This clause of ISO9001: 2015 section 7.1.6 examines a new specific area to the Standard, that of organisational knowledge. The definition of competence has often included the application of skills and knowledge, but this clause now requires greater focus.

Many organisations will have inherent knowledge needs to perform certain tasks or activities.A new employee may be generally competent in the relevant industry sector, say tourism – but have inadequate knowledge of the new employers’ databases and booking protocols for holidays.

So, the new employee must gain the required knowledge before they become truly competent.

However, the author finds that many organisations have not actually defined what organisational knowledge is required. It is often assumed that staff know where everything is, or that a new employee has received adequate induction on the knowledge sources within the business.

This often becomes more fragmented when organisations have an amalgam of CRM systemsand local databases often in Excel that retain company pricing data, details on tender preparations etc. Sometimes the process owner is none too willing to divulge this knowledge,as this is deemed potential power.

Senior managers and processes owners should attempt to codify what is necessary knowledge for tasks to be performed efficiently. Ideally this should be documented or held in some form that all can retrieve it.

Knowledge needs should be updated and ideally linked to periodic competence evaluationswith staff.

For further information and to book your ISO9001 survey please contact: Marcus J Allen at Thamer James Ltd. Email: [email protected]

Marcus has twenty years’ experience in delivering Governance, Risk and Compliance solutions to over two hundred organisations within the UK. Including over one hundred ISO9001 programmes.

Marcus holds a BSI ISO9001 lead auditor qualification and is registered on the BSI Associate Consultant Programme.

Marcus holds the respected Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance from the International Compliance Association and holds a master’s degree in Management Learning & Change from the University of Bristol. Marcus is a Fellow of the Institute of Consultants and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.