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Poll: Writing Policy to Mirror a Specific Standard (28 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you write your policies to a specific standard?

  1. Yes, my SOPs start with 2 and jump to 11! It's great for OCD personality types responsible for Quality! (9 votes [32.14%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 32.14%

  2. No. We built policies based on need from risk assessments and number them in sequence. (7 votes [25.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  3. Kinda - I steal specific language, but I don't number my documents accordingly (12 votes [42.86%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 42.86%

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#1 fgjuadi

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:43 AM

My corrupt/horrible auditor requested we write our policies to his standards and number them for ease of his audit.  I was like, f that noise, you're ISO 9001; I didn't take his suggestion seriously.

 

I've heard auditors love it when you number SOPs according to their code, but...like...

 

Don't most certifying bodies know a lot more about all of the codes than any one?  Can't they ask me where the requirement they want is met?  I go to the trouble of preaudit checklists with standards and hyper links to all my documents.  If we are safely handling food, I don't see why a superficial number should have to correlate, or even specific language. 

 

Also, I don't want to have a set of documents for every audit I go through.  I want one set.  One beautiful, shiny, color coded, bound and logo'ed set. 

 

Do I have to change my numbers? 


Edited by magenta_majors, 15 May 2014 - 01:44 AM.

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#2 Cahaya

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:43 AM

Hi magenta,

 

it's start with your standard of document control system. as long as your SOPs is cover all the ISO required documents and you are able to show to the auditor, it is enough. As the auditor usually need to finish up her/his audit in time and comparing to the clauses written in the standard, it is easier for them to write down the findings.

 

cheers

~i'm also in the middle of answering the audit findings :mellow:


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#3 cazyncymru

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:21 AM

Do like it do

 

Have an index at the front with all your SOP numbers and cross reference each standards clause against that

 

So ill have SOP 1, Personnel, Brc 7, TFMS what ever, ASDA Whatever

 

Works for me

 

Caz x


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#4 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:28 AM

My last place 1/2 of the system was written for the code... so the policy for management commitment was called... management commitment.   When I started writing things I didn't know she did that so mine were all over the board lol.

 

Here is kind of the same time.  Some things were able to be used some things had to be written... so it's a hodge podge of old and new stuff.


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#5 Hankesg

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:46 PM

Our BRC consultant told us that we should include the standard section numbers on the document somewhere. I really didn't want to clutter up titles and file names with anymore numbers than I needed to, it decreases usability and user engagement and I have a hard enough time getting people to read our policies as it is. So, on my document register I created a column that ties that specific policy to a section in the BRC standard. It's a little more cross-referencing for me but it keeps document layout cleaner and keeps information bound together.


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#6 Setanta

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:53 PM

Since I inherited the HodgePodge System of Management (joke) and brought us up to SQF, it was easier for me, to place all information with the specific code.

So, yes, ours are labeled SQF Book 1 SOP 2.1.1, etc. Book 2 is section 11.

I think you should use whatever works best for you and makes you feel most at ease during an audit.
Setanta


Edited by Setanta, 15 May 2014 - 02:13 PM.

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#7 Charles.C

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:49 PM

Dear All,

 

Our BRC consultant told us that we should include the standard section numbers on the document somewhere.

 

 

Of course, the classic riposte to this old chestnut is - Please show me where the requirement is stated in the standard.

 

Rgds Charles.C


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Charles.C


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#8 fgjuadi

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 01:35 AM

Thanks all around, you were helpful!

Since I inherited the HodgePodge System of Management (joke) and brought us up to SQF, it was easier for me, to place all information with the specific code.

So, yes, ours are labeled SQF Book 1 SOP 2.1.1, etc. Book 2 is section 11.

I think you should use whatever works best for you and makes you feel most at ease during an audit.
Setanta

Nooooo.  We have (our first!) AIB audit coming up, and if we do well will go GFSI with SQF lvl 3. 

 

I can't deal with  that 2 to 11 jump.  OMG, why doesn't it start at 1!   where are 3-10?  How can you look at them, Setanta?  How do you sleep at night (Ed note: only appropriate answer to that question is "On a bed made of money")?

 

 

Dear All,

 

 

Of course, the classic riposte to this old chestnut is - Please show me where the requirement is stated in the standard.

 

Rgds Charles.C

This is what I said, he admitted I met the requirements of the code and we didn't get a ding, but he was a wimp. 

 

 

Do like it do

 

Have an index at the front with all your SOP numbers and cross reference each standards clause against that

 

So ill have SOP 1, Personnel, Brc 7, TFMS what ever, ASDA Whatever

 

Works for me

 

Caz x

Our BRC consultant told us that we should include the standard section numbers on the document somewhere. I really didn't want to clutter up titles and file names with anymore numbers than I needed to, it decreases usability and user engagement and I have a hard enough time getting people to read our policies as it is. So, on my document register I created a column that ties that specific policy to a section in the BRC standard. It's a little more cross-referencing for me but it keeps document layout cleaner and keeps information bound together.

