Uncategorized

Competency

It may seem too obvious to warrant a specific requirement, but there are employee competency requirements in ISO9001 that are repeated in AS9100, TS16949 and other standards based on ISO9001.
In short, employees and others performing work within the boundaries of the Quality Management System, are required to be competent to perform the required tasks. This applies to consultant auditors, outside process and service providers, temp employees, contractors and regular employees.
How do you define competency? What records are required?
Competency definition is completely up to you. If you think the people in shipping should have a PhD and 10 years of experience, it’s your call. Most all companies define competency in a Job Description. A Job Description is important to have for each position (not person) and serve many functions. These need to be carefully written by a professional who understands your federal, state, city and local legal requirements. They need to be descriptive enough to be useful, but open enough as to not tie you down and make the position inflexible.
To meet your ISO9001:2015 requirements be sure to include appropriate education. This maybe formal classroom education, trade school, specific industry education such as IPC-610, SNT-TC-1A, J-STD, Welding, etc.
You are also required to ensure that required training or experience is defined. Training should include your internal requirements such as safety, QMS, forklift, procedures, LOTO, etc. etc.
Experience is the easiest; define the necessary time in a similar position; 1 year, 5 years as appropriate. Many companies will say “1-3 years’ experience.” What does that mean? Four years of experience is no good? Just say “One or more years of experience.”
Can you hire or promote a person that does not have the education and experience you have defined? Of course, you can. The ISO9001 states that you need to take actions to acquire the necessary competence. This can be training from any source you wish or an internal development program, mentoring program or similar approach. Be sure to evaluate the effectiveness of these actions. This can be a review, exams, “sign-off” by a manager.
You must retain records of competency. If your job description states that the Inspector must have high school education, training in GD&T and be a certified weld inspector, be ready to show records that support this for every employee who is under that job description.
Education records can be:
1. Actual diploma
2. Job application
3. Resume / CV
Training records can be:
• Certificate
• Exam
• Training matrix
• Training in group format where many sign-in to a training session.

Last words:
Job descriptions written by professional HR people often say something like: “Education should at least be high school, and experience should at least be one-year, or any combination deemed acceptable by the hiring manager.”
This kind of loophole helps you with labor law requirements and makes every employee competent regardless of the records presented.
Every willing worker is not always the right person. The intent of this ISO9001 requirements is to ensure that the right person is doing the job.