†is that the action may fail to be¬†effective¬†in which case you need to start¬†again¬†and think of an alternative.

The missing piece

So where does Preventive Action come in?  The distinct difference here is that nothing has gone wrong with the product, service or system Рyet!  However you have spotted a likelihood of failure unless you take action to prevent it.  So your inspectors are working OK but in dimly lit premises so you feel it is only a matter of time before their judgement is compromised so the lighting arrangements are reviewed; machinery or transport is overlooked and so struggling more and more to perform prompting for a maintenance schedule to be created or a member of staff is clearly unsure of a new process so you quickly arrange additional training.

It is a totally different situation hence it should have its own place  Рand form of course Рin the system.  All aspects of ISO 9001 are featured in the free ISO 9001 Training Guide videos with samples available by clicking the link.

It is pleasing to hear that these guides are actually starting to make a difference to my subscribers with one recently responding:

“So far you have already helped me with our supplier quality management and prompted me to add audit corrective actions onto the database I use for product non-conformances so I can review them all together. I couldn’t wait for the last one to arrive”.

I have therefore now uploaded more samples from this series that are aimed at Management Representatives of companies using the standard so as to support them as they manage and develop their system.  With subscribers now on board in Germany, Italy and China you too can check out content before subscribing.

The latest topics added include Control of Non-Conforming Product, writing the Quality Policy; setting Quality Objectives and using a Skill Matrix for training records.  Others will follow on Sales orders, Works orders and Document Control.  The full series will grow into an indispensable guide for the Management Representatives and Quality Professionals alike.  Check out one on Quality Objectives here:

You can find the full set of samples on Utube on the QualityAuthority channel or go to the web site to take up the free subscription for the full series of ISO 9001 Training Guides.