60 Seconds with Lynn Jones
This month’s 60 seconds is with Lynn Jones our Health Sector and Asset Management Assessor. Lynn is in her 18th year of auditing, she explains the benefits organizations can gain from getting ISO certified.
WHAT STANDARDS DO YOU AUDIT?
I am in my 18th year of auditing for Certification Bodies and for this year, I’m currently auditing for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 13485 and ISO 55001.
Previously, I was on the receiving end of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 audits for 10 years as a client, before I moved into assessing for Certification Bodies.
MOST MEMORABLE AUDITING MOMENT
There have been so many memorable moments over the past 18 years! So I don’t have just one most memorable moment. I would like to share two memorable moments with you which have stuck with me over the years.
My first memorable moment was once auditing identification and traceability in a Mortuary, when we opened a drawer which the records showed contained a body and it was missing! Much to the horror of the staff!
Thankfully, the incident was caused by a failure to leave a copy of a release document and poor communication and not anything more sinister.
My second most memorable moment was when I have had a client who was so keen to complete an audit, that he refused to go to A and E even though he was in severe pain – that is what I call true dedication! However, the system should still function without key personnel and on day two of the audit when the client was hospitalized, this was put to the test and worked well.
Thankfully the client made a full recovery!
GREATEST CLIENT BENEFIT GAINED FROM ISO CERTIFICATION
There are so many benefits from ISO Certification and I have seen some great examples over the years, many initiatives as part of improvement programmes have started as a Quality, Health and Safety or Environmental objective and have resulted in benefits across the whole organization.
A client with a large site, who had an environmental programme to reduce energy consumption over a 3 year period, didn’t know that by the installing LED lighting throughout the site could bring their organization a number of benefits.
The results were: Energy and environmental impact reduction, associated running cost savings that were invested back into further improvements across the business, a better quality of light improved identification of rejects and associated costs, improved customer satisfaction and reduced eye strain and Seasonal Affective Disorder for staff resulting in reduced sickness absence and associated costs.
However one of the greatest benefits is staff involvement and ownership of processes across all standards. When a process is truly owned by the staff and not imposed it will be followed!
TOP TIP FOR GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The best tip I can give for getting the most out of your management system is to think about the user and create the policies and processes to suit the users. An organization may have documented processes in a variety of formats. Any documented process, whether it be text, flow charts, a series of screen dumps, photographs or diagrams has to be easy for the user to follow.
It may need to cater for users for whom English is not the first language or those with some form of learning difficulty.
Ask yourself is the process a good training tool, reference document for those who use the process occasionally and auditing tool. If you can answer yes to all three then you have a process that will work for you.
MOST COMMON NON-CONFORMANCE
The most common root cause of a non-conformance is poor communication. If you invest time in maximising your communication at all levels of the organization and break down barriers between individuals, departments and sites, encouraging job shadowing and cross auditing, it will pay dividends many times over and foster a culture of openness and collaborative working, which are essential for success.