Simplified compliance and audit
Use Phrontex to meet formal compliance requirements like ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
There are many management system standards in existence. Some are generic and could be applied to any organization. Some are specific to particular industries and activities. Some standards are certifiable: the organization can request an audit by a certification assessment body; and if found compliant it is issued with a compliance certificate that it may use in its marketing. Some standards are guidelines only: they suggest how the organization should manage a class of activity (such as risk management); but they are not subject to audit and certification.
An organization might choose to comply with a management system standard for any or all of these reasons —
- For internal reasons, to satisfy owners or employees that the organization’s activities meet minimum standards, eg of safety.
- For marketing reasons, to demonstrate to customers that the organization’s products meet quality or product standards.
- For commercial reasons, because the organization submits tenders or works in industry sectors that demand it.
- For PR reasons, to demonstrate to the community that the organization’s activities meet minimum standards, eg of environmental performance.
- For contractual reasons, because the organization has committed to certified compliance, or requires compliance to stay in business.
Phrontex simplifies your compliance and audit task by providing a standard framework for defining and meeting the requirements of the standards you choose to adopt. Although the various standards obviously vary in the detail of what they require, they all follow the same general structure (and in recent years some of the more common ones have been revised explicitly to follow this structure). The common standards are based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act improvement cycle —
Plan what you have to do
Understand what the standard means as an objective for your organization. For example, for ISO 9001, what does quality mean to your organization’s goods and services? (Delivery performance? Defect rate? Warranty claims? Turnaround times?)
Determine what you have to do to meet the objective, such as process design, providing resources, applying controls, or inspection and monitoring. In Phrontex, the compliance activities themselves are not recorded in the compliance plan. The plan consists largely or entirely of cross-references to pages elsewhere in the management system that contain the steps and controls through which compliance is achieved. This approach works for both process-based and clause-based standards.
Carry out your plan
Provide leadership, commit resources, and make sure your people understand what they need to do and have the time, resources, and materials needed to do it. If your plan is valid and your people do their work as documented, then compliance will be automatic. That is, if you design your procedure to be safe and legal and to produce a quality product, and your people follow the procedure correctly, it follows that their activities will automatically be safe and legal, and the output will meet your quality requirements.
Check that it’s working
Checking means four things —
- Have we understood the requirements correctly?
- Is the plan valid? Is it sufficient to meet the requirements?
- Is the plan being carried out as intended?
- Above all, are we meeting the objectives?
Act on what you learn
The results are never perfect. There is always scope for improvement, in performance, in efficiency, and in outcomes.