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Human Resources as a Process?

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by MRH_2019, May 8, 2019.

  1. MRH_2019

    MRH_2019 Member

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    Good Morning,

    Our current QMS does not include Human Resources as a Process. The CB has not audited them in the past but we are trying to determine if it is necessary for future audits. I believe it is necessary since they are over our training department and control the training records (for competency). I would love to hear everyone's thoughts about including them as one of our processes.

    Thank you!
     
  2. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Good morning @MRH_2019 and welcome to the site.

    I would offer this:
    The standard simply requires that the organization (not the auditor) determine the processes needed for the QMS.

    1- The Scope of ISO 9001:2015 is (paraphrased)…
    * Meet customer requirements
    * Enhance customer satisfaction.

    2- "Determined processes..." should consider the scope of ISO 9001:2015.

    3- In addition, I often see companies identify "determined processes" at a very granular level. My professional experience and council would be to keep them at a more macro level . For example, in a cell operation..
    e.g. Cell 22-A = Assembly
    (glue-assemble-label) does your organization collect metrics on each step in the cell? If so, then your organization MAY choose to identify Glue- Assemble- Label each as an identified process. Or, your organization may choose to simply identify "Assembly" as the identified process. Based on my earlier stated opinion, I would bias towards simply identifying "Assembly" and then continue to collect as much or little granular level metrics as needed in the best interest of your organization.

    4- "Human Resources" is a department and not a process. Consider what processes HR perform that are necessary for the QMS (i.e. you mentioned the HR keeps training/competency records) . Is HR essential in the management/criteria for/documented evidence of "competence"? Awareness? Communication? If so, then these are likely individually (or, better yet, as a whole "associate support" or other such term) process(es) that are necessary for the QMS.

    Summary: What process(es) , if NOT controlled/managed would cause your QMS to not meet the requirements of your organization and the standard?

    A little lengthy, but I hope this helps.

    Be well.
     
    Bev D likes this.
  3. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello!

    HR isn't really a process. It's a function and/or a department. However, since they have some responsibility for training (what is a good question here) and keep records, that's only part of a more complex process. As far as your CB auditor goes? I'm wondering what the heck they've been thinking. How may audits have they done?

    Perhaps, more worryingly: Why, if HR has some training responsibility, aren't they "in" the QMS? What is your management's understanding? Also hasn't this been audited internally?
     
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  4. MRH_2019

    MRH_2019 Member

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for your thoughts. Basically, our defined processes are listed by departments but HR has not been included in this. I am not sure why they defined it this way but management felt this was the best course to take. Now we are experiencing issues because we have set a precedent of all departments being listed as processes.

    We have a "Management" process. Would you consider HR a sub-process of Management? I think that could be a good route to take.
     
  5. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Regrettably @MRH_2019 , there’s no good answer and no way for “us” to tell you what works best for your organization. Having your “processes” identified by department certainly causes some challenges in organization of your QMS. I guess it’s a possible approach but seems it will be very difficult to keep your system clean, simple, intuitive.
    May I ask how long your QMS has been in place?
     
  6. MRH_2019

    MRH_2019 Member

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    Hi John,

    Our QMS is fairly new. We have only been ISO 9001:2015 for a few years and the people who created the QMS were not familiar with our industry (we had a 3rd party create it). Now I am tasked with trying to fix the issues and I have already suggested to Top Management that they completely re-write the entire QMS as there are A LOT of discrepancies we deal with. Our QMS is a mess but Top Management does not understand the reason to change it. They also don't want to admit that they paid a company to give us documentation that was worthless and did not reflect our industry.
     
  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Neither of these are "true" Management isn't a process and neither is HR. I think your organization might misunderstand what's required to build a QMS.
     
  8. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    And get your money back! Hire someone who has the right expertise.
     
  9. MRH_2019

    MRH_2019 Member

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    I agree! However, I am in a tough spot trying to explain these issues to management that does not have an understanding of QMS.
     
  10. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that a “complete re-write” is in order. I would recommend you simply have a reliable source look at it and make some recommendations and then your organization an slowly...step by step make any changes deemed necessary . We try to avoid any promotional activity on this site but you are free to private message me here or via LinkedIn to start a conversation (or I believe any of the moderators may also be open to you reaching out to them). May we start by asking where are you located?
     
