Document Approval - Software company

#1
Hi

I am new to the quality world. I work for a software company and the QA manager retired and I took on the QA role.

I am quite confused about document approval, ISO 9001 clause 7.5.2 - c.

My question is: Do ALL documents needs to be approved before they are made available for use? My company have some documents that we do not require approval for and I would like to know if this is allowed by the standards?

Here are some examples of documents that have are produced that currently do not get approved before they are made available for use:

1) We produce ballpark quote documents that get sent to customers showing an estimation of how much a piece of software development work will cost. The document is produced by a manager, so he/she is down as the author of the document. But the document does not get approved by another person before it is sent to the customer. Is it acceptable to not have an 'approver' on this document? Isn't it enough to see that the author of the document is a manager?

2) Once a piece of software has been developed, a developer will complete a unit test document. So the author of the document is the developer. But again we don't require the unit test document to be approved, so again, there is no 'approver' on the document. The manager just needs to see that a unit test was done and the details of that unit test. Is it acceptable to not have an 'approver' on a unit test document?

It seems as though requiring every single document to be approved before it is allowed to be distributed, is adding a layer of complexity and delay into the process of getting a task completed. What is the need to have a ballpark quote document or a unit test document approved when the people preparing these documents are trusted people and the people best placed to complete these documents.

As you can see I am having trouble understanding the approval concept.

Any feedback/clarification would be much appreciated.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#2
It's not clear what you're referring to as "documents." Do you have standard forms that you use for the tasks you mention? Please explain.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#3
What's confusing with "c) review and approval for suitability and adequacy"?

Have somebody who knows what's required to check the things over for content and determine whether or not it's correct..........If it is "Approved", if it's not "Not Approved"

You're probably over-thinking, don't make it any more complicated than it has to be.
 

yodon

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
I think @Randy is probably right in suggesting you're overthinking. First off, the clause only applies to documented information required by the standard. Do a search for "documented information" and you'll see what's required. Quotes to customers are not (well, maybe not, unless you use that as your documented information of the review of requirements for services). Second, the means for approval are yours to define. For example, for unit test docs, maybe you have a peer review (for suitability and adequacy) then check it in to the repository (approved). Approval doesn't have to be a "wet ink" signature.

Review is rarely a bad idea, even trusted people can make mistakes.
 
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