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Signature used without knowledge

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by testingtesting, Jul 12, 2019 at 8:28 PM.

  1. testingtesting

    testingtesting New Member

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    Hello there,

    Would an employees signature being used on documents without their knowledge require an NCR, even if there's no documented process about use of signatures? For example if purchase orders have always featured the same signature but that person no longer oversees many of the orders, but PO's are still being sent with that signature? Would this relate to clause 4.1 about understanding interested parties expectations, and this would be a risk against suppliers and government expectations?

    Thankyou!
     
  2. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello there! Welcome to the forum!

    Goodness... sounds like you have a real opportunity on your hands.

    1. How does your current quality system address purchase order approval?
    2. How are these signatures being applied to the purchase orders? Are they images?
    3. What exactly does it mean when someone "signs" these purchase orders?
    4. Is this a regulated industry? Do your customers have documented requirements on such a situation?

    Whether an "NCR" needs to be issued is really dependent on whether there was a violation/non-conformity with respect to a procedure or guideline. But I think you do need to address this as part of an effective process. I'm not sure how the signature is being applied. But you do need to state that only wet signatures are allowed or proceduralize using electronic/digital signatures. Only the person actually signing something should be able to apply their own signature.
    Also, I think you need to look at the process of approving purchase orders and why there is a signature on it in the first place. If no one was really looking at these and evaluating them against some criteria, why sign them?
     
  3. testingtesting

    testingtesting New Member

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    1. An approval matrix is being finalised. There's not currently mention of an approval process in the QMS, only a procurement process which mentions a PO will be created and issued to the supplier.
    2. Yes images pasted into each excel document.
    3. It shows the supplier that the order has been approved, it also shows us internally who has approved the order.
    4. Yes, telecommunication. Some suppliers require signatures, others don't. We thought that the risks could include suppliers finding out orders haven't been approved correctly and they may cancel the order, or stop trading with us. and would it be a government requirement also that documents aren't signed without the persons knowledge. This is why we thought an ncr could be raised despite a documented process not already existing.
     
  4. APanteva

    APanteva New Member

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    The question is: Does this person still bears the responsibility of PO issuing process and does the person agree his/her signature to be used. For instance, if you are the manager of the purchasing department, you most probably do not oversee all POs being issued, but you are still responsible for that process. If you have agreed your signature to be used, then I don't see anything wrong with that. If you are no longer responsible for this process, then it doesn't make any sense to have your signature used.
     

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