Clarification of a policy vs. procedure

L

lawsotx

#1
I could use some help in getting a handle as to the level of control that is needed for things like company or group practices and policies that don't directly affect our quality systems. An example is in the Purchasing area. They are rolling out a number of policies (i.e. - Proper Business Practices, Supplier Visitation Policy) that they want to be controlled to the same extent as their Level 1, 2 and 3 Purchasing procedures. I am wondering if this is necessary. The documents are "high level" without alot of details or specifics. Why can't Purchasing themselves be responsible for the control of these "general" policies. My suggestion was that the D.C. group could help to create a numbering system for these types of documents, but Purchasing would be responsible for maintaining the document index for their purchasing policies. They would also be responsible for policy revisions (by date - not revision number)and they would determine who needs to review and approve these documents. Is this totally out of line? Does anyone have some guidelines or suggestions regarding the level and type of contol for these types of organizational "policies"?
 
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B

B Butrym

#2
typically a local document control procedure would detail what they do, much as you already stated
 
J

Jim Biz

#3
Barb - my mind is mushy today (not an unusual situation) ... could you expand on "local" document control procedures?

RE: How would one clearly distinguish "local control" and maintain overall system control at the same time?

Would you not? need to then identify each different work area - state or list what procedures/policies they are responsible for or are maintaing under "local control"? Plus a diecription of how they are controlling them anyway?? - Guess I'm not clearly grasping the advantage....

Reagrds
Jim
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#4
Many companies have local document control. It may be by department or even by individuals. You address these in your top system descriptor where you place your requirements (including header/footer and such or minimum identification and control features).

Local control is not a big deal - but you have to look at your specific company and its set of particulars as to whether it makes sense to your systems and processes. Typically companies have some type of mix anyway. A clear example is where corporate has certain procedures as do 'local' plants.

Often departments will have their own restricted directory. They author their own documents and control them as well. Purchasing is one area where this is quite common. Their procedure may affect the quality of the product in one way or the other, but so what? As long as they are comliant to requirements its a non-issue. I can't remember a client I've ever had where all documentation was centrally controlled. I personally see centralized document control as silly and unnecessary. I also see most document control software as expensive overkill in 95% of companies.

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 23 September 2000).]
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
well said, marc....

Simple is the rule.....password/signature and date cover about anything you may want to do.
And I agree...those documention packages are a complete waste of money....as is most canned "ISO" stuff
 
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