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Document Controlling Contracts

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by agarrett, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. agarrett

    agarrett New Member

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    Hello!

    We are currently going through the process to be ISO certified for the first time. We will be getting the 9001:2015 certification by the end of the year.

    My question is do contracts that we would send to customers need to be in doc control, and if so what section of ISO 9001:2015 would they fall under?

    Thanks!
     
  2. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    7.5.3?
     
  3. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    What does your process say (if you've written one)? They would be considered "documented information" which is maintained. However, when anyone mentions "document control" I worry, because people do odd things to documents to call them "controlled". I deal with contracts daily and don't do a lot of the craziness that some folks call "document control"!
     
  4. agarrett

    agarrett New Member

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    Andy,

    We have specific documents that are addressed in the standard in our documented information control process. Primarily this would be documents like our nonconformance form, organization map, etc. These items are simply given the document control footer that includes things like the document #, revision level, effective date, and the approval authority. These documents are locked down so only the document control manager (me) can make changes to the format of the document, to ensure the changes are properly documented and recorded.

    To simplify my original question, are contracts part of the Quality Management System in ISO 9001:2015? I'm not sure if they are, or where they may need to be addressed.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    ISO 9001:2015 leaves it up to you to decide, based on:
    • Context of the Organization
    • Interested Parties
    • Risk and Opportunity
    Basically, contracts always have been part of a QMS - regardless of the standard. They embody what your organization signed up to do for the customer. They define "Quality", so IMHO you'd better "control" them (but, maybe NOT the way you are suggesting documents need to be "controlled)
     
  6. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Other than the usual QMS documents such as manual, procedure, instructions and forms, there are documents that are important for an organization to operate. These can include contracts, memos and letters. Your organization may decide that safekeeping of these documents can be assigned to your document controller. If your organization assigns serial numbers for these documents, these are logged into the document controller's masterlist. Distribution of printed memos and letters can also be assigned to the document controller. Can't agree more on MCW8888's answer on which ISO 9001:2015 clause these documents are to be controlled. However, contracts are documented information related to clauses 8.2.2 and 8.2.3.
     
  7. Glenn0004

    Glenn0004 Member

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    We have a document control policy that sets out the arrangements for a) standard documents and b) bespoke documents. Standard documents that are required in the daily activities of the business, such as our standard service agreement are controlled under this policy and our documented control process. These documents are locked PDF's with editable fields that are identified with a simple unique reference number and a version number. The release date, owner and amendments are recorded elsewhere by the document controller. All standard documents are available from a central SharePoint repository.
     
  8. hogheavenfarm

    hogheavenfarm Well-Known Member

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    A contract typically functions more along the lines of a "record", or as Andy says "documented information". It can change, of course, in which case there is a "contract revision". It should be treated as your "technical specification" because it defines exactly what you are going to produce.
     
  9. Pancho

    Pancho Active Member

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    A bit late, but here's 2 more bits:

    In our business, the contract is the single most important document we have with a client. It is obviously "necessary for the effectiveness of the QMS", as it describes our every commitment to the client. As such, contracts are controlled per 7.5.3. We make them available at points and time of use. We protect them from loss. Changes are controlled so that everyone always uses the correct version. We have retention and disposition policies for them.

    We also go a bit beyond the standard's requirements for the very important information documented in contracts: All engineers and managers working on a project (the project team) must be thoroughly familiar with that project's contract. To insure this, we read the contract together in the project's kickoff meeting, and review any contract changes in the weekly project meetings. Both these tasks were implemented as corrective action a few years ago, and have served us very well since then.
     
  10. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    Contract you send to the customer falls under 8.2.2. IS9001:2015 does not provide any guidance of document control because some contracts are negotiated through the internet. Does this apply to record retention policy, maybe?
     

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