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Basic question on controlling a Quality Policy

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2008 - Quality Management Systems' started by Patts, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. Patts

    Patts Member

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    We are not yet ISO registered but working towards it. We have a quality policy and I know it has to be “controlled”, but was not planning to give it a separate document number since it will be stated in our Quality Manual. Our doc.control system is electronic. However, we also will likely print, frame it and hang it in the lobby, and in fact print it in business card format and give to every employee. Thoughts on how to control the printed copies? I believe it should at least have a date so we’ll know it’s current, but am wondering whether a doc.# also makes sense for when it’s not part of the QM?

    It’s my nature to struggle with such details…
     
  2. MarkMeer

    MarkMeer Well-Known Member

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    Sounds a bit ambitious to me, and unnecessarily onerous.

    If you want something to frame in the lobby, frame your ISO certificate (once you get it). Printing a controlled document just to frame it has no real value...ditto with the business cards.

    With respect to documents, some general suggestions:
    - Give each a unique identification number and print it on the document
    - Give each a revision number and effective date, and print it on the document
    - If your document control system is presently electronic, in such a way that it is closed, controlled, and all personnel can electronically access the documents they need, then maybe consider not printing anything at all. ...this will simplify things tremendously when it comes to future updates, and ensuring only the latest revisions are being used.

    Good Luck!
    MM.
     
  3. Patts

    Patts Member

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    Thank you for your response. I agree about the lobby one - let's leave that out and wait for the cert. For the cards, the thinking is it gives each associate a copy of it to mull over, etc. This was done at a previous company the GM worked for and he felt it added much value.

    So we may go ahead with that part, even though onerous. If we do, it sounds like you’re saying the quality policy needs its own doc.#, but how does it work when its also stated inside another controlled doc. like the quality manual? Excuse my ignorance, but is it common practice to give the quality policy a separate doc. # even if you are
    not stating it anywhere but the quality manual? In my past with an ISO registered company it was not given its own #.
     
  4. MarkMeer

    MarkMeer Well-Known Member

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    There was a point in the evolution of quality systems where pretty much everything was contained in a single document (e.g. Quality Manual).
    As such, each change to the system would necessarily involve a revision of this one document. There did not need to be "documents within documents" each with their own identifier, there was just one document, hence only one identifier.

    Fast-forward to today, it is still (in most cases) perfectly permissible to have multiple related QS elements grouped together in single documents. So in your case, just give the Quality Manual its own identifier and revision.
    If the Quality Policy changes at a later date, then it would be the Quality Manual that gets revised.


    A revision history of such a quality manual may look something like the following:

    || Revision || Effective Date || Change Record || Change Notes / Comments ||
    | 0 | 2015-10-10 | CRF-02 | Original Version |
    | 1 | 2015-11-13 | CRF-34 | Quality policy changed to "...." |
    | 2 | 2015-11-20 | CRF-37 | Minor change to section 1.1.2 |
    | 3 | 2015-12-12 | CRF-42 | Quality policy changed to "...." |

    Bottom-line: if the quality policy is contained in the quality manual it does not need its own identifier, as its control is encapsulated in the control of the quality manual.

    Cheers,
    MM.
     
  5. drgnrider

    drgnrider Member

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    We created a half-sheet of paper to handout to everyone that has the Policy and objectives, it is not an ISO document, just a reminder (cheat) sheet they can keep in their toolbox, cubicle, office, etc. it does have an issue date so we know what the current version is. We hand these sheets out to everyone and supervisors know where on the network to get replacements when necessary. Many of the shops have them posted on their LEAN/5-S communication boards.
     
  6. Patts

    Patts Member

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    Thank you both for the input! I will put an issue date on the cards and revise the manual if the policy changes.
     
  7. Mukesh Sharma

    Mukesh Sharma Member

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    Frame it and hang it in the every department and linked it with your Quality Manual & Standard and review it and ask to your personals what are they doing for this, "Are they improving the Objectives or Targets".
    And your targets should be....
    *Customer Satisfaction
    *Continual Improvement
    *Employees
    *Management System
    *Environment
    *Safety
     
    Emmyd and MCW8888 like this.
  8. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    Something to consider (because it WILL happen someday).

    Consider: If you revise or amend your quality policy...how will you recall all the little cards?

