Quality Manual - Taking a Different Approach

G

glenn0004

#1
I’m trying to find a way of making our quality manual a more useful document. At present it would appear that the only time it is referenced or downloaded is during our external audits.
It’s been suggested that the 9001 requirements are split across several key policies that will provide department heads with the direction that they need regarding quality management within their departments as opposed to a set of responses to the 9001 requirements that are maintained within one manual.
i.e. Policy for Process Planning / Monitoring Measurement and Review / Document Control…..
Any feedback on this idea or other past experience would be gratefully received.
 
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L

lk2012

#2
Re: Quality Manual - different approach

hi,
I assume that you mean 'procedure / instructions / manual' where you say 'Policy'. If that's the case, you might want to encourage the heads of individual departments to use these as part of training.
I also do a refresher for everyone once a year (admittedly, it's usually about a month before our external audit). Everyone's asked to read the procedures (and associated instructions / forms) and let me know if they're still valid and relevant. It refreshes people's awareness of QMS and also gives us a chance to catch out any development / changes that haven't been recorded up to that point.
hope this helps
 
#3
Re: Quality Manual - different approach

I have three "example" quality manuals which I will scan and upload. I'm not able just at this moment, but will do it as they are close to hand...:popcorn:
 
P

PaulJSmith

#4
Re: Quality Manual - different approach

I?m trying to find a way of making our quality manual a more useful document.
Why?
Your Quality Manual should be a reflection of your management system. In what way do you need it to be "more useful" than that?

Not being combative here, just wondering what exactly you're wanting it to do for you.
 

Pancho

wikineer
Super Moderator
#6
I?m trying to find a way of making our quality manual a more useful document. At present it would appear that the only time it is referenced or downloaded is during our external audits.
It?s been suggested that the 9001 requirements are split across several key policies that will provide department heads with the direction that they need regarding quality management within their departments as opposed to a set of responses to the 9001 requirements that are maintained within one manual.
i.e. Policy for Process Planning / Monitoring Measurement and Review / Document Control?..
Any feedback on this idea or other past experience would be gratefully received.
The standard calls for your manual to contain three items, (1) the scope of your system, (2) description of the interaction of your processes and (3) either references to your documented procedures, or the procedures themselves. (1) and (2) are important, but near trivial compared to (3).

If your procedures are useful, and if (3) above is met with references, your manual could be indispensable even if a single page long. Making it indispensable is a matter of making sure that the references are good. Place your manual in a shared website and make the references hyperlinks to the procedures. Then the manual will be the hub of your qms. Folks will go through the manual to get to their procedures.

But if your procedures aren't useful, meaning that they are not "documents required for the effective planning, operation and control of your processes", then no change to your manual will make it useful. Your procedures are useful only if they are actually used day to day: for consultation, training, editing and improvement. Many organizations write procedures only to meet the basic requirements of the standard. External auditors can be satisfied with this. You won't be, even if it gets you a certificate.

Charge process owners with making their procedures useful and give them the tools to do so. Also, make sure your Continuous Improvement process is agile, and that the results from that process always get documented in your procedures. With those actions, your management system will soon live up to its name. And your manual will become the heart of your organization.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
I?m trying to find a way of making our quality manual a more useful document. At present it would appear that the only time it is referenced or downloaded is during our external audits.
It?s been suggested that the 9001 requirements are split across several key policies that will provide department heads with the direction that they need regarding quality management within their departments as opposed to a set of responses to the 9001 requirements that are maintained within one manual.
i.e. Policy for Process Planning / Monitoring Measurement and Review / Document Control?..
Any feedback on this idea or other past experience would be gratefully received.
Glenn,

I'm not sure why you think several policies are useful. Only one is required.

A manual that drops the structure of the standard in favor of describing how the organization works with its customers and suppliers as a system to fulfill its mission or purpose is possibly of more value.

It could also usefully describe how the leaders ensure their management system assures quality and delivers improvements for the organization to remain competitive.

A conformity matrix usefully assures users and guides the auditor as to which system docs contribute to the conformity with each clause.

And you could do all this in four pages or less.

John
 

Peter Fraser

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Glenn

Bear in mind that the 2015 revision will not require a manual at all (and the current version doesn't indicate why you need one now, and doesn't require your quality policy to be included!) so don't get hung up on it as a required document.

Far better to structure your management system documentation to make it easy for users (including managers!) to find the information they need to do their work.

Don't do anything for 9001 that you would not do for the business - defining clear and concise processes, making documents easily accessible and defining a logical structure and navigation for your system is key.
 
L

lokeky1

#9
My reply is slightly off the topic. But since the title was "Quality Manual - Taking a Different Approach", I was engaged to think about using infographics. I once made a GMP training card similar to the "emergency instruction card" used by the airlines. My aim was to make the training fun and easy to follow.

Now that you asked, I might consider preparing an entire QM in graphics.

Cheers

Loke
 
L

lk2012

#10
Hi Loke,
what a great idea! Seriously. Making some of the processed more visual may be the key to better understanding in areas where people speak different languages.

In a graphic QMS, what would the Quality superhero be called?
Lil
 
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