Quality Policy - What is the Elsmar Cove's Quality Policy?

S

samsung

#1
I am wondering if Elsmar Cove itself has a Quality Policy and has adopted a structured Quality Management System (or any other system) irrespective of certification by an external agency, in order to "consistently provide its services that meet its customer requirements".
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
Re: What is the Elsmar's own Quality Policy?

I am not sure what your expectations are. There isn't a quality policy per se.

The Elsmar Cove Mission
To be a Free Business Standards and Business Systems Information Resource to Quality Assurance, Engineering and Management Professionals. People Helping People since 1996!​

2. I have a structured way of maintaining the site (such as backups, software updates and such).
2a. We have 'work instructions' and guidelines for moderators in the moderator's forum (only accessible to moderators).
2b. We have 'work instructions' (aka procedures) for visitors.
2c. We have a complaint system which is a catchall for nonconformances and related issues.
2c1. There is a way to anonymously submit a complaint.
2d. We have policies.
2e. There is a 'FAQ which addresses Frequently Asked Questions about the site (mainly software related).
2e1. There is a way to anonymously request personal help with the forum software.
2f. We have a Privacy & Copyright Statement
2g. We have a suggestions system.

There are no measureables per se other than visitor statistics.

The Elsmar Cove forum is supported by, and entirely depends upon, the voluntary donation of time by the Moderators and a relatively small (vs. the tens of thousands of people who visit here) group of 'regular' visitors who help people with their questions and such. My Thanks and appreciation to each of them, as always.

There are no paid employees other than myself, and I (of course) make what ever the net income of the site is for any given month (which is quite variable).

Some services are sub-contracted to 'for profit' (aka 'for a fee') companies including rental of the server the site runs on, periodic server security evaluations and other tasks which are beyond my knowledge and expertise.

The Elsmar Cove is *almost* entirely supported financially by advertising. It would be nice if more people did help out through contributions (once a month or so someone will donate through a 'Contribution', but that is insignificant), but like TV and radio before TV (and newspapers before radio) advertising is the only significant income source.

contrib-040612.gif

Now - A quick question: What are your "Customer Requirements/Expectations" considering this is a service which is free? Bear in mind we have no 'contract' with visitors. People come and get what they want for free, but there are no guarantees (written or otherwise) about anything (including files, validity of advice, and continuation of service).
 
Last edited:

harry

Super Moderator
#3
Considering that people come here voluntarily to use the resources for free and for reference and take away whatever they want (all, none or a certain percentage of the advices given or ideas shared), I think users do not qualify as customers per se. Even the moderators like myself are users who happened to volunteer for additional responsibilities.

The Cove does provide a voluntary service (platform and infrastructure and moderating) and in this sense, what Marc described is an attempt to provide a better and more uniform service. With regards to users, I think we had moved way beyond the certification level (forced regulation). What we practiced here is more towards voluntary regulation - be civil, observe good net/netiquette practices and on technical matters, to share your experience however simple it may be but avoid bad advice (a slip of the mind is acceptable but do not make it a habit)

This is how I see it.
 

suildur

Involved In Discussions
#5
Re: What is the Elsmar's own Quality Policy?

1. There isn't a quality policy per se.

The Elsmar Cove Mission
To be a Free Business Standards and Business Systems Information Resource to Quality Assurance, Engineering and Management Professionals. People Helping People since 1996!​

This definition is almost like any other non-profit purpose NGO which suits to NACE coding EA39O91.33. So, the case is listed in ISO 9001 scopes.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

suildur

Involved In Discussions
#7
Re: What is the Elsmar's own Quality Policy?

Can you pl elaborate more on this code ?
You know, there are "sector" codes for each scope in the certification process of ISO 9001. The CBs use the related coding system according to their accreditation scheme. EA plus NACE coding is used in EU, and also Turkey.

I maynot have the latest revision of the list, however, there wouldn't be major changes, because the structure of the list is also used in other lists; i.e. trade mark certification.

Anyway, there are 39 different sectors.

This list of NACE codes is based on the Statistical nomenclature for economic activities (NACE Rev 1) published by the Commission of European Communities (Official Journal L83 dated 3 April 1993]).

Also, there are Division Groups and Classes under EA codes.

If a non-profit NGO, which is a membership organization, would like to be certified, then the scope is listed under EA39O91.33.

That's it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
S

samsung

#8
Re: What is the Elsmar's own Quality Policy?

