Integrated ISO 9001 Quality Policy and ISO 14001 Environmental Policy

D

Dean P.

#1
I need some clarification here. We have an environmental policy that is integrated with our quality policy. The master copy is in our QSI software system, with electronic signatures and dates in the system to show approval. We then print out several copies of this policy and post in throughout the plant in large frames. The policies, when printed out, are just that, the policy and nothing else (no dates, signatures, etc.).

Our internal auditor trainer is telling our audit team that all copies of the policy must have revision dates, revision levels, and signatures, or it is a non-conformance. We are arguing that the master version in the database does have those, but the ones posted are just copies, similar to if we posted the policy on a website or on marketing documents. Also, if someone needs a copy, they have to print the master copy from the database, it is not stored anywhere else.

I thought my argument was correct, but I wanted some input from the people who know. If I am correct, do you have a clear argument that would settle the issue? Thanks for your help!!
 
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S
#2
Dean,
Apparently the thought process between the environmental auditor and the quality auditor is different.
Our quality policy has been posted for two years without a revision status.
During our registration audit for ISO 14001 I received a minor because our environmental policy did not indicate a method for revision status.
It wasn't worth the effort to contest, so I changed both to reflect an issue date and a block for a revision date.
Go figure. Who is right. I'll never know. If it isn't there, would it create a problem: No.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#3
The policy is a controlled document , subject to review and revision like all the others. Treat it the same way as you would any of your procedures.

Don't get wrapped around the axle. Read what the standard requires and make sure your internal documents conform to and support it.
 
D

Dean P.

#4
That was how I was going to defend it. I just need to prove that we have control over the document as it is issued. We can prove that the version in the database is the same as the version in the frames, and that should be enough. Auditors probably want a revision date because it makes it easier for them to audit, simply check the two numbers and see if they're the same.

This is also the way our quality policy has been for years, just the policy statement is posted, all revisions and approvals are in the master database.
 
S

Sporty

#5
We use QSI also here and have treated our Policy the exact same way you state, and our Registrar has no problem.
The Policy is controlled through QSI, and the posted copies are for communication purposes only.
Your probably right about it being easier to audit if the revision status is on the posted copy, but it's your system, and you should make the final decision.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#6
That's about it. You specify how the doc's, in this case Policy, is/are controlled, be able to verify that the controls are sufficient and work, and then go for it. Of course it is best if there is a date, revision # and all that other gobbelty goo also, but you guys and not the auditor decide on what works for you. I look to see if doc's are controlled, adequate and current, how the auditee does it is their business.
 
M

mdobovsek - 2005

#8
Dean :

I think the key is here:

The auditors audit you against:

The Standard and
Your Policy and
Your procedures.

This mean that people under the scope of the system must deal with controled documents

If your Policy distribution is not controlled (for people in the scope of the audit) this means that they can use uncontrolled documents ---may be your policy freely distributed.

Good luck!
 
D

Dean P.

#9
We did it.

We took the approach that there is one master copy in our system, with revision levels, revision dates, and approval signatures from all of our managers. All other copies that are posted in the plant are for communication purposes.

Apparently, it worked. We were recommended for certification yesterday. The auditor also mentioned to our Managers that they felt the maturity of the system was two years ahead of where we should be, considering this was our registration audit.

Now comes the fun part - maintaining registration!!! Thanks to all to helped with questions and concerns during our process.

Dean
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#10
Who helped you most Dean?;)

Who's your buddy?:bigwave:

It always feels good when somebody can speak of success.

Congrad's to you and your company.:D
 
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