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7.2 Competence.

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

  1. 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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  2. 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 at 10:09 AM
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  3. Yukon

    Yukon Well-Known Member

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    Tony,
    Your comment above is well taken. That being said I don't set the rules for 3rd-Party auditing - the Accreditation Bodies do. Let me put on my auditor's hat. If I audit a facility to the ISO 9001:2015 standard I will ask "Did you take any training for the upgrade...can you show me proof of the training?" In addition, "How did you communicate pertinent changes in the standard to other staff, in particular your Internal Audit Team?" Tony, if you can't answer these questions in the affirmative than a major NC would be raised because quite simply here is no evidence that you even know what the changes are. How does senior management know that they must set the objectives, what about risks, context of the organization ? What is a procedure...documented information....what happened to records...why don't we need a quality manual, etc etc? Training is necessary and it isn't a waste of time and money, it is critical. The money spent on training is an investment in quality. Think about it. What would it cost if the CB auditor raises a major NC because your internal audits didn't address all of the changes in the standard, didn't get training ? Training and re-doing the audits alone would cost a lot of time and money.

    Companies that try to improve the bottom-line by cutting back on important training will not be successful. That's the mentality of the 60s and 70s.

    Regards,
    Yukon
     
  4. 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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  5. Yukon

    Yukon Well-Known Member

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    Surely you aren't serious ? If a standard is modified the changes must be communicated to staff by trained persons. The changes from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 were extensive. Your response is in jest?

    Regards,
    Yukon
     
  6. 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 at 2:44 AM
  7. Yukon

    Yukon Well-Known Member

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    Kyle,

    With respect to the changes from the 2008 to 2015 version of the standard (extensive changes): If you could not provide evidence that you took some form of training (on-line, in-class, etc) and subsequently communicated the changes to relevant persons within the organization a Major NC would most likely be raised.

    However if you Can demonstrate to me that even though you didnt have formal training You were able to effectively communicate the changes to relevant personnel and audited your QMS to ensure the changes were incorporated then I might not raise the NC.

    Regards,
    Yukon
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019 at 9:54 PM
  8. 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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  9. 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.
     
  10. Yukon

    Yukon Well-Known Member

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    Golfman,
    However and where ever you took training to understand the changes in the standard is your business. Just tell me how you did it and show me a record. Also, who did you communicate the changes too and show me a record. How did you tell your Top!Management that he is now responsible for quality (objectives) - no more Management Representative.

    Regards,
    Yukon
     
  11. 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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  12. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    It's funny how some think that training equates to learning.

    It's a paradox, isn't it, that the very people who wrote the standard, TC 176, don't offer "training" in the standard.

    So how is anyone supposed to get training in ISO 9001, if the writers don't offer it?

    In which case, if the training comes from others who have simply read the standard, what makes their training any good? Why should I take training when the people who offer training are only 1 step ahead of me, in that have read the standard? If CBs have ZERO experience of implementation (which, by the way they are banned from doing), what makes them "right"? The answer is - they aren't! All they have to do is evaluate if the client is doing what the standard says. But that, when it's not required to be documented, is where the wheels come off their collective wagons, because they don't know how to audit without a prescriptive documented requirement...
     
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  13. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    So when you put your auditor's hat, you will only be convinced that there is evidence that I am aware of the changes if I have an upgrade certificate? If an auditor's hat comes with blinders then, maybe, it will provide auditors a limited view. There are other ways to learn the "new" requirements of a standard. You keep on threatening "major NC" if the approach of the auditee doesn't go with your approach. What is your definition of a major NC?

    An auditor needs to understand that ISO standards only tell WHAT not HOW. This results to organizations satisfying the requirements with different approaches. A good auditor should not wear any hat. He/she should understand the auditee's system/approach, adapt to the auditee's situation, and evaluate the auditee's own interpretation against the intentions of the standard - not against an auditor's interpretation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 12:02 AM
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  14. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's reflect a minute. Who decides what "good design" is? The QC person in the white coat at the end of the production line? NO! Who decides what good manufactured product is? The QC person at the end of the line? Better not! So why, oh why, do we insist on entertaining the idea that after creating a QMS, describing it in documents (if we feel it's necessary) we then give it over to someone who has ZERO design expertise or implementation experience to see if it's "OK". Bizarre! The QC people are least qualified to make judgment about the design and implementation of the product and the same is true for auditors...
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 10:22 AM
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  15. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's clear one thing up right now, Yukon. When I jest, it is made apparent through the use of emoticons and/or emojis. Having been a moderator over on another site for well over 10 years, plus a moderator here since the beginning, I'd say it's safe to say that my posts are more often on the side of trying to help people rather than misleading or mocking. I would also hazard a guess that since that post has received some "likes", our readers here are a savvy group who appreciate real world analogies (i.e., taking the requirements - and intents - of the Standard and putting them into simple, easy-to-relate-to language instead of continually framing everything around my many (i.e., double digit) years of experience of implementing and auditing business management systems aligned with multiple standards (e.g., ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISRS, Sarbanes-Oxley) and organizational requirements...even re-reading that, if I was to take that latter approach, how pompous I would sound).

