My Recent Posting of ISO Documentation

Subject: My Recent Posting of ISO Documentation
From: "R2 Innovations" <R2innovations -at- myna -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 22:41:32 +0000

Judging by some of the responses to my recent post one, or both, of the
following scenerios exists:
1. I did not make myself clear.
2. The responders do not understand, or have knowledge of ALL the
requirements of an ISO-compliant quality system

Let me attempt to clarify the situation - - -

The ISO 9001 standard requires the following of documentation
supporting and ISO-compliant quality system:
a) the documentation be controlled to ensure that only the current
revision is being used
b) the documentation readily identify the revision status of the document
being used
c) correct versions of documentation are readily available at ALL points
where it is used in the organization

The ISO 9001 standard _does not_ allow the following:
a) the use of any version of ISO documentation
b) the use of uncontrolled copies of ISO documentation
c) the existence of obsolete versions of documentation that are not
readily identified as such in areas where the documentation is used

If you look at the logic of the above, you will see that the standard
requires a company to have their documentation under control; to
ensure that employees use only valid versions of the documentation in
doing their jobs; and that obsolete documentation is clearly identified
as such to prevent its use in performing work. All of these preclude
allowing employees to print a document when they need it, or use
any copy they may have printed at some time previous: they must use
a copy of the correct version of the documentation that must be under
some form of controlthat ensures it is the correct version.

From practical experience in a company that has been ISO 9001
registered since 1994, this is one our greatest challenges, as the
use of obsolete documentation to perform quality tasks still takes
place., despite the controls implemented. When these situations are
found during formal ISO audits or internal compliance audits,
findings are raised resulting in Corrective Actions being issued.

Hopefully this clarifies the situation and explains my previous
posting with regards to allowing employees to print ISO documentation
anytime they wish.

Ralph E. Robinson
R2 Innovations, Specialists in ISO 9000 Documentation

Author of "Documenting ISO 9000: Guidelines for Compliant
Documentation", an APEX '98 Award of Excellence publication.
Email: r2innovations -at- myna -dot- com

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