1. There isn't a quality policy per se.

The Elsmar Cove Mission
To be a Free Business Standards and Business Systems Information Resource to Quality Assurance, Engineering and Management Professionals. People Helping People since 1996!​
Marc, I liked everything you wrote in your above post. I have quoted a small indicative fraction of it, simply to avoid repetition.

In fact I didn't explore Elsmar so much and today only I have seen Elsmar's mission which do embed it's policies in the form of Rules that guide the actions/ decisions aka the signposts en route. I have seen the mission 'published' today only but found it well 'established' the day I first joined this forum. It's indeed marvelous to get acquainted with the way the forum is being managed and hence it's now not difficult for me to discern how systematically this system is being managed with an element of beneficence. It's indeed a great initiative which I must salute wholeheartedly and must congratulate you for keeping it all the way vibrant with your personal engagement and contribution as well.

However, the very first trigger for my asking the question stems from my belief that the (par excellence) quality of services (& the intangible products) delivered by/ available at Elsmar for its customers/ visitors / viewers is just not possible unless it has a firm policy of doing and keeping up things so.

I personally yet sincerely consider Elsmar not as a community forum but an online Academic institution which is compassionately helping people, absolutely for no materialistic interest whatsoever, to build and enhance their capabilities by way of creating and sustaining a platform for knowledge sharing and continuous learning where people come to acquire knowledge and learn to apply it professionally. This is a place where I find the 'service providers' are always willing to welcome everyone and provide the learners with the best possible solutions in a professional way just for the sake of helping others or one another.

Ajit has already defined a very nice policy "People helping people around the world everyday ... A win-win for everyone". A great concept, indeed.

Insofar your question goes "What are your "Customer Requirements/ Expectations", I don't fully know what I really expect like those many things for which many fail to frame up a criterion unless it is presented before them, e.g. a movie, where I can't decide to have an 'expectation' per se, before I fully watch it though I have some unquoted requirements in the back of mind. Or I can say, it has succeeded in satisfying all my individual needs and expectations, yet new expectations may develop with the passage of time and association with this 'Centre of knowledge'.

Anyway, the next trigger for this question (with no underlying motives at all) - I just observed that, in the past, there used to be many regular posters who used to contribute significantly to the forum by way of their valuable inputs/ knowledge and experience are not seen so regularly in the court nowadays with the result many of their followers might have been disappopinted yet it's a fact that the forum has never been deprived of experts unwilling to address any issue however typical it might have been. As a good business practice (though 'not for profit'), is their a process to determine why those Covers/ good old friends do not turn up so frequently? or how far you succeeded in achieving the objective ?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#9
Re: What is the Elsmar's own Quality Policy?

In the early days the forum was a novelty of sorts. If you go back 10+ years the number of people wth computers in the world was a lot less. The increase in traffic has come as the internet has grown.

Getting people involved on the end of helping others with questions is not easy. Most people (probably 99%) do not want to be involved at all (i.e.: they get what they need and leave). Not to mention, of those who get 'involved', most, if not all, of their involvement is asking some questions. A few stick around and help out.

Those who do stick around and help people with questions are rare compared to the total number of people who visit. Remember it takes time and what I might call a passion for a person to 'hang around' an internet forum (especially one focused on business standards as Elsmar is) and help people out for free.

The effect you are seeing (people who used to be active but no longer are) is typical for a site like this, but you can also see it in any older internet forum you visit, as well as older 'social' sites. People tend to get involved for a while but over time they tend to move on to other interests. We have quite a few 'dormant' moderators here, for example, who were once very much involved but these days don't stop by often. I must admit that it is difficult for me, after all these years, to keep an interest in coming here every day, not to mention many times a day, and doing everything I do. An internet forum is difficult to keep up with when you consider all the different things that have to be done when one considers everything from server maintenance, software upgrades and the other 'behind the scenes' aspects, not to mention getting involved in helping people with answers to their questions. I am an example of someone who once was very involved in helping with questions, but over the years I have lost a lot of my enthusiasm (passion). It happens. Making it more difficult for me, there are 'behind the scenes' aspects which make it difficult to even take a vacation (as an example). People lose their password and have changed email addresses, people PM or email me with many very simple problems or questions (well, simple to me, not to them) such as how to ask a question by starting a new thread. Little things like that come up many times every day and I feel guilty if I don't get back to them with help quickly (which is why you may have noticed I may be online at 2am or 4 am or 8pm). I take their questions/problems seriously and know that they need timely responses.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but if I wanted to take 2 weeks off and 'get away from it all' there is no one who could do all the things I do. This is not to say the forum would do a nose dive into oblivion or fall apart, but there are quite a lot of things that would go unattended that I think are important. Some things I am very anal about, such as discussion thread titles, may not seem like much, but I have been to so many forums where the discussion thread titles do not reflect the content that I don't want that to be the case here (threads titled "Help me" or similar drive me up a wall). Not to mention it helps everyone find things when they browse or search the forums.

