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What Does ISO 9001 Clause 7.2 Competence Mean?



ISO 9001:2015 Clause 7.2 focuses on "Competence," emphasizing the importance of having the necessary skills and knowledge within the workforce to support the quality management system (QMS).


What Clause 7.2 Competence Entails

  1. Determining Necessary Competence: The organization must identify the specific skills and knowledge required by the individuals whose work impacts the quality management system's performance and effectiveness.

  2. Ensuring Competence: The organization needs to ensure that these individuals possess the necessary competence based on their education, training, or experience. This could involve providing training, offering mentorship, reassigning roles, or even hiring new personnel to meet the required competency levels.

  3. Actions for Acquiring Competence: When necessary competence is lacking, the organization must take suitable actions to acquire the needed skills and close the competence gap identified. This may involve training programs, mentorship, hiring, or other methods to enhance the skills and knowledge of its workforce.

  4. Evaluation of Actions: The company should assess the effectiveness of these actions to ensure that they indeed contribute to improving and maintaining the required competence levels.

  5. Documenting Competence: Keeping documented evidence of the competence levels within the organization is necessary for demonstrating compliance. This documentation could include records of completed training, certifications, performance appraisals, or other evidence of acquired skills and knowledge.

  6. Examples of Applicable Actions: Applicable actions to ensure competence can range from providing internal training, mentorship programs, altering job roles, hiring new employees, or even contracting external individuals with the required expertise.

Example Clause 7.2 Competence in an Organization


Employee Training Program: An engineering firm identifies the need for its employees to acquire new skills related to the latest software for design and simulation. The organization conducts a comprehensive assessment of the skill gaps and competence needed for the staff to operate and manage the new software efficiently. Based on this assessment, the firm arranges specialized training sessions and certifications for its employees. The training program covers the software's functionalities, applications, and potential benefits for project development.


After completing the training, the organization evaluates the employees' competence through practical tests and simulations. Those who pass the evaluation are certified as competent in using the new software. The company then maintains records of these certifications as evidence of the employees' acquired competencies, ensuring that the staff is proficient in utilizing the software effectively to contribute to the company's objectives.


ISO 9001:2015 Clause 7.2 Competence


Ensuring that the individuals within the organization possess the necessary competence is vital for effectively maintaining the quality management system and delivering products and services that meet the required standards. This is about more than training. Organization must identify what skills are required to deliver quality and then take actions to acquire and maintain those skills and a continuous basis.


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