IS0 9001:2015

Clause 7.3 Awareness

ISO 9001:2015 states that it is the responsibility of the organisation to ensure that persons carrying out work under its control are aware of:

  1. The quality policy,
  2. Any relevant quality objectives,
  3. Their own contribution to the effectiveness of the management system including the benefits of improved performance,
  4. Implications of not conforming with the management system requirements


As we can see, the standard specifically requires organisations to make personnel under its control aware of the organisations quality policy, quality objectives, their own specific contribution as well as importantly, the consequences of not conforming with requirements. Businesses should review their communication, awareness activities and plans, to ensure all affected personnel are included and address any gaps.

Depending on the size and culture of the organisation, a wide range of methods can be employed for communication and awareness of the business quality policy and objectives. From regular meetings, briefings, toolbox talks, bulletins, poster campaigns and publication of quality metrics, to the inclusion and involvement of individuals in cross functional teams and improvement initiatives.

Job descriptions, training records, work instructions and performance review minutes are also some examples not only of ways in which personnel can be made aware of their specific contributions and (importantly,) implications of non-conformance, but also as documented evidence of such.

Audit Check:

As in clause 7.2 (Competence,) the 2015 update of the standard makes specific reference to agency, contract or outsourced workers in relation to awareness. These are often overlooked by organisations and so may be specifically targeted for review.

Equally, evidence may be sought from any personnel that they are now aware of the implications of not conforming to the requirements of the management system. IE impact on product / service quality and customer satisfaction. “Why is it important to carry out this process in that way” could be asked of any employee…

This article is the property of David Barker Consulting © and is free for you to use. If you wish to reproduce elsewhere, please be so kind as to ask permission first and credit me as your source. If you need any further assistance, feel free to use my contacts page to get in touch and let me know how I can help!

David Barker CQP MCQI

ISO 9001:2015

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