    Secondly, it strikes me that despite my attempt to simplify. perhaps you did not thoroughly understand my post. I apologize if I was not clear and please allow me to try again. My post focuses on the competency of the driver, or in this case, the Original Poster (herein referred to as the OP) in his role within a small organization to formalize a management system that meets all of the requirements of ISO 9001 (while hopefully still adding value to the organization's bottom line). At no point in my post did I discuss communication to staff (leadership or otherwise) within the organization. My response was solely focused on the ability of the OP to become familiar with the new standard.

    Building upon that, as the OP has already had Lead Assessor training and successfully implemented QMSs with other organizations, I'd hazard a guess that he knows the fundamentals such as, but not limited to:

    • identifying processes;
    • working with internal stakeholders to both identify and prioritize gaps between the current system and the requirements; and,
    • conducting audits - both the technical skills (e.g., planning, evidence gathering, note-taking, etc.) and the soft skills (e.g., opened-minded, personable, objective, accepting of the fact that "one size does not fit all", etc.)

    The Lead Assessor training, which the OP has already successfully completed, more than likely included learning the standard that was applicable at that time.

    The OP now works for a small organization where resources (both human and financial) are likely limited (granted, this is a presumption on my part) and taking this course over again would very little value to his goal of a successful QMS implementation. Yes, the requirements have changed but the fundamental concepts of developing and implementing and auditing a QMS have not. The OP is becoming familiar with (re: aware) and trained on the requirements of the new standard via research, asking questions, and being willing to accept that things have changed from when he last went down this path.

    Would going on the training again help? Predominantly when it comes to understanding the requirements. However, having been trained on how to read the standard and work through the shalls, going on such training now is not mandatory. An option, yes, but it is not the only solution available to him and his organization.

    If an external auditor comes in and finds a robust, healthy, stable system that consistently meets all the requirements - standard, customer, etc. - there is no reason to question his competency or his ability to communicate the requirements within his organization.
     
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  16. Yukon

    Yukon Well-Known Member

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    RoxaneB,
    There is no need to take the Lead Assessor training again. I've done 37 transition audits (from version 2008 to version 2015) in every instance someone (usually the person assigned responsibility for ISO) took some form of upgrade-training and subsequently communicated the changes in the standard to relevant personnel. The changes must be known, be understood and be communicated.

    Regards,
    Yukon
     
  17. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    The fact that the requirements need to be known, understood, and communicated is not in disagreement. Where we disagree is on HOW this knowledge is gained. You may prefer the traditional classroom style of training; perhaps you're even willing to accept virtual classroom training (for those sites who cannot fly their staff to other cities or afford multiple days of food and accommodation). While formal training is ONE solution to addressing knowledge, etc., it is not the ONLY solution. This more realistic, open-minded, with-the-times approach does appear to be, at a minimum, a considered possibility by many of the posters in this thread. Considering that some of them have also experienced transitions from one version of a standard to the next, I'm grateful to see that the majority of our members recognize the importance of finding solutions that are focused on supporting the organization and not simply asking "what will make my auditor's life easier."
     
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  18. Yukon

    Yukon Well-Known Member

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    RoxaneB,
    It's a matter of human nature to attempt to 'make the auditor's life easier'. Nearly every company will bend over backwards to satisfy thevauditor - it's human nature. That being said we CB auditor's do not expect special treatment. But here's to the point: How a company quality rep learns and understands the changes to the standard is his/her business - webinar, classroom, lecture, etc etc. As long as there is a record of the training available. How that person subsequently communicates the changes to relevant staff must also be recorded (who took the training, and when). It's the auditee's business, it's my job as a CB auditor to ensure adequate and effective training has been received by relevant personnel. If I believe there has not been adequate and effective training but the QMS is working I will raise a Minor NC. If the auditee disagrees with the NC he/she can appeal it. Now, to clear a Minor NC you will have 60 days to provide a documented Root-Cause-Analysis and Corrective Action (CA) plan. If acceptable the NC will be cleared, the CA will reviewed at the next audit and if he/she did what the CA plan indicated the NC will be closed. If the CA was not implemented as stated the NC will be raised to Major status. This is the process we must adhere to.


    Regards,
    Yukon
     
  19. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    So what do you do when you have small company, say of 3 managers and a President? Say they develop their system sitting in the conference room. They take the new standard, read it, and say "what do we need to do?" Then they tweak their QMS to comply. Do they have to issue themselves "training certificates?" Do they have to send memos and power points to themselves to show the "communicated" the changes?
     
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  20. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    So...let me see if I understand you... if the organization's system is working, but you BELIEVE the training is neither adequate nor effective (despite the EVIDENCE indicating that it was adequate and effective since the QMS is working), you'd issue a finding?

    No wonder organizations and leaders question the value-add of ISO 9001 if that's the message being sent.
     

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