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  11. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    They do, actually. Perhaps more than you know. What needs doing is explaining what ISO wants them to do in a way they get. Where are you?
     
  12. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    We live in hope, John, don't we? Sadly, recent experience shows this version of ISO 9001 has put many "experts" off the rails and the folks who wrote this one don't even understand the business. I'm wondering what the CB auditor was smoking! Some of that "ISO-SAYS-SO" stuff of previous versions!
     
  13. MRH_2019

    MRH_2019 Member

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    I am located in California. We are an auto manufacturer. That is all I can really say.
     
  14. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    MRH - try these folks:https://www.cmtc.com/quality I'm not financially affiliated, and you may find some significant benefit to reach out to them. They are a not-for-profit organization - Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  15. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    It's regrettable that you feel the need to rewrite a QMS, as Human Resources is something we do with or without the standard(s). Even before 9001:2015 we have run the risk of lacking needed knowledge for critical tasks, and a "brain drain" when knowledgeable people leave for whatever reason.

    If management insists on listing departments as processes, okay but we can understand them to be process groups (there could be more than one Receiving process, for example). Call it whatever gets it done, just include this critical group and get on with business.

    I agree HR is a department; there are any number of processes and activities that members of the department would do. The processes would take place with or without a standard; resourcing personnel, knowledge management, training and competency, collecting feedback etc. need not wait until you rewrite your system. Can you make flow charts that describe what you do in HR, what responsibilities are assigned to whom and what records are kept?
     
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  16. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    One way that I've seen regarding processes is a matrix - departments along one axis and processes along the other. The matrix is populated by showing:
    • O = Owner of the process - responsible for it's development, deployment, application
    • S = Stakeholder - directly impacted by the process; typically a "user" of the process or able to impact the results of the process
    • N/A = Not Applicable
    So let's take training as an example:

    • O = could be HR; responsible for developing the processes regarding training material development, training needs identification, training records
    • S = could be Production; responsible for developing training materials, identifying training needs, and completing, submitting, and/or maintaining training records...all in alignment with HR's process(es)
    • NA = can't really think of a department where training wouldn't be applicable
     
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  17. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you pose a good question.

    On one hand, I would suggest to include it. While HR may not be interested in the quality of the rivets that were produced in the last order; they are interested in the quality of the workplace the individual making the rivets experiences. Quality is measured different ways for different groups, but nonetheless an effective quality system is needed.

    However....
    By your own admission, the current quality system... has some challenges. I would focus on the core processes now. Then once your system develops some maturity and consistency, then you can evaluate the entire organizational system; or, at the the support functions.
     
  18. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Usually, in describing the QMS processes sequence and interactions, organizations have a system-level map like this:
    upload_2019-5-9_22-16-28.png

    HR function/department will definitely be the owner of the encircled process.
     
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  19. MRH_2019

    MRH_2019 Member

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    Hi all,

    Thank you for all the help! Our current Process flow is very different than a typical QMS. Like I said earlier it is actually based upon department rather than actual "Processes". So that has made it difficult to fix. They just want to keep adding departments as processes rather than re-write our processes to match a typical QMS. We have 9 processes but almost 10 others are going to be added per our last management review. The understanding is lacking and that is making my job tough.
     
  20. MRH_2019

    MRH_2019 Member

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    Our HR "Process" handles the following regarding competency

    Pre-Hire Evaluation
    Competency evaluation based on experience, education, and certifications

    Submit competent candidates to Manager for interview

    Hiring Process
    Gather all competency documents and verify accuracy

    On-boarding training
    Policy Training, Safety Training, QMS, Quality Policy and Objectives (all documented)
    coordinate trainings specific to job (forklift cert, manufacturing, office etc.)
    Retain documented evidence of all on boarding training

    Maintain a Training Matrix to determine what every job requires for training
    also includes retraining dates for specific trainings

    Record and Retain all training data for entire facility

    Provide and retain Performance Evaluation documentation
    We use this as an additional way to evaluate competency

    Retraining or Termination for those who are not meeting competency requirements
     

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