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7.2 Competence.

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Graham Thorpe, Mar 8, 2019.

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  1. Graham Thorpe

    Graham Thorpe Member

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    7.2 Competence.

    OK I need your thoughts. We are a small team and all the brains in the outfit have wedges of documents proving their competence. Then there is me!

    I have moved so often I have no paperwork proving I have any qualifications relating to my role as the guy getting 9001 up and running and doing some IA.

    How should we approach proving I am good for the role? Is personal testimony from the company owner and chief mechanical designer ( we only have 1) any good? I worked with them both in the past when I implemented 9001. I could write a CV but who tells the truth on them? Truth is I qualified as a Lead Assessor of Quality Systems in Jan 1991, I was on the course when Desert Storm kicked off.
     
  2. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    A piece of paper may imply that one is qualified, but it does not mean that one is competent. Many folks have their driver's license - ergo, they are qualified to drive. However, some people are less competent at driving as noted by the number of speeding tickets, accidents they've been at fault for, and their subsequent insurance rates.

    Competency can be assessed via results/outcomes. It is perhaps easier to take this approach on an assembly line (i.e., no bad parts = competent employee or team).

    In your case, you've done the training and if you end up successfully spearheading your organization's goal to become ISO 9001, then you've done your job competently.

    Even internal audits and the nature of findings could be used to support your competency claim. There will be some things outside of your control, but if audit findings aren't attributed to your actions (or lack thereof), again, I'd consider you competent.
     
  3. Graham Thorpe

    Graham Thorpe Member

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    Nice

    Nice reply :) I just wanted current thoughts. You are right. I have a nice certificate from Microsoft saying I know stuff about Access. I do but I would never claim to be competent.
     
  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Graham: As I discover quite often, training doesn't equate to competency. It's a common fallacy that attending a "Lead Auditor" course makes you competent to audit. It doesn't, any more than a driver's license makes you a competent driver. Having a training certificate might satisfy an external (CB) auditor - and from that you'll confirm they are not competent! I run into that almost daily. Competency is, as ISO 9001 tells us, the demonstrated ability... The proof is in the pudding, as we say in Blighty! What should an effective, competent internal auditor be able to demonstrate? PM me and I'll send you the form I use...
     
  5. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    Idk. In my state to get your drivers license you have to pass a driving test where you demonstrate competence. Granted, the competence requirement is extremely low, but you still have to show you kind of know what you're doing. :)
     
  6. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    A one-time test does not demonstrate sustained competence.

    If you train John Doe to use a machine and he passes the test, but then goes on to make nonconforming product on the same machine, would you consider him competent?

    Yes, there are other variables to consider such as the machine's state, product differences, and so on, but showing you can do it once does not mean you are competent. It's a demonstration of short-term memory.

    Passing a test is a one-time event. You're now a trained driver and certified. But your speeding tickets and at-fault accidents are statements about your competency as a driver.
     
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  7. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    Of course. But driving is probably a good, everyday, real world example. It's not a memory test. We learn, "train," to drive. We demonstrate our ability in a five min. excursion with the state DMV. Then they let us hit the road. At that point we are minimally competent -- we have met all the state requirements. No different than an employee demonstrating competence at a certain task after been trained to do it. What happens after is anyone's guess.
     
  8. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you had any employee evaluations that talked about your job performance? Since competency is demonstrated, any recognition of that demonstration can prove valuable.

    While it is true that classes and passing tests does not prove competency, such things - including industry certifications - are common sources of evidence for skills building.

    We often run into trouble with competency and certifications, through; certified people make mistakes all the time. Certified forklift drivers are supposed to get retrained following an incident, but I almost never see that happen because the organization too often is not aware the minor incidents have taken place. I just see a lot of impact-damaged warehouse racks and blank looks when I ask about it.
     
  9. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    As per ISO 9000:2015, competence is defined as the "ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results" with a Note that "Demonstrated competence is sometimes referred to as qualification".

    The statements below made me think why ISO 9000 use the word "sometimes":
     
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  10. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    I was asked recently by a particular consultancy firm if I have an updated certificate on ISO 14001:2015 since they want to engage me in an EMS project. I told them that, from 1999 to 2002, I've worked before in an organization that provides consultancy services that install environmental programs to facilitate acquisition of environmental compliance certificates from our country's Department of Environment, been providing consultancy/training services (as freelance) for ISO 14001 since its 1996 version, have attended a lead-auditor course on ISO 14001 on 2002 and have assisted organizations for certification to the 2004 and 2015 versions of ISO 14001. Unfortunately, they still want me to have an updated certificate on ISO 14001:2015.:(
     
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  11. KyleG

    KyleG Active Member

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    Graham i had the same question, i previously was a production supervisor for multiple companies and have a talent for production, manufacturing, quality, and process improvement. this is my first (real) management role at age 23 i was worried about how to prove my competence. but through work spear heading ISO certification process and displaying to top management i can do what i said i was going to do. mind you i have no college just a (very) good resume. thank you for asking this question it helped me out a great deal along with the answers.
     
