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A new clause, a new direction. A giant clause with plenty of movement of old stuff and new stuff combined. I will spend the next 3 or 4 months exploring this clause. The main topics of clause 7, support are ….Resources. Competence. Awareness. Communication. Documented Information. I have dealt with documented information in the past and will re-address it again as much has been discovered as the auditing fraternity begin to calibrate their opinions. Competence and awareness are a focus on the old training clause, but with some interesting spin. Resources is a re-hash of the previous standard but does have the hidden sting of including “test equipment and calibration”. Which leaves us with this month’s topic of communication.
An exquisite little sub clause of the profoundly ‘dah’. Could the standard do without it? Perhaps, but it is well crafted, if not a little condescending, but one that is mostly ignored by consultants and auditors. Planning of changes; when the company determines the need for changes to the Quality Management System, the changes are carried out in a planned manner. The company considers the: purpose of the changes and the potential consequences; integrity of the Quality Management System; availability of resources; and allocation or reallocation of responsibilities and authorities.
In the wonderful Aussie vernacular……der! Really? Firstly, I would like to publicly state that I love the standard. I love the process of determining its applicability to companies and I really, really like objectives. Objectives, targets, programs and more. If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve. But to belittle the intent by sticking on the bleeding obvious in the clause’s title, and then to go on and describe what you need to do to plan achievement, just blows my mind. Leave well enough alone. Please. I have never met a business owner, manager, operative that didn’t have objectives and not one of them that didn’t plan to achieve them. Deep breaths, deep breaths and ……… the rant is done.
Ok, so last month I rambled about the importance of quality objectives and just where they fit in the wonderful corporate food chain. Remember, we are addressing a quality standard, and therefore we have address quality objectives. But, don’t let that stop you adding other objectives into the mix. Especially, if you are designing your quality management system along the ‘one rule’ credo. Sure, you remember that! A thoughtful quality management system is the framework for all activities in a company. All departments, all disciplines, all stuff. Create one rule, one system company wide. And as my Buddhist friends would say, Nirvana!! But as soon as you have rules for some and not others, then you may as well expect that not all people will tow the same corporate lines or rules, because they will think it is doesn’t apply to them, the same as quality is not about them. A slippery slope indeed.
And support continues with some very varied subclauses. Last month we discussed communication (7.4). This month there are so many remaining just in 7.1 that we are going to split 7.1 into two parts. The first part below will address; general, people, infrastructure and environment for operational processes. Each of which is really a rehash of the previous standard, just newish headings. General - The standard says, the company determines and