COVID19 and Quality Management – Context of the Organisation
- May 25, 2020
- Top Tips
COVID19 and QUALITY MANAGEMENT – CONTEXT of the ORGANISATION
COVID19 has brought on many challenges to our industry and it is interesting to see how ISO9001 and your Quality Management System allows you to respond to these challenges.
Below we focus on the ISO9001 clause Context of the Organisation and how your system should be responding to the challenges posed by COVID19.
Understanding the Organisation : The very first requirement of the standard is to assess internal and external factors which can impact your business. COVID19 is most definitely an external factor which has had massive implications on not only your business, but the industry as a whole. If your response to COVID19 was reactive rather than proactive, you may want to look at how you review internal and external factors as well as the frequency of this review. One of your documents which should receive scrutiny at this point, is your business strategy. Your game plan at the start of the year will need some significant adjustments to adapt to the new norm. When reviewing your strategy, is it important to not only concentrate on COVID19 risk but to focus on opportunities which will arise out of the pandemic.
Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties : With COVID19 we need to reassess the needs and expectations of our interested parties. One major interested party reacting to the pandemic is our government and their continual updates to legislation. Identify governmental departments relevant to your organisation and create a library of hyperlinks to live legislation on the relevant websites. This enables staff to access latest information, which is critical, especially when drafting new policies and procedures in line with latest legislation. Other interested parties we need to consider are our clients/end users (what do they want coming out of the pandemic), our employees (their need for job security and a safe working environment) and our suppliers/partners (our combined need for mutually, beneficial partnerships).
Determining Scope of the Quality Management System : Scrutiny of your business strategy and identification of the needs and expectations of interested parties will lead you to review your scope. Your scope is basically what you do, the services and/or product you provide and the area in which you provide it. Given the risks and opportunities COVID19 presents, you may want to increase or decrease your scope. Some opportunities may lead you to expanding your scope of services to address a need of an interested party. Ensure that all changes to your scope are communicated to your interested parties so that they remain informed of what you have to offer.
The Quality Management System and its Processes : COVID19 is going to change how we do business, and this will impact on your processes. When reviewing your processes, it is important to consider the risks and opportunities arising out of the pandemic and to assess how your system can address these risks and opportunities. While you are reviewing and updating your processes it is highly recommended to document these at the same time. This allows for easier communication both internally to your staff and externally to your interested parties and will ensure that your system is continuously updated.
If your Quality System is not addressing the COVID19 challenges, maybe it is time to review the effectiveness of your system. Contact DCX7 Consulting and we can offer assistance in developing and improving your quality system.