Published: 19 Jul 2017

Kevin Scanlan, quality and document control manager at CRC-Evans Offshore, explains how his team found success by rebuilding their QMS as part of the transition to ISO 9001:2015.

As with many organisations, our QMS had suffered from a ‘cut-and-paste’ culture with various processes and procedures being added to satisfy audit findings over time. The system was difficult to navigate and follow. As a result, few members of staff were aware that it existed. After reading the CQI guidance notes on ISO 9001:2015 and a few Quality World articles, we decided to scrap the entire system and start again.

We created a transition plan and set to work on implementing it. A series of two-hour sessions with each of the department managers and process owners was scheduled where we mapped out each process carried out by respective departments (in the form of a flow chart), figured out interactions, inputs, outputs and KPIs.

KPIs were set so that each manager could monitor the performance of their processes and personnel as well as pass clear figures up the reporting line. After each session, the department manager took away the flow charts and drafted a text document to explain each process flow. This has resulted in each department having a bespoke process manual with clear inputs, outputs and interactions.

The high-level risk register captures issues that require strategic decisions to be made

We also paid special attention to risk and opportunities. Creating registers at two levels enables us to manage individual contract/project risks and opportunity at senior management level. The high-level risk register captures issues that require strategic decisions to be made.

These strategies then feed down through the management structure in the form of targets and objectives. Lessons learned, customer feedback, contextual issues and monitoring of results are processed through the QMS to help populate the high-level risk and opportunities register and give the senior management team clear and concise facts.

I received a transition questionnaire from the certifying authority a few months in advance. This gave me a good idea of what they would be looking at and their interpretation of some of the new clauses. Combining these with the CQI guidance notes on ISO 9001:2015 and interpretations gave us a solid framework to build on.

Our transition audit was carried out by DNV GL over three days in mid-April (2017). The auditor was particularly interested in how strategic decisions were made and how those decisions fed through the QMS as objectives. He was impressed with the new processes and their ownership, and recommended our certification to ISO 9001:2015 with five observations for us to consider. 

Kevin Scanlan is the quality and document control manager at CRC-Evans Offshore Limited