Quality Management, ISO 9001, Quality Management System, SHEQ, SHEQ Software

Supporting your Quality Management System

Supporting your Quality Management System


INTRODUCTION – Supporting your Quality Management System

I will be combining the ISO 9001:2015 Support Clause – competence, awareness and communication in this blog.  An employee can only be competent when there is an awareness of the Quality Management System, and if they are not aware, they are not capable. With this in mind, understanding and competence complement each other.


As part of supporting your QMS through competent staff, we can break this down into three sections:

  • Firstly, to establish an employee’s competence, you will need to know what control they have over the work they perform as it affects the functioning of your QMS.
  • Secondly, based on their experience, training and education, how competent is the employee?
  • Lastly, but not least, generate an action plan if you find any holes in the above two sections.


At Safety Risk Management, we utilise a skills matrix to steer us through the three sections.  As part of our goal to achieve compliance, we found the skills matrix formidable and sophisticated.  Firstly, define the skills that are necessary for the system.  Secondly, add the employees and their designations.  After that, evaluate the employees next to the skills.  Through this method, we determine that not all employees have all the skills, and on the contrary, not all the skills have employees allocated to them.  As far as obtaining compliance is concerned, the skills matrix is beneficial and evident.

“This gap analysis neatly highlights the areas in which we are weak, lacking or exposed.”

As a role, certification auditors are very interested in the competence and awareness clauses.  They identify the holes that a company has in their skills matrix and the significance of these holes.  As a result, they will visit the factory to look at the gaps and processes associated with them and speak to your employees who perform these tasks.  Holes in your skills matrix is like a red flag to a bull, allowing auditors to raise non-conformances or suggestions.  A skills matrix is easy to comprehend, simple to operate and identify what you are missing.  Get your ducks in a row, don’t wait until the auditors arrive to conduct the audit.


A frequent difficulty in a company is that they don’t consider staff’s education, training and experience.  Businesses regularly record the employees’ training whilst employed but do not think about previous training, experience, or education at other companies.  Please don’t ignore these attributes, as they are critical to your business.  Therefore, similar to financial resources, the well-being of your company is maintained.


In the ISO 9000 standard Quality Management System – Fundamentals and Vocabulary, “awareness is attained when people understand their responsibilities and how their actions contribute to the achievement of the organisation’s objectives” and “planned and effective internal (i.e. throughout the organisation) and external (i.e. with relevant interested parties) communication enhances people’s engagement and increased understanding of:

  • Firstly, the Context of the Organisation;
  • Secondly, the needs and expectations of customers and other relevant interested parties;
  • Lastly, the QMS.


Your employees must understand their responsibilities.  It is essential, as awareness might appear in a variety of methods:

  • Policies and Procedures
  • Training
  • Meetings
  • Assessments

With this in mind, staff need to be aware of how their responsibilities and actions impact the company accomplishing its objectives.

To demonstrate, at SRM, we outlined our operating procedures in a couple of accessible documents.  In training, we examined those procedures with our employees.  In addition to this, we hold monthly management meetings to review the procedures again, ensuring personnel comprehend their responsibilities.  Finally, we evaluate our employees’ awareness of their duties and include this into the skills matrix.


  1. Establish the competence required to do the task.
  2. Evaluate the employees’ competency considering their education, training and experience.
  3. Create an action plan to focus on any gaps.
  4. Create awareness of the QMS:
    1. Policies and Procedures
    2. Training
    3. Meetings
    4. Assessments
  5. Maintain the skills matrix.
  6. Daily, share the QMS with your personnel.


At SRM, we use Mango to monitor and maintain our ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System.  In addition, Mango makes it so simple as opposed to using a hard copy system.  Not only does SRM use Mango Compliance Software, but many of our clients as well – www.mangolive.com. Mango makes it easier to get ISO 9001:2015 certification.

SRM is ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 certified.

Contact our consultants today. Let us know if we can help you with the development and implementation of your Quality Management System.

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