Training Issues - Workforce doesn't speak/read/write English as first language

Q

qualman

#1
Okay, people, I have searched the site and haven't found much on general training issues - time to open things up.

4.18: ..."Personnel performing specific tasks shall be qualified on the basis of appropriate education, training and/or experience, as required."

Whew! Here's the question that I hope will spark some sort of response:

What about a workforce that doesn't speak/read/write English as their first language?

I'm not a bilingual MQR, so how would I maintain document and data control? How would documents not written in Englsh be properly reviewed and approved?

Come on, now, there's gotta some people who have had to deal with this at one point or another!

How about some feedback?
 
B

BWoods

#2
Background:

5 Languages spoken in our company:
English
Spanish
German
French
Arabic

Level 1 is the same global document. = English.

Most Level 2 are global and English.

All Level 3 and 4 are local and in the local plant language.

A process spec that is the same at several plants had the same number:

84934 Rev. B = English version
84934G Rev. B = German version
84934S Rev. B = Spanish verion
..... etc

An ECR to chance Doc # 84934 changes all of them.

Sign off approval is handled at the local plant in the local language. What they are approving is the local wording (translation). Because the procedures are the same at each location.

By the way: The average education in Tunisia is 3rd grade. So we went very light in the verbage and very heavy on digital pictures, drawings, examples, etc.

What sort of fun have some of the rest of you had?
 
L

Laura M

#3
Looks like last reply has it handled.

I'm at a hispanic company right now. VP, plant manager, office personnel speak English well. PRocedures are in English. Job instructions are translated to Spanish as necessary. Plant manager and supervisor translate procedures verbally during training. Most folks don't need to read them, just be trained on their role.

Master list has a column title "translated copy? Y, N" for the department level that may require some translation.

We did label reject bins in both languages even tho the procedure refers to the English term.

Seems to work, but auditor hasn't come in yet!
 
Q

qualman

#4
Page 113, QS Third Edition, Appendix I, #9: ..."English is the official language for QS-9000 worldwide and shall be used for registration/compliance."

Page 84, Appendix B, #4: "The assesment shall include evaluation of all supplier quality system elements for effective implementation of QS-9000 requirements as well as for effectiveness in practice."

Is it possible to put translations in Spanish, and still maintain document and data control if your MQR doesn't speak Spanish? How closely will an auditor look at this?

For effectiveness, in my current system I'm looking very closely at translating key instructions (high cost) vs. no translation and relying instead on intense "saturation training". Anybody have any thoughts?
 

Marc

Retired Old Goat
Staff member
Admin
#5
> Page 113, QS Third Edition, Appendix I, #9: ..."English is the
> official language for QS-9000 worldwide and shall be used for
> registration/compliance."

This means auditors may not speak the local lingo as I understand it.

> Page 84, Appendix B, #4: "The assesment shall include evaluation of
> all supplier quality system elements for effective implementation of
> QS-9000 requirements as well as for effectiveness in practice."

And?

> Is it possible to put translations in Spanish, and still maintain
> document and data control if your MQR doesn't speak Spanish?

Yes.

> How closely will an auditor look at this?

I'm not sure what you're asking here. The language is not an issue. The issue is are the documents controlled. If your system is set up so that to control one or more documents you must be fluent in another language then you've locked your self in. Obviously the person who reviews and approves any document must be fluent in the language of the document.

> For effectiveness, in my current system I'm looking very closely at
> translating key instructions (high cost) vs. no translation and
> relying instead on intense "saturation training".

What you are calling "saturation training" I call On-The-Job Training. If it's sufficient for your processes, it's fine. Auditor question: "How do you know it is sufficient and effective?" Respond by showing data which proves your folks are producing parts/assemblies with expected defect rates (with consideration to machine caused defects uncontrollable by the operator) and related info.

One thing I have never liked about QS-9000 is it has pushed many companies to place work instructions and such where none are really necessary. If OJT is sufficient, why have a work instruction as well?
 

Tom W

Living the Dream...
#6
I typically see training being used as the translation method. Documents are in English and during training they get translated. It could cause a nightmare to control two or more copies of the same system in diffrent languages unless you have the resources ($$$$) to do this.
 
B

BWoods

#7
As for me, I have never had a problem with an auditor that doesn't speak the language. If I was being audited in Germany, the auditor sent out by the company spoke German and English.

English is not only the accepted language of QS, but more importantly, is the accepted international language of business. So most professional level people in any country speak English.

As far as managing all these versions: I will tell you two things:

[1] It is far better (and in most cases required by the customer) to manage your document control to make sure all procedures are the same globally, than it is to deal with the same part being made differently. If I don't manufacture part "x" EXACTLY the same at all three plants, then I have to gain customer approval (PPAP) for each plant. And most customers will never approve that.
[2] The best way to handle document control in multipule site - international - companies is with 1 document control that is linked via intranet to the rest of the locations.
 

Marc

Retired Old Goat
Staff member
Admin
#8
Originally posted by BWoods:
As for me, I have never had a problem with an auditor that doesn't speak the language. If I was being audited in Germany, the auditor sent out by the company spoke German and English.
I have seen audits where the auditors did not speak the local language at all -- so this is still a variable. I would think a company would ensure their registrar's auditors spoke the local language but this is not always the case. I have only seen this in multi-nationals where corporate chose the registrar.

On the other hand, I was their plant consultant (mainly because I knew their corporate structure, I suspect) and I didn't speak the local language (Spanish).


[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 02 September 2000).]
 

Marc

Retired Old Goat
Staff member
Admin
#9
Originally posted by Tom W:

I typically see training being used as the translation method. Documents are in English and during training they get translated. It could cause a nightmare to control two or more copies of the same system in diffrent languages unless you have the resources ($$$$) to do this.
What do you do about work instructions where the operator (associate, whatever) needs the document at hand to perform their job? Not all documents can simply be 'trained'...
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
One company i am working with now has so many 'local variations" of oriental languages that it is virtually impossible to translate all of them. pictoral and flow charts is the only way short term, plus one on one training with proven proficiency observations. we are doing an english as a second language class during lunch..1/2 hour company paid, half hour employee time...lunch (pizza etc)provided by the company....a small investment for excellent results all around.
 

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