ISO 9001 Basics Lesson #3 – Clause 7: Support

The video below offers an explanation of Clause 7. Watch the video and use your pdf workbook to follow along with different action steps to help you document how your organization meets each requirement.

Below is a short summary of each of the subclauses that are discussed at length in the video.

Clause 7.1 Resources

Clause 7.1.2 People

There needs to be enough of them and they need to be competent (7.2 – Competency)

Clause 7.1.3 Infrastructure
Buildings, IT, equipment – everything you need to ’make it happen’. A ‘Preventive Maintenance’ program helps here.

Clause 7.1.4 Work environment
This is everything other than the infrastructure that impacts people at work – temperature, noise, dust, vibrations on the physical side. Beyond the basics there are the social and psychological elements: non-discriminatory, non-confrontational, supportive, non- threatening, burnout protective as examples. These are itemized in the ‘Notes’ section. People who have what they need are more productive.

Clause 7.1.5 Monitoring and Measurement Resources
This is likely already in place as a ‘calibration program’. You need to have measuring equipment capable of measuring to the tolerance your customers want and you need to keep it calibrated.

Clause 7.1.6 Organizational Knowledge
This refers to information about how you run as an organization, but does not refer to work instructions or procedures. It generally comes from meetings, experience, lessons learned from success and failure, improvements to processes and other internal sources. External sources would include standards, customers, suppliers and others. Check out the ’Notes’ for this area.

By capturing organizational knowledge, the impact of a key employee leaving is lowered. Building the knowledge base can be a valuable asset for some organizations.

Clause 7.2 Competence
People ‘…working under the organization’s control…’ need to be competent. This means subcontractors, too.

Clause 7.3 Awareness
People ‘…working under the organization’s control…’ need to be aware of the Quality Policy and any relevant objectives. This means subcontractors, too.

Clause 7.4 Communication
Like so many other things, if this is ‘planned’ it will go much better!

Clause 7.5 Documented information.
Some of it is ‘maintained’ (procedures, work instructions, operating information, policies, objectives, etc – things that change)

Some is ‘retained’ – these are usually called records and have to be protected against unauthorized changes.

Creating, modifying: check with the people who run your system to see how much you can do. Most organizations create much more documentation than they need. They also tend to make creating, identifying and modifying documents much more complicated than it needs to be.

See here for further discussion of Clause 7: Support.