Monday, November 9, 2009

ISO Stuff: Competence, Awareness, and Training

In this series I will talk about sections of the ISO 9001 standard that I have seen organizations struggle with. Starting with Competence, Awareness, and Training.

The requirements for Competence, Awareness, and Training are few but very important to success of an organization. The requirements tell us that;
1. People should be competent to perform the work they are doing through a combination of three avenues:
    a. Education
    b. Experience
    c. Training
2. That the organization is responsible to determine competency requirements for satisfactory job performance.
3. That the organization is responsible to provide training or other experiences required to close the gap between the individuals ability and the needs of the position.
4. That the organization must assess the effectivness of training or other experiences provided.
5. That records must be kept of these activities.

Seems pretty straightforward. Determine what skills people need to do the job, assess their education, training, and experience against those requirements, provide training to close any gaps, assess the effectiveness of that training, and record it all. Since its so straightforward, you would think that the programs for addressing  these requirements would also be straightforward. My experience is the opposite in most cases. One typical approach is to assign too much weight to the prior skills and experiences of potential new employees and do nothing to teach them how the do the work that is specific to the company. This is the "we hire PhD's so we don't have to train them" approach. While it is certainly valid to assign some credibility to outside education and prior experiences and skills, this approach ignores the reality that every organization is different. We may hire PhD's but they don't come in the door knowing how its done in our organization. We owe them some level of "indoctrination" to how we expect them to research or perform other duties at our organization. Same is true of managers or technicians. Hiring a manager who has previous experience as a manager is a great starting point, but there are as many ways to manage as there are companies out there. Requirement three above tells us that we owe them some training on how to be successful. According to JDA Professional Services information, the cost to fill a $60,000 per year position can be over four times that amount. Given the high cost of hiring, we should consider it an investment in a successful hire to provide them with the best opportunity to be successful and to check how well they are doing in the roles assigned (requirement 4). The alternative is that we may have to repeat the hire if the employee is not successful, in addition to the suffering the impact on quality of that employee's poor performance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I like this post very much. It help me to solve some my work under my director’s requirements.

Apart from that, below article also is the same meaning

ISO 9001 procedures

Tks again and nice keep posting