    Situation: Auditor asks employee what the quality policy is...employee pulls out a little card and shows it...but it is from two revisions ago...oops.
    Handing out many copies of a controlled document is creating a potential problem for you...consider it thoroughly.
    If you choose to do it anyway, stop and consider it again...repeat if necessary.

    Hanging on the wall in various departments is pretty typical.
    Your doc control system can simply note "6 copies posted in frames" and you'll know how to pull the previous rev off the floor.
    ...and the auditor won't be handed a previous rev during an audit...
     
    drgnrider and Candi1024 like this.
  9. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Usually, there is a Document Controller assigned to ensure that all reproduced printed copies are current and may entail retrieval of superseded copies from copyholders once the original copy is revised. Here the responsibility is primarily held by the assigned document controller. Instead of entrusting the responsibility to a single person, spread the responsibility by stating in the procedure for controlling documents a statement like "Users of documents must ensure that they are using the current version. Check with the Document Controller if you suspect possession of obsolete documents. Superseded documents must be surrendered to the Document Controller if found in your area".
     
  10. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    Sounds perfect in theory.
    Can't imagine it would be very effective in human practice.
    I would rather have employees focused on making quality parts rather than checking if the quality policy card is the right rev.
    Posting 6 copies of a non-value added item is way cheaper (in paid labor time) than handing out and trying to recall non-value added printed cards.
     
    Andy Nichols likes this.
  11. Jo Campbell

    Jo Campbell Member

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    Hi Patts,

    If you wish to extract the Quality Policy from the Quality Manual for display purposes you can add a statement to the footer that goes a little like this:-

    "Extracted from QMS-1001 Quality Manual revision 3"

    Obviously, if you update your Quality Manual you will need to amend the statement.

    I hope this helps,

    Jo
     
  12. Patts

    Patts Member

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    Thanks, Jo. I have had to share our quality policy with customers and have done just what you suggested - indicated it was extracted from the quality manual and was "uncontrolled".

    I understand I'll need to recall all the printed cards if the policy changes, and while there is risk we'll miss some, I believe it can be done and the Mgt. team strongly feels providing the cards does add value to our QMS through associate awareness. Now I'm wondering if I should add "uncontrolled copy" to the cards along with the issue date...
     
  13. Jo Campbell

    Jo Campbell Member

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    I enter the distribution details of the controlled documents onto my Document Master List, and circulate up-issues to these recipients as a part of the document approval/awareness process. These are sent via email, to which I add the following: "Please ensure that you dispose of all previous versions of this document". This goes someway to keeping them controlled.
     
  14. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    Great method if it works well.

    We used to do it that way...but after multiple findings based on outdated documents still on the floor we chose another path.
     
  15. Padym

    Padym Active Member

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    Hello All,
    I want to clarify a query related to Quality Policy. Compared to earlier year we changed our Mission, Vision and Goals for this year. In our Quality policy which is a separate document has the earlier statements.

    Should we change it to the current Goals ?
     
  16. Sandra T

    Sandra T Member

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    Hi Padym,
    I would say 'yes' you should amend your QP to show the same goals.
    Or even consider removing the Mission, Vision & Goals from the policy and keep them both seperate - that way you will not need to update the QP everytime these change.
     
  17. Padym

    Padym Active Member

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    Thanks Sandra for the confirmation.
     
  18. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    If these are non-value added, why post 6 copies?
     
  19. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    A good question.

    The answer for me is a balance between having one posted, and the desire of some to have it all over the place.
    6 posted around the building gives everyone ready access (for the size of my building) ... but is still a small and easily managed number. 3 would be better, one would be perfect...if all were OK with it.
     
  20. V S Ramesh Rao

    V S Ramesh Rao Member

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    This reply is related to a query on Quality Policy
    Quality policy is a stable document with few or no change. This is a top level statement that the organization strives to achieve through contributions from all its internal functions. Each function e.g. Operations, Production, HR, SCM.... then work on their "Internal Policy" to consistently meet the top level statement; Quality Policy.
    Objectives, goals, tactics, actions & metrics can change often to meet the stated policy. In an ideal situation, the internal policies of individual functions must roll up to meet the stated Quality Policy. In other words, the quality policy ought to be cascaded to the smallest function so that every actions eventually strives to meet the "promises" made in the Quality Policy.

    Hope this helps.
     
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