  12. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    You've been a quality analyst/auditor from 1981-1989, a corporate quality manager from 1982-2001, a Malcolm Baldrige awardee in 1996, a lead auditor for a known CB since 2002 up to present, not to mention your experience before 1981. If I will engage you to audit for my organization, what would you feel if I ask you "Do you have a certificate that will convince me that you are qualified to audit against the ISO 9001:2015 version?"
     
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  13. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Sadly, a certificate proves nothing, except that (maybe) someone sat in a class (real or virtual). It doesn't prove competency. It becomes very clear to us that it's a "demonstration" of a person's skills, knowledge, experiences etc which has true meaning. We can trade all day long on "been there, done that", however, it's somewhat meaningless. What counts, at least in my book, is "plausibility" especially among peers. Too many take the approach that a document is desirable over anything else. In September 1938, the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain waved a piece of paper and told us "Peace for our time"...
     
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  14. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Okay. But what would you feel if I asked you that question?

    Attending a training for new versions of ISO standards, IMHO, is just a waste of time and money for those who have been setting, implementing and auditing systems relevant to such standards from the previous to the latest versions. A person, competent with his/her trade, only need a copy of the latest version to study and update his/her methods and approaches.
     
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  15. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Exactly! We even have a demonstration in various forums, where people claim all day long this and that, but then, demonstrate something totally different. It's funny how it works. Here, and at the Cove, people have clearly demonstrated to each other that their experience across a wide range of facets - creating management systems (from before ISO), implementing them, improving them, creating accredited training programs, and much much more - across the widest range of industries - builds a huge trust in what's posted. Yet, we know little of their actual personal details. Their behaviors tell all. Fabulous!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  16. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    By your logic, Yukon, if I drive a Toyota Corolla and upgrade to a Toyota Camry, I need to re-train (and re-test) for my driver's license. All I did was revise my car. My driving skills are the same. The fundamentals of the car are the same. How I start the car (e.g., key versus keyless) might vary, but re-training and re-testing are not required. What I do, as a smart and savvy person, is learn from subject matter experts (aka salesmen in this analogy) - however there is no formal training nor do they give me a piece of paper saying I passed - and I read the new user's manual to understand the requirements of my new car.
     
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  17. KyleG

    KyleG Active Member

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    So honest question here, you would raise a Major Non conformance for my company for me not having college, schooling, or some sort of certificate saying i can do the job? if
    Even though i have facilitated and managed the development of the QMS and been the spear head of the operation? if yes how would i satisfy the standard in terms of my competence
    Would that not be display of competence? i have recommendation letters from VP of operations from my last job and PHD chemical engineers, does this count towards competence?
    Im sincerely worried now, would be embarrassing to have a non conformance because of me....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2019
  18. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    Here's the problem -- it's in the question. "Did you take any training?" That implies I went to a class somewhere, somehow. So now I am subject to a "Major" because I can't show a pretty certificate. Guess what, I didn't and we implemented the 2015 version just fine. I didn't need any formal training, I just read the stinking standard. Maybe asked a few questions here to clarify things.

    Now for me, having been to a few rodeos, if you asked me that question, I would push back and tell you a class isn't required but I can read and know what I am doing. But for the uninitiated (me many years ago) I would answer your question with a "no," and if you didn't follow up adequately, we would start arguing about a major and I would be really confused and irritated. Maybe the question should be a little simpler and open ended, like -- "how did you learn about the new changes to the standard?" That allows for all sorts of answers -- I took a class, I hired a consultant to teach me, I read a book, etc.
     
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  19. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Mission creep - we see it all the time. Mostly in the IATF 16949 world. The CB auditors have to take a test. They roll that down to their clients. It's not a requirement, except in their minds. Monkey see, monkey do, kind of thing. People have been written up for not having "ISO 9001:2015" on the IATF 16949 Internal Auditor training certificate! Seriously! Did the auditor check to see if the internal auditor did a good job? Nah, too difficult...

    If I were really cynical, I'd say that the whole certification industry has been in decline for the past 25 years, despite the rhetoric (CB) auditors spout about audits being about "improvement"... Yeah, riiiiiight.
     
  20. KyleG

    KyleG Active Member

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    I never needed to learn 2008, as i was still in junior highschool, and Also my company has never had an ISO certification.
     
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