Yes, these things.  I'll just add more columns to my document register and hide them when I use it for real things.  But I'm not making three quality manuals.  Like the Highlander, there can be only one. 

 

I'm still pretty interested in seeing how the general QA population perfers it, seems pretty split between direct mirror and mix & match. 


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#9 Setanta

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 12:27 PM

Bed made of money!! HA hahahahahahaha! How about--I am so tired juggling all the parts of my job that apathy creeps in a little bit.

Of course, a tasty beverage helps the sleeping too!


Edited by Setanta, 16 May 2014 - 12:28 PM.

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#10 Snookie

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 03:44 PM

Bed made of money!! HA hahahahahahaha! How about--I am so tired juggling all the parts of my job that apathy creeps in a little bit.

Of course, a tasty beverage helps the sleeping too!

 

 

Ditto!!  All too often I feel like Sisyphus.  In my case though its not a tasty beverage but sheer exhaustion. 


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#11 haccpmanager

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:06 AM

Hi Magenta

 

You absolutely don't have to number your SOP's to match the standard. If you did as Charles has already stated it would be in the standard.

 

I consult to many clients who have to respond to multiple standards e.g. SQF, Codex HACCP, Australian Certified Organic, BRC, Woolworths Quality Standard, Costco, Aldi etc etc.

 

Your Quality Management System should consist of three separate manuals.

 

Quality Manual - Quality Policy, Organisation Structure, Index listing each element of the standards that you are required to respond to and referencing relevant documentation.

 

SOP Manual - SOP's and associated Forms

 

Food Safety Manual - HACCP Team, Scope Aims and Objectives, GMP Policy, Approved Suppliers Register, Calibration Register, Product Descriptions,Process Flowchart, Hazard Analysis, HACCP Audit Table, Verification Schedule etc etc.

 

This way you have one set of documentation that your auditor can find their way around.

 

I have attached a sample Quality Manual and the Index Pages from the other two manuals.

 

Attached File  Sample Quality Manual.pdf   110.43KB   76 downloads

Attached File  SOP Manual Table Of Contents.pdf   12.42KB   62 downloads

Attached File  HACCP Manual Table Of Contents.pdf   20.67KB   56 downloads

 

I hope this was helpful.


Edited by Charles.C, 29 May 2014 - 06:53 AM.
re-arranged the pdfs

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#12 helen89

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:06 AM

Thank you for posting these PDF ''s they kicked my brain in to gear ... Lol ... as I am preparing for SQF L 2 and was a little stumped on how to arrange my manuals.


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#13 Charles.C

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:24 AM

Dear haccpmanager,

 

Many thks for the interesting examples.

 

Presumably designed to meet certain Australian requirements which IMEX can be a little “quirky” at times (not unique to Australia of course) although no doubting the technical capabilites underpinning organisations such as AQIS.

 

Few Comments -

 

I usually “hide"  the organisation charts / responsibilities at the end, and make them a lot more truncated. An attempt to minimize auditorial arguments.

Have to say that the Q.Manual IMEX bestowed rare power (and trust?) to the Quality Manager. Two-edged sword ?

First time i have seen Insurance Issues included in a HACCP Manual.

The use of “SOP” as an analog to the ISO “Procedure” seemed slightly controversial to me but maybe just a case of styliistics.

Similarly the term “Prerequisite” is noticeaby absent. Not a generically mandatory approach but very globally pervasive these days.

The HACCP system seemed to consist of only 1 (unspecified) process. Life should be so co-operative. :smile:

 

Traceability aspects are not mentioned within HACCP manual ? Hmmm. (I appreciate included in Quality Manual). Not so typical IMEX but maybe horses for courses.

 

Regardless it’s all good stuff. Thks again.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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#14 haccpmanager

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 09:03 AM

Hi Charles

 

Thanks for the comments.

 

Point taken about the Org chart and responsibilities.

 

That particular example was a very small organisation and the CEO was filling the role of Quality Manager.

 

Insurance issues were included because of the requirements of some of our Supermarket chains.

 

SOP/Procedure can be customised to the desires of the individual client we have clients in the US and understand the differences in nomenclature.

 

HACCP Support Programs/Prerequisite Programs are interchangeable at the request of the client.

 

Bear in mind that these are sample documents and I would have had to obtain permission from clients to use more complex examples. I was merely trying to illustrate the concept.

 

We include Traceability in our SOP's and have another program that deals exclusively with product traceability from Receival to Dispatch and various other records. This program is used by among others the Australian Defense Department.

 

Cheers

 

Garry.


