Learning About Quality


The International Organization for Standards (ISO) was founded in 1947. The organization promotes worldwide propriety, industrial and commercial standards. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Organization_for_Standardization]. In 1987, the ISO 9001 standards for quality were established. These were a set of standards for quality assurance in design, development, production, installation and servicing that is internationally agreed upon. Many major purchasers require suppliers to hold this certification. Also, when implemented, these standards can increase efficiency and reduce re-work within a company positively affecting the bottom line.

I recently attended the ISO 9001:2015 Requirements and Lead Auditor Course, and it was presented in three (3) distinct parts:

  1. Quality Management Systems - ISO 9001:2015 Requirements which included ISO 9000:2015 - Management Systems Fundamentals and Vocabulary

  2. Managements Systems Auditing - ISO 19001:2011

  3. Leading Management Systems Audit Teams - ISO 19001:2011

The class consisted of various companies and manufacturers - there were representatives from Mass Transit from Champagne/Urbana, S&S Cycles from Wisconsin, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, a shipbuilding company from Michigan (U.S. Navy shipbuilder), a food grade chemical company, and CANA Advisors. The corporate knowledge of the ISO standard ranged as wide as the various companies who were represented; some had no knowledge or experience, a few had a minimal knowledge with the standard as it applied to their workplace, and others, such as myself and the quality director for Fincantieri, were those who had knowledge from the 1987, 2000 and 2008 standards.

The lead instructor was one of the most knowledgeable instructors I had come in contact with. He has been in "Quality" for more than 30 years and in fact, is on the committee for appeals and was part of the group responsible for the current version of the standard.

It was a excellent first two days of the course going through all the new clauses and changes to the standard. This overview was followed up by practical applications to further ones knowledge of the standard. The third day of the course was focused on the review of the ISO 19011 Auditing fundamentals for the people who were going to be involved in internal auditing of their companies. This was a down and dirty overview with many activities pertaining to the auditing process. The fourth day of the course was specifically for lead auditors who are going to be involved in internal, supplier and registrar audits. This part of the course was a more deep dive into auditing techniques, team lead responsibilities, and managing the audit program.

Quality training is constant and continuous! This course provided the necessary tools for CANA to self-assess and improve its internal processes and also to provide guidance to other companies that are interested in learning more about how ISO quality standards can help their processes. If you have any questions about the ISO 9001 standards or CANA Advisors, feel free to reach out to me at keades@canaadvisors.com.

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