Back to the main thrust of this post, like a TV show someone likes, after a number of years things change and one wants to move on to something else. In this case I almost closed the forum back near the end of 2003 because the expenses were going up significantly and the time I had to spend doing everything I had to do was getting out of hand. I would be less than honest if I did not admit that a person convinced me to put advertising on the site back then and essentially the money advertising brought in started to offset many of my 'complaints' back then. On the other hand it tied me to the site more closely. See: Does money motivate? for some thoughts on this aspect. I bring this up because one of the very important early 'Covers' was Kevin Mader. Kevin was an early 'pillar' of the forum and I very much miss his every day participation (not to mention his enthusiasm), but then again others have come and gotten involved as Kevin faded out.

To put this in perspective, Kevin was once very involved here. Since the 'early days' Kevin has since married, Kevin and his wife have had a couple of children, and Kevin has moved on to other, more important parts of his life. In a sense I have watched as Kevin has gone through some significant mile posts in his life. While Kevin was relatively young (and still is relative to me), this is typically the same with most people. They get involved for a while and then they move on as other aspects of life take on more importance. In Kevin's case the big factor was having children. Kevin still stops by now and again, and Kevin is still one of the 'Board of Directors' (just as moderators who drop out of being active do not loose their moderator status), but Kevin has moved on to more important things in his life.

Although there are a few 'hard core', long time Covers' (Jim Wynne is one), this is unlike something like photography where a person may be interested and involved for many, many years (in some cases it's a life long passion).

There is no goal per se as to how many people will get involved in helping others. Obviously we want to get as many people to participate by helping others as we can but there is no number we have set. Personally I think about this every day as over time the forum has expanded so far beyond my area of expertise that were it not for the 'regulars' who visit and help, and the Moderators, it simply wouldn't work. From time to time the moderators and I do discuss this aspect in the moderator's forum. That is one reason the 'Thanks' button on posts is there. It's not part of the vBulletin software. The 'Thanks' part of the software is a 'mod'. It is there for people to give a 'measurable', but its most important role is to let people who help know their help in a post is appreciated. Hopefully the recognition will encourage them to continue to help.

The forum does not make enough money for me to hire people to answer questions, and I have never envisioned the Elsmar Cove to be a business in the traditional sense (I have not tried to, nor do I want to, make it into a 'big money making business'), so the forum depends upon the rare few who are willing to take some time out of their days and/or evenings to help others. Were it not for volunteers, the Moderators and the 'regulars', the forum simply could not exist.

All that said, I will say that the forum has for the most part become what I originally envisioned it as - A fairly big database with it's focus on business standards requirements. If someone wants to know about Document Control, for example, there are hundreds of discussions they can read through. And, of course, since so many situations are specific to their scenario, they can ask and there is typically someone who can help out. None the less, with this example of Document Control, they are variations of a very basic theme, if you will.

The short answer is that some people come, get involved for a while and then move on to other interests. The Moderators, the 'regulars' and I try to make the forum a 'decent' place that people like to come to. Other than that there's not much we can do to entice people to stay around and help people by answering questions. The people that do have a passion for the topics they help others with, and I Thank each person that helps out here, are the pillars of the Cove. I could list some names of those I am most appreciative of, but as you can understand it would be a long list and I wouldn't want to unintentionally slight someone by leaving out their name were I to make such a list.

Ajit's words "People helping people around the world everyday ... A win-win for everyone" is how the forum has operated from the beginning. Ajit has become an important 'pillar' here, I should add. People come here from every major nation, and most minor ones as well. They are from different places, different religions, different political systems/parties. Yet, we all share and interact because our focus is on our common needs which is information about doing business. I'm a US citizen, but I don't place that in the way of helping someone, for example, who is from a place the US has political hostilities with. I personally think that the more places there are where people from all over the world can get together and help each other without regard to religions, different political systems/parties and such, the better it is for everyone. It's a big world and we all need to work together for the betterment of the future.

