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Understanding IOS 9001:2015

Clause 7.1.1 Resources - General

Clause 7.1 Resources  

Coverage of resources is a big part of ISO 9001 QMS requirements: 

·     In clause 4.4.1d we talked about determining the resources needed for QMS processes and their availability; 


·     In clause 5.1.1e we talked about top management ensuring that the resources needed for the QMS are available; 


·    In clause 6.2.2 the organization must determine what resources are needed for achieving quality objectives; 


·    In clause 6.3 we covered the availability of resources in planning for QMS changes; 


·     In clause 9.3.2d and 9.3.3c we discuss during management review the adequacy of resources and possibly the need for additional resources. 

In this clause 7.1.1 we must: 

·    determine what resources are needed to develop, implement, maintain & improve your QMS, 

·    evaluate the capabilities of & limitations of existing internal resources 

·   determine what resources need to be obtained from external sources 

Having adequate resources is vital (as many organizations run into QMS nonconformities as a result of insufficient or improper use of resources) to ensure product conformity & satisfy customer requirements - e.g. having adequate personnel, materials and equipment to ensure timely production and delivery of product & services. 

The organization should identify the internal and external resources that are needed for the achievement of the organization's objectives in the short and long term. The organization's policies and methods for resource management should be consistent with its strategy. 

Even though ISO 9001 does not specifically require strategic & business plans, back in clause 4 we indicated the usefulness of such planning in achieving strategic objectives and long-term business success. Resource management should be a big part of such planning. This is a huge topic and there is a lot of information on it in the market place (e.g. ISO 55000). I will just provide an overview to meet the requirements of clause 7.1 and the ISO 9001 standard. 

As part of its strategic planning, top management must decide what resources it must develop, acquire or outsource to be competitive. Due to the ever changing dynamics of the business environment, these resources and competitive advantages must be constantly upgraded or altered to enable your organization to maintain its competitive advantage relative to other firms. 

To ensure that resources (such as equipment, facilities, materials, energy, knowledge, finance and people) are used effectively and efficiently, it is necessary to have QMS processes in place to provide, allocate, monitor, evaluate, optimize, maintain and protect those resources. 

This article is an extract from my eCourse “Understanding ISO 9001:2015”. The rest of the article discusses in detail the types and mix of resources required by an organization for its operations and QMS and how to effectively plan and provide such resources as per the requirements of clause 7.2.1.

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