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#15 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 11:13 AM

Our BRC consultant told us that we should include the standard section numbers on the document somewhere. I really didn't want to clutter up titles and file names with anymore numbers than I needed to, it decreases usability and user engagement and I have a hard enough time getting people to read our policies as it is. So, on my document register I created a column that ties that specific policy to a section in the BRC standard. It's a little more cross-referencing for me but it keeps document layout cleaner and keeps information bound together.

 

I was told during my SQF practitioner course to never use the standard section in the document at all.   The reason for this is if there is a revision where the number system changes or things get moved around then you'll have to hunt through all of your documentation to make sure you change it all.

 

I'm not sure if this was said and I missed it so I thought I'd throw it in there.  If you put it in the file name that's an easy change and doesn't need a revision.


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#16 fgjuadi

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:17 PM

I was told during my SQF practitioner course to never use the standard section in the document at all.   The reason for this is if there is a revision where the number system changes or things get moved around then you'll have to hunt through all of your documentation to make sure you change it all.

 

I'm not sure if this was said and I missed it so I thought I'd throw it in there.  If you put it in the file name that's an easy change and doesn't need a revision.

This is right, I hadnt even thought of it


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#17 Snookie

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 03:42 PM

I was told during my SQF practitioner course to never use the standard section in the document at all.   The reason for this is if there is a revision where the number system changes or things get moved around then you'll have to hunt through all of your documentation to make sure you change it all.

 

I'm not sure if this was said and I missed it so I thought I'd throw it in there.  If you put it in the file name that's an easy change and doesn't need a revision.

 

It is a good point especially since SQF did that only a few years ago...completely changed their numbering system.  I like the new better than old...once I got used to it.  However I have mixed feelings about using the numbering system.  There is part of me that does not like it for the reasons above and part of me that likes it in the document (that OCD part).


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#18 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:26 PM

I think the best idea is to keep your documents as generic as possible keeping things like code specific references or requirements without numbering them.

 

Your management commitment policy could have a section in it stating that there will be posted, in a conspicuous location, a food safety/quality statement that is signed by all of top management without having "as per SQF section X.X.X).

 

All of that is paraphrased because SQF people know what I'm talking about and I didn't want to search the hell hole that is my computer hard drive for the SQF code lol (I'm not super organized on here) :shades:


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#19 Charles.C

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:03 PM

Dear Messrs,

 

All I can say is that if deciding which way to number the Sections is the most major of yr SQF headaches, you're already in a very good place.This decision surely goes back to Noah. :biggrin:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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#20 Snookie

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:50 PM

Dear Messrs,

 

All I can say is that if deciding which way to number the Sections is the most major of yr SQF headaches, you're already in a very good place.This decision surely goes back to Noah. :biggrin:

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

 

Ah if only this was the most major of my headaches....


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#21 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 12:51 PM

I think, seeing as this has popped up again to the recent threads, one of the best ways to handle this is to create a cross check document that references what section of the code each policy covers.

 

We have an FFSC register we do this with that I updated for all our mills they just had to change what was local documents to what they had.  It is easier to have the name of the section your taking care of in the policy and some sections may never change like "Management Commitment" but some sections may be split apart, renamed, etc. so it's not always the best way to handle the situation.

 

Never never use the section numbers in your policies ie "This policy is to satisfy section x.x.x" because

     a) that makes it look like your policies exist more for satisfying your scheme not for food safety (and quality if applicable)

     b) the numbers may change more often than the section listing

 

Just some thoughts on all of this... again.


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#22 RG3

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 06:08 PM

Do like it do

 

Have an index at the front with all your SOP numbers and cross reference each standards clause against that

 

So ill have SOP 1, Personnel, Brc 7, TFMS what ever, ASDA Whatever

 

Works for me

 

Caz x

This is exactly what I do. In the front of each of my books I have an index with one column showing the code number and next to it my own standard code.

 

I agree it will take a lot of time to rewrite all the document control forms once the Standard decides to go up another version.


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#23 shea quay

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 11:32 PM

I find it easier to link in my Quality Systems to a recognised standard (in my case BRC).

 

Everytime they change the standard, I get to reset all of my document controls to revision number 00. Auditors are always wary of documents with a "00" revision number. They think "there is no way this Quality Manager is so good that his docs do not need improvement".

 

The thing is, I actually am. Therefore a recent enough revision date with the revision number of 00 puts them at at ease. The simply think "this guy who smells of booze and urine has obviously just had a consultant in who has re-written his entire Quality Manual for this audit. This shows incredible management commitment!" rather than "shit, this guy who smells of booze and urine is onto revision 53 of his customer complaints procedure. He sure must be quite the asshole".   

 

It also covers up my lackadaisical attitude to document control. 


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#24 Charles.C

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Posted 15 May 2015 - 10:52 PM

Hi SQ,

 

It is also posible that yr auditors are simply intimidated by "first appearances".


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