As a last comment, I will say that my staying in this, in keeping the site online, is in part because over the years I have had many people email me, send me letters, send me Christmas cards and such, thanking me for the forum. I have received some very heart felt emails and letters from all over the world over the years in which the person expressed how important the forum had been to them for one reason or another. I particularly remember a lady from Peru who wrote me a letter telling me that it had helped her in her get a job in quality assurance in a company, and how much it helped her once she got the job. It was a very emotional letter. In her case it was a money to pay for training issue, which comes into play with your comment about the forum being "...an online Academic institution...". So, there is also a sort of personal thing to me in that it really makes me feel good knowing there are people out there who have gotten help here that they needed and that they are really appreciative of it.

I don't know if this really answers your question, I know I've wandered about a bit in this post, and I know it's kind of long and rambling. It's hard to say everything I could say in a post here. Suffice it to say that as time passes and years go by people come and go.
 
Last edited:
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
I Quality Policy and Objectives examples Elsmar Cove Forum Suggestions, Complaints, Problems and Bug Reports 4
A Objectives in Quality Policy ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 15
K ISO 13485 section 5.3 Quality Policy - No framework for establishing and reviewing quality objectives ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 2
S Procedure on Privacy Policy in the ISO 13485 quality management system ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 3
F ISO 13485:2016 Quality Policy Requirements Other ISO and International Standards and European Regulations 3
M Quality Policy - Standards and reference numbers ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 14
Q Including services in quality policy? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 3
R Establishing the quality policy for ISO 9001:2015 ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 10
B Quality Policy does not include a commitment to comply with legal requirements Quality Management System (QMS) Manuals 5
K Where in the quality manual do I put our Quality Objectives and our Quality Policy Quality Management System (QMS) Manuals 19
J President does not know what the Quality Policy means ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 10
S Is a Quality Policy Statement a Requirement? (ISO 13485) ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 7
M New Quality Policy for ISO 9001:2015 - Please Review ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 5
Q Including the Word "Risk" into the Quality Policy (ISO 9001:2015)? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 4
M Definition of Other Policies in the Quality Policy Document IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 6
K Must I update the Quality Policy? (ISO 9001:2008) ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 15
A Quality Policy approach of ISO 9001:2015 Clause 5.2.1a ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 4
E Adding a "Scope Statement " to my Quality Policy ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
S Should we get Quality Policy re-signed if the signatories leave? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 6
Sean Kelley New Catchy Quality Policy Ideas Wanted IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 4
dubrizo Quality Policy - Your comments - Tear it apart ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
I Not having "effectiveness" in the Quality Policy ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 8
G Quality Policy... Meet Requirements? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 6
P Definition AS9100 Quality Policy and 2nd party audits Definitions, Acronyms, Abbreviations and Interpretations Listed Alphabetically 6
M AS9100C Quality Policy Requirements AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 14
S Can these Quality Policy Statements be used in our American and Canadian sites Misc. Quality Assurance and Business Systems Related Topics 3
S Is this Quality Policy acceptable in the context of ISO 13485? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 24
S Management Declaration to Quality Policy Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 19
D Does the Quality Policy have to be controlled? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 4
M Quality Policy Draft - Please review Misc. Quality Assurance and Business Systems Related Topics 24
G Points to consider while defining the Quality Policy AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 11
sridharafep Quality Policy without Top Management Signature Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 37
N The difference between a Quality Policy and Quality Manual ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 5
I Revision of Company Quality Policy Logo ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 5
D Checking my organization's current Quality Policy Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 9
sridharafep Unified Quality Policy sample complying to 9001-14001-18001 Misc. Quality Assurance and Business Systems Related Topics 18
K Questioning Top Management on The Quality Policy during Internal Audits Internal Auditing 7
Q Who approves the Quality Manual and Quality Policy? Quality Management System (QMS) Manuals 8
W Quality Policy in Company - Different Policies at different Sites ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 4
K Quality Policy Document as a Level 1 Document Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 6
S Does the Company Quality Policy have to be posted in the Facility? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 11
somashekar The Quality Policy - How General or Specific should a Quality Policy be stated? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 8
Ajit Basrur Training Materials for Quality Policy Quality Management System (QMS) Manuals 13
R Can a Quality Policy include Health and Safety as an Objective? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 26
R What are the ISO 9001 Clause 5.3 Quality Policy Requirements? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 6
A Share Quality Policy that covers ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and MDD 93/42/EEC? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 2
R What is a "Quality Policy"? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
Sam Lazzara ISO 13485 Quality Policy that concisely meets standard ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 24
L Product Quality Management Framework Policy and SMART Objectives Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 17
Tom W Quality Policy Statement Content Requirements ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 11
Similar threads


















































Top Bottom