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Understanding ISO 9001:2015 - Awareness

7.3 Awareness  

You would think that awareness requirements under this clause were well covered from our discussion of previous requirements namely: 

·     In clause 5.1.1f we talked about the role of top management in communicating the importance of effective QMS and conforming to QMS requirements.  

·     In 5.1.1h we talked about the role of top management in engaging, directing and supporting employees to contribute to the effectiveness of the QMS.  

·    In 5.1.1i we talked about top management promoting improvement 

·     In clause 5.2.2 we covered how the quality policy should be communicated, understood and applied within the organization.

·    And finally in clause 6.2.1 we covered the need for the quality objectives to be communicated.  

I won’t repeat what was covered in the clauses listed above. I suggest you go back and refresh yourself on what we discussed there. I will cover 7.3 Awareness requirements from angles not covered in those sections. 

Quality awareness must be focused on meeting customer and regulatory requirements. We must translate this into how all employees understand how the organization’s QMS controls do this and each employee’s role in achieving it.  

The phrase “persons doing work under the organization’s control” refers to work within your QMS scope, that is done to meet your customer requirements, whether such work is performed onsite or offsite or by your employees or by the external provider. This means that the requirements of this clause must also apply to casual workers and personnel employed by external providers performing QMS related work for your organization, onsite or offsite. 

In the QMS quality policy an organization must clearly say that it will meet customer and regulatory requirements. So by being aware of the quality policy, all workers are aware that they must meet your organization’s customer and applicable regulatory requirements. 

The quality policy leads to quality objectives. In formulating quality objectives an organization sets quality metrics for product, services, QMS processes, compliance with regulatory requirements and customer satisfaction. All these objectives are focused on meeting customer and regulatory requirements and enhancing customer satisfaction.  

This article is an extract from my eCourse “Understanding ISO 9001:2015”. The rest of the article on this clause discusses in detail what employees need to be aware of and various methods to promote awarenes as per  the requirements of clause 7.3. 

 

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