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Does ISO 9001 require a procedure for every part of the business?

G

grumpytam

#1
Hello All

We are a small aerospace repair station and have ISO 9001. The problem is for some reason the MD is under the impression that everything we do needs a procedure and process. Is this true?

The main issue is with creating a procedure for accounts. Surely its enough that we have qualified people running it so why do we need a procedure. Where do we stop...? Do I need a procedure for ordering a pen or going to the bathroom?

That said all the key core processes are in place, I just don’t want to be snowed under with unnecessary procedures detailing the smallest item.

Regards

Tam
 
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#2
Re: Does ISO 9001 need every part of the buisness to have a procedure

Hello All

We are a small aerospace repair station and have ISO 9001. The problem is for some reason the MD is under the impression that everything we do needs a procedure and process. Is this true?

The main issue is with creating a procedure for accounts. Surely its enough that we have qualified people running it so why do we need a procedure. Where do we stop...? Do I need a procedure for ordering a pen or going to the bathroom?

That said all the key core processes are in place, I just don’t want to be snowed under with unnecessary procedures detailing the smallest item.

Regards

Tam
Welcome to the Cove!:bigwave:
Congratulations on making your first post.

To your question:
Many folks still have residual memory of the pre-2000 ISO Quality Management System Standards which were VERY prescriptive on documenting everything with some sort of a written Procedure.
Thankfully, things have a little more common sense in the world of ISO today.

First, understand the difference between these terms
  1. process
  2. procedure
  3. work instruction
as used in modern QMS

Then be willing to give little credit for brains to the employees of your organization, tempered with REALITY.

Think of this analogy: most folks growing up in Europe or the USA understand how to use a knife and fork to eat and probably need little instruction beyond some basic table manners in using them. Folks who use chopsticks or their fingers in their native land MAY need a little bit more help in mastering these instruments and vice versa for knife and fork users coming to a chopstick environment.

Using the terminology listed above, a process (steps from inquiry to finished aircraft on the runway ready for flight) might be documented with something as simple as a flow chart showing cycling through various departments in your organization. Individual Procedures and Work Instructions for segments of that flow chart can be non-existent (sharpening pencils or making sure printer has toner or "turn screw clockwise") or complicated (check list for flight readiness) as required for the knowledge, skill, and training of the employees who will be carrying out the steps.

I'm sure other will add more comments. This could be an interesting thread to follow.
 
T

Ted Schmitt

#3
Re: Does ISO 9001 need every part of the buisness to have a procedure

The main issue is with creating a procedure for accounts. Surely its enough that we have qualified people running it so why do we need a procedure. Where do we stop...? Do I need a procedure for ordering a pen or going to the bathroom?

That said all the key core processes are in place, I just don’t want to be snowed under with unnecessary procedures detailing the smallest item.

Regards

Tam
Let me add my :2cents:... you most probably know that the 2000 version of the standard only requires 6 procedures...... the 1994 version (as Wes stated) "incentivated" documentation of almost everything... lot´s of people that where against ISO back then complained that it was to beaurocratic, to much paper, people felt like they had their hands tied and that the system was not flexible... now with the new version, your QMS can be much "lighter" and more flexible...

Document only what´s necessary... the Accounts department ? They learned that in accounting class in college... no need for a procedure.... ordering a pen is ordering a pen... going to the bathroom our Mommies taught us in Kindergarden.... concentrate your documentation on what really impacts the quality of your product... what REALLY MATTERS !!
 
#4
Re: Does ISO 9001 need every part of the buisness to have a procedure

Since the definition of a procedure is the specified way to carry out a process, each process will have a procedure. The question is do these procedures need to be documented? The answer can be found in 4.2.1 d). If you need to have the procedure documented to ensure effective planning, operation or control of the process, then you have to document it. There is a difference between "mandated" procedures and "required". ISO 9001 mandates only the 6, however, necessity might (and probably will) require more.

With that in mind....

If your organization cannot order pens without error in absence of a written procedure, then a written procedure is required. If you cannot go bathroom without some formal documentation.....then again. I suppose some paper is critical in going bathroom, but I digress. :)

added.....

Welcome to the Cove, Tam :bigwave:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#5
Hello All

We are a small aerospace repair station and have ISO 9001. The problem is for some reason the MD is under the impression that everything we do needs a procedure and process. Is this true?

The main issue is with creating a procedure for accounts. Surely its enough that we have qualified people running it so why do we need a procedure. Where do we stop...? Do I need a procedure for ordering a pen or going to the bathroom?

That said all the key core processes are in place, I just don’t want to be snowed under with unnecessary procedures detailing the smallest item.

Regards

Tam
If the MD is 'under an impression' it's a good time to help them understand what this is all about. Take some time and review what the standard is about and what it requires. Let him see where and when a procedure is required, it's his company.......
 
#6
Welcome to the Cove, Tam :bigwave:
We are a small aerospace repair station and have ISO 9001. The problem is for some reason the MD is under the impression that everything we do needs a procedure and process. Is this true?
As others have stated already: Most certainly not. In this situation I usually refer to note 2 of clause 4.2.1: :read:
ISO9001:2000 said:
The extent of the quality management system documentation can differ from one organization to another due to
a) the size of organization and type of activities,
b) the complexityof processes and their interactions, and

c) the competence of personnel.
In other words, you are supposed to build a system suited to the needs of your company. Thus, your MD can relax.

I just don’t want to be snowed under with unnecessary procedures detailing the smallest item.
Which makes perfect sense. Information overload never made anyone happy. In fact, it is likely to cause a system to fail: Too many written procedures (particularly useless ones) will make people see the system as a load of crock. They will then treat it accordingly.

/Claes
 
G

grumpytam

#7
Re: Does ISO 9001 need every part of the buisness to have a procedure

Thanks guys, get advice. :applause:

Though, you have said the 2000 version of the standard only requires 6 procedures.....

We have 20 procedures already :notme:
 
T

Ted Schmitt

#8
Re: Does ISO 9001 need every part of the buisness to have a procedure

Thanks guys, get advice. :applause:

Though, you have said the 2000 version of the standard only requires 6 procedures.....

We have 20 procedures already :notme:
As long as these 20 procedures do you some good, then no problem... :notme:
 
#9
Re: Does ISO 9001 need every part of the buisness to have a procedure

Though, you have said the 2000 version of the standard only requires 6 procedures.....
Yes, plus the ones you deem necessary. Again: You are supposed to create a system that suits the needs of your company.

And hey: Please let us know about your progress, ok?

/Claes
 
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