How to use ISO 9001 to manage personnel


Organisations use ISO 9001 as a tool to help manage personnel within the workplace. ISO 9001 helps organisations standardise procedures and processes in areas such as performance evaluation and assessing the effectiveness of training processes.

This article will focus on the relationship between three ISO requirements and how the Certification can be used by businesses to help manage personnel. The three requirements that will be covered include:

  • Organisational Knowledge Requirement 7.1
  • Competence Requirement 7.2
  • Awareness Requirement 7.3

Let’s begin with what organisational knowledge is and how businesses use it.

Organisational knowledge: ISO Requirement 7.1.6

ISO 9001 Requirement 7.1.6 ensures businesses take steps to capture and preserve business knowledge. People are an important component of organisational knowledge so it’s important to learn how knowledge is shared throughout the business. The SECI Model explores knowledge sharing and creation within a business.

The SECI model is broken up into two sections. Tacit knowledge (mentally stored) and explicit knowledge (knowledge stored in company manuals, procedures and information systems.)

The diagram and explanation below shows how tacit and explicit knowledge can be further broken into fore components:

Socialisation: Learning through sharing experiences or brainstorming activities.
Externalisation: Learning and writing it down the new findings into a manual or procedure.
Combination: Sorting and categorising knowledge.
Internalisation: Using procedures, manual or in-person training to learn knowledge.












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ISO 9001 requirements ensure organisations share the appropriate knowledge throughout the business to help maintain quality products and services. SECI is a useful model that outlines the different ways employees can share and document learnings within a business. Once a business understands organisational knowledge, the next stage is to learn how employees and workers can effectively share knowledge within the business.

Ensuring competence: ISO Requirement 7.2

ISO 9001 Requirement 7.2 outlines organisations should establish a process to assess workers competence against new policies and procedures. This can be achieved through training, education and experience.

The previous section discussed different ways to share knowledge throughout the business. Applying the model can help distinguish different ways to help improve competence.

As an example, say you have a new employee. What training do you provide the employee with? Do they undergo physical training so they can learn from experiences (Socialisation) or does the employee read documentation (Internalisation) on processes before they begin?

Understanding the different ways people learn can help in:

  • Identifying training requirements
  • Effectively delivering training
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of training

If your staff aren’t competent to complete their role then your business needs to take necessary actions to educate the individual or team. You will need to record any training undertaken as evidence.

Maintaining awareness: ISO Requirement 7.3

Awareness is the basis for managing personnel within an organisation. ISO 9001 requires a business to ensure people are aware of the quality management policy, objectives and implications of not meeting the requirements.

Requirement 7.3 focuses on leadership, leaders and managers being accountable to oversee the awareness requirement and document evidence of the requirement being filled.

Ways to promote and maintain awareness include:

  • Weekly or monthly updates outlining all the latest quality management changes.
  • Create a questionnaire that reflects on the quality management system. Then, use the gaps in knowledge to tailor training sessions to fill those gaps.
  • Document training and communication as proof to show the organisation is performing ongoing communication to help resolve any gaps in knowledge.

Use quality management training and awareness to educate employees about other important aspects of the business such as the company’s mission, vision and organizational context.

Use ISO 9001 as a people management tool

Organisations can use ISO 9001 as a tool to manage workplace personnel. Effectively managing workers can improve the performance evaluation process, training and workplace procedures.

This article outlined three ISO requirements that relate to managing personnel:

  • Organisational knowledge Requirement 7.1: Understanding the SECI Model
  • Competence Requirement 7.2: Improving and maintaining employee job capabilities
  • Maintaining awareness Requirement 7.3: Continually educating employees about organisational knowledge and requirements

Processes and legislation changes over time. Businesses need to be prepared for change and have processes in place to deal with the inevitable.

For further understanding on becoming ISO Certified, read about our ISO 9001 Certification.

QMS can help your business become ISO certified. Contact us today for more information.

We certify businesses across Australia, including Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne & Brisbane.


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