29 September 2013

Interpreting the Clauses of ISO 9001

In the first draft of my ISO 9001 manual, I have got 15 sides and 2,954 words.  That’s a lot of data, but a lot less than Ray Tricker!   Most of the wording seems to be repeating what the clauses of the ISO 9001 Standard itself say but in plainer English.  I can’t see the point of these clauses but I have heard these standards are about paperwork so maybe the inspector will like it!

Under different headings in the manual, I have made entries in blue text which were either suggested as generic insertions by, or featured in, other sources.  In addition, I have added paragraphs or sections that I think will be of specific benefit to Data Eliminate.

The clauses in the ISO 9001 Standard document itself represent different degrees of challenge in interpretation. I think I have worked out clauses from which Data Eliminate is excluded – a lot of these seem to relate to manufacturing processes.  Data Eliminate provides a service for the risk management of personal data and confidential information and as such is not a manufacturer.

Some clauses of ISO 9001 the Quality Management Standard itself  are easy to understand. I begin to work out which forms and procedures they relate to.  In other words, what an auditor is likely to look for to prove that one is in compliance with each clause.  Drawing some of these relationships is very straightforward.

There is a second tier of more challenging clauses which requires some cross referencing and even a bit of digging into of Ray Tricker’s 500 page doorstop to work out what they mean.

The third tier of discovery involves some mixing and matching – cross referencing items with clauses and requirements elsewhere in the document. This isa bit like playing “Pelmanism” or “Pairs” – the card memory game where you lay the 104 cards individually face down on a table.  Each player  takes it in turn over or look at two cards and  has to collect pairs by remembering where individual cards are located in order to match them up with their pair.

The fourth tier comprises the bits about which I don’t have a clue .  This becomes my list of questions for Arthur – noted in red text within my Manual.

My ISO 9001 manual a contains a Quality Policy, an Organisation Chart and some Delivery Process diagrams.  The latter are flow charts.

The Delivery Process diagrams are flow charts.  This is your internal workflow in servicing customers amongst other things.  I have seen some really simple example workflows but this is the first area I have found where I think I will voluntarily go for more detail.  This is partly because I need to get the processes laid out and documented before hiring employees.

I am confused about the requirement to define the  “interaction of processes”.  Versions of charts I have are quite different in style.  Showing how the sprocesses interact is what  I am unsure about at present. It seems that this may be a case where the concept being conveyed is so simple there is no real need for a chart!  (I have never been a fan of process charts.  It reminds me of my computing O level! )

Confidence in my interpretive ability is increasing the more I work on this!

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