NC for poorly communicated Quality Policy - Does it add value to an audit?

eternal_atlas

Involved In Discussions
#1
Our organization is into Electro mechanical, EPCM, Oil and Gas Sector with more than hundred projects with unique customer or contract requirements. Our company is employing the people from India (speaking 4 regional languages), Philippines (phillipino), Egypt (Arabic) ,US and UK (English) for all levels.

- We have communicated the quality policy only in English through employee manual and posters in all relevant places not
- Also, whoever joins in our company immediately undergoes quality awareness programme too.
- Some of the technicians does not answer the quality policy key words to the auditor.
- Even project manager just read it by seeing the poster.

Non Conformance:

Auditor raised a non-conformance to the management as per 5.3(d) & 6.22(b) since the quality policy is not well communicated and understood at all levels and no effectiveness is there for the quality awareness programme conducted.


My Corrective Action:

I write quality policies in all languages and paste it all relevant places. I can ask my guys to memorize some key words to tell whenever there is an audit... it has done by means of paper work..


Auditor closed the non-conformance by doing the same exercise...

My Question is:

I agree with the non-conformance raised by the auditor. I don't think so, there is a value added to us due to this finding or corrective action taken. Comment on this please
 
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Randy

Super Moderator
#3
Re: Is it a value or result oriented added audit?

I guess I need some clarification here: Was this an Internal Audit or 3rd Party?
Doesn't matter............

I think our OP is missing the point.............It's not writing and posting that is the problem, communication requires "understanding" to be effective. The policy has to be understood by employees to the point that they as individuals can say how it effects them in their job performance and how they, the individual, help the company turn the promise's made in the policy into reality.

Just posting stuff is not communicating:nope:
 

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Re: Is it a value or result oriented added audit?

Doesn't matter............

I think our OP is missing the point.............It's not writing and posting that is the problem, communication requires "understanding" to be effective. The policy has to be understood by employees to the point that they as individuals can say how it effects them in their job performance and how they, the individual, help the company turn the promise's made in the policy into reality.

Just posting stuff is not communicating:nope:
I understand; but I was curious if it was either Internal or External, because it would be easier to determine Cost Value added. If this was an External Audit, I would be a little concerned on the finding.
 

Ajit Basrur

Staff member
Admin
#5
Re: NC for poorly communicated Quality Policy - does it add value to audit?

If you refer Guidance Document - Auditing Quality Policy, Quality Objectives and Management Review, it says -

The quality policy and its effective deployment can only be truly assessed based on the overall results of the audit.

Audit methods should include:

• Interviewing Top Management to understand their approach and commitment to quality; (click here to link to the guidance paper on the auditing of Top Management processes)

• Evaluating, through the records of management review, the commitment and involvement of Top Management in the establishment, implementation, monitoring and updating of the quality policy;

• Assessing whether Management has effectively “translated” the quality policy into understandable words and guidelines at all levels of the organization, with corresponding objectives at each applicable function / level;

• Conducting interviews with personnel to verify if they have the required awareness, understanding and knowledge of the way the organization’s quality policy relates to their own activity, regardless of the terms used by such people to express their understanding;

• Seeking evidence of effective dissemination of the quality policy by appropriate communication.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#6
As I see it, the primary failure here is that the AUDITOR "left the building" without being certain his own communication vis a vis the NC was understood by the auditee.

It should not be up to the auditee to search around on the internet for an interpretation of the NC.

Re: Randy's comment
I agree there is NO DIFFERENCE whether the NC was from internal, second party, or third party audit. There is still a lack of true communication and understanding by concerned parties regarding the NC.
 

Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Re: Is it a value or result oriented added audit?

Doesn't matter............

I think our OP is missing the point.............It's not writing and posting that is the problem, communication requires "understanding" to be effective. The policy has to be understood by employees to the point that they as individuals can say how it effects them in their job performance and how they, the individual, help the company turn the promise's made in the policy into reality.

Just posting stuff is not communicating:nope:
Randy is correct. :agree1:

The communication process in organizations leaves a lot to desire.

I have seen:
  • Banners
  • Bulletin boards
  • Organizations' websites
  • Newsletters
  • Handouts
And heard:
  • Speeches (from the boss)
  • Meetings (run by the boss)
Rarely is the effectiveness assessed to verify if the true message really came across. Randy uses the word "Understanding." How true this is.

Most (management) "communication" is one-way traffic. Hardly any opportunity for feedback. :frust:

Oh yes, and don't ask" "Do you understand?" People will never admit they don't. :nope:

I do have seen excellent examples of internal communication; often informal, by the boss walking the floor, and engaging in open two-way conversations with employees. So simple, so low-tech, so effective.....

Stijloor.
 

Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
2 questions have to be asked and answered....

"What does it mean to you?"

"How are you helping to make it happen?"

If they can't be answered then there is most likely a lack of "communication" taking place.
Excellent questions! :applause:

In my training classes, I encourage the participants to think about their Quality Policy and possible responses using their own words.
I always discourage preparing speeches or using canned (pre-cooked)responses.

Stijloor.
 

Big Jim

Trusted Information Resource
#10
Directly to the original question. Does this nonconformance add value to the Audit?

Absolutely yes. He showed you where you fell short of a requirement and you need to find a way to fix it. The requirements are also known as "shalls", as in you shall do this or you shall do that. They are not "recommendations". They are not "we want you to's". The are not "shoulds". They are requirements.

Do you have some challenges to overcome to make sure that the quality policy is understood throughout the organization? Yes, you do, especially with such a diverse group. Diverse in culture and in language. Can you accomplish it? Absolutely. Will it be easy? Probably easier than trying to find a way around it.
 
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