The backbone of any robust Quality Management System (QMS) lies in the effectiveness of its personnel, their skills, and their awareness of the system's requirements and objectives. ISO 9001, the world-renowned standard for QMS, places significant emphasis on training and awareness to ensure that the workforce is competent and knowledgeable about the system's workings. Let's delve deeper into the importance and execution of training and awareness within the scope of ISO 9001.
The efficacy of a QMS is not solely reliant on well-documented processes or state-of-the-art tools. It is also deeply dependent on the people running the processes and using the tools. Ensuring that employees understand and are aligned with the QMS is crucial. This understanding includes knowing the company's quality policy, objectives, and their role within the system.
ISO 9001:2015, under clause 7.3, specifically addresses the need for ensuring that persons doing work under an organization’s control are aware of:
Moreover, the standard requires that the organization shall determine the necessary competence of persons affecting the QMS performance, provide training or take actions to acquire the necessary competence, and evaluate the effectiveness of those actions.
Here are steps organizations can consider:
Awareness goes hand in hand with training. Some effective methods to enhance QMS awareness include:
Training and awareness aren't one-time events. With continual changes in technology, industry standards, and business dynamics, periodic reassessment of training needs and awareness levels is crucial. The "Plan-Do-Check-Act" cycle, a core tenet of ISO 9001, applies aptly to this aspect of the QMS.
ISO 9001 lays a strong foundation for creating a culture where quality thrives. However, without properly trained individuals and a consistent effort to raise awareness about the system's requirements, even the best-designed QMS can falter. Training and awareness are not just box-checking activities but are vital for the sustenance and growth of an organization's quality aspirations.