Struggling with Training and Competence

I

iowamech

#1
First post everyone, bear with me.

~5 months ago, I came into a small organization that is already certified to ISO 9001:2008. In reviewing their documentation against the standard, I identified a gap with respect to training and competency. I've now gotten myself wrapped around the axel on the standard's wording.

6.2.1 "Personnel...shall be competent..."
6.2.2b "...provide training...to achieve the necessary competence."

Few questions:
1. Is it ok or not ok for someone to not be competent when compared against the competency requirements I've defined (e.g. job description and process based on the job training checklists)?

Elaboration: 6.2.1 says they have to be competent, 6.2.2b says well, if they're not competent, get them competent. I feel like these conflict. What if an auditor comes in and sees that employee xyz is required to be competent in executing the change order process, but the supervisor has indicated they are not competent (mistakes, etc.). Will we get written up for violation to 6.2.1 or if I indicate that I am providing additional training, or that person just needs more experience doing that job, that I am working to get them to the necessary competence level like 6.2.2b says. (I told you I'm wrapped around the axel).
2. Do we need to document when competence reviews take place (e.g. annually)?
3. Is it important to maintain both the initial training / competency achievement date and competence review dates?

I would love to see anyone's examples of training matrices, training records, etc.
 
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qusys

Trusted Information Resource
#2
First post everyone, bear with me.

~5 months ago, I came into a small organization that is already certified to ISO 9001:2008. In reviewing their documentation against the standard, I identified a gap with respect to training and competency. I've now gotten myself wrapped around the axel on the standard's wording.

6.2.1 "Personnel...shall be competent..."
6.2.2b "...provide training...to achieve the necessary competence."

Few questions:
1. Is it ok or not ok for someone to not be competent when compared against the competency requirements I've defined (e.g. job description and process based on the job training checklists)?

Elaboration: 6.2.1 says they have to be competent, 6.2.2b says well, if they're not competent, get them competent. I feel like these conflict. What if an auditor comes in and sees that employee xyz is required to be competent in executing the change order process, but the supervisor has indicated they are not competent (mistakes, etc.). Will we get written up for violation to 6.2.1 or if I indicate that I am providing additional training, or that person just needs more experience doing that job, that I am working to get them to the necessary competence level like 6.2.2b says. (I told you I'm wrapped around the axel).
2. Do we need to document when competence reviews take place (e.g. annually)?
3. Is it important to maintain both the initial training / competency achievement date and competence review dates?

I would love to see anyone's examples of training matrices, training records, etc.
ISO9001 standard has also a requirement on the verification of the effectiveness of the training. Said that, a non conformance could be elicited in that sense if there is the evidence that you described.
You should also investigated if there are records and evidence for the training and/or experience of the personnel in the organization based upon their job as well as they are aware of how they contribute to the quality system management in place.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#3
First post everyone, bear with me.

~5 months ago, I came into a small organization that is already certified to ISO 9001:2008. In reviewing their documentation against the standard, I identified a gap with respect to training and competency. I've now gotten myself wrapped around the axel on the standard's wording.

6.2.1 "Personnel...shall be competent..."
6.2.2b "...provide training...to achieve the necessary competence."

Few questions:
1. Is it ok or not ok for someone to not be competent when compared against the competency requirements I've defined (e.g. job description and process based on the job training checklists)?

Elaboration: 6.2.1 says they have to be competent, 6.2.2b says well, if they're not competent, get them competent. I feel like these conflict. What if an auditor comes in and sees that employee xyz is required to be competent in executing the change order process, but the supervisor has indicated they are not competent (mistakes, etc.). Will we get written up for violation to 6.2.1 or if I indicate that I am providing additional training, or that person just needs more experience doing that job, that I am working to get them to the necessary competence level like 6.2.2b says. (I told you I'm wrapped around the axel).
2. Do we need to document when competence reviews take place (e.g. annually)?
3. Is it important to maintain both the initial training / competency achievement date and competence review dates?

I would love to see anyone's examples of training matrices, training records, etc.
iowamech,

Remember that competence may not be the result of training. The training may be okay but the students were badly selected!

Also you may choose to subcontract to a supplier the fulfills your selection criteria. Your recruiting, or staff selection, process is key especially with respect to the required behaviors so employees have the potential to become competent.

Managers should have the competence to specify the behaviors, skills and knowledge necessary for their team members to do their jobs well and they, or the coach, should be able to verify competence of their employees, perhaps through monitoring processes (see 8.2.3) before they work alone.

Perhaps they do, perhaps they don't but you have to find out how your organization obtains competent people.

Spend some time with your owners of your recruiting and training processes to find out how these processes actually work in delivering competent people.

Then see what gaps you have according to the nature of your business. You may then need to spend time with those who obtain competent people via your purchasing or outsourcing processes.

This is much more productive than trying to write your procedures around clauses in the standard. In fact, imposing such procedures, and ignoring the existing the actual processes, can be disrespectful and counterproductive.

John
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#4
You skipped some of the most important words and the most underlooked and followed....

"...where applicable, provide training or take other actions to achieve the necessary competence..."

You determine applicability and you determine other actions other than training


There is no absolute requirement for anybody to get any training whatsoever
 
I

iowamech

#5
You skipped some of the most important words and the most underlooked and followed....

"...where applicable, provide training or take other actions to achieve the necessary competence..."

You determine applicability and you determine other actions other than training


There is no absolute requirement for anybody to get any training whatsoever
I understand that training is not the only way to get competence. The heart of the question surrounds evaluation of competence and how / if to document it.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
I understand that training is not the only way to get competence. The heart of the question surrounds evaluation of competence and how / if to document it.
iowamech,

All you need is to do is ask supervisors/managers how they ensure their employees are competent before leaving them to work alone.

For special processes (see 7.5.2) expect a detailed record of verifications against the specified abilities, skills and knowledge.

The degree of control (specification, verification and record keeping) may vary according to the impact of individual competence on the quality of your organization's services and products.

John
 
#7
Some quick notes. Fit them in where they belong.

Keep employees from performing things that are beyond their competency level. Even an entry level person has some level of competency and more can be learned in a variety of ways, including working with a mentor or other on-the-job training. expand their duties as they demonstrate their ability to perform.

Verification of competency can be determined in a variety of ways. Testing, interview, observation of how they are performing, and so on. Another way, often missed by evaluators, is by monitoring the processes they are involved with by tracking your quality objectives/KPI. If you introduce someone new into a group, and the KPI trend doesn't drop, that's a strong indication of their competency. Ideally this would be used along with other methods, but it does provide additional validation.
 

Paul Simpson

Trusted Information Resource
#8
It's important to remember that provision of competent people is a process. The absolute requirement is that people are competent. The process is you have to a) define what makes a person competent, b) evaluate each person.

Now comes the conditional bit: if you determine they are not currently competent (for example a new starter) you then have to make arrangements to deal with the need for competence: extra experience, training, mentoring.

Until the time they are competent you need to do extra while they do work. This could include additional supervision or sign off of their work by a competent operator.
 
#9
I understand that training is not the only way to get competence. The heart of the question surrounds evaluation of competence and how / if to document it.
If you have a list of competencies, like:

Can demonstrate correct use of micrometers, verniers and DTI measuring equipment
Can demonstrate correct use of manual cmm, positioning, zeroing...blah, blah, blah

Each can be checked off, , if needed "conditionally", with any need for "improvement", plus the desired actions recorded and followed up.
 
Last edited:
T

Tavoludo

#10
Iowamech in order to get competence, have you tryied the system:
1.- I do, I explain
2.- You do, I explain.
3.- I do, You explain.
4.- You do, you explain.?
 
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