We have now completed the first key stage of our transition to ISO9001:2015 by having a full review of our QMS vs this new version of the standard. As a result we have rewritten large sections of our QMS manual and changed some of our procedures. In many areas (especially risk management) we found we were already doing what is required by the new standard but just needed to tighten up on recording. BSI are now booked for 8th December 2017 to carry out a full readiness review and provisionally booked for 11th January 2018 for the first external audit at which we hope to gain certification.
In recognition of his technical ability, experience and commercial enterprise, our Technical Partner Dr. Charlie Elliott was recently appointed to be a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology as reported here.
Charlie commented that although this is a personal achievement that the entire staff at SPS have all made a significant contribution to the success of the business which formed a key part of being eligible for the award. He wanted to pass on his thanks to them.
As part of our ongoing training program and commitment to improving quality, our Production and Quality Manager (Alan Yarker) and one of our manufacturing staff (Liz Thewlis) have recently taken the 3 day IPC/WHMA-A 620 Application Specialist course at The Electronics Group just round the ring road from us in Leeds. This intensive 3 day course is aimed at training staff in the Acceptability of Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies. Both Liz and Alan said the course was very worthwhile and passed with no problem. We are very lucky to have such excellent training facilities local to us in Leeds.
BSI have now carried out the final stage 2 external audit to ISO9001:2008 and we are delighted to report that we have passed!! This is a fantastic achievement and we are as convinced as ever that this will bring real value to the company and our customers. We have now added a dedicated quality page to our site where you can download our certificate and also find out about our other quality initiatives.
Following on from a positive “pre certification audit”, BSI have now carried out the stage 1 formal external audit to ISO9001:2008 which focuses on the Quality Manual in particular. No non-conformities were found but a few suggestions for improvements have been taken on board and the scope of the QMS expanded to include servicing and maintenance activities.
As the next step to achieving ISO9001:2008, SPS have engaged the services of world renowned British Standards Institute (BSI) to carry out a “pre certification” audit of its existing Quality Management System. This was duly carried out with no issues found but just a few suggestions for improvement. These suggestions have been taken on board and minor changes made. BSI have now been fully engaged to carry out stage 1 and stage 2 external auditing with a view to achieving certification in Q1 2016.
In anticipation of seeking certification to ISO9001:2008, two SPS staff have attended BSI’s internal auditor course which was held over two days in York. Both Alan Yarker (Production and Quality Manager) and Peter Moriarty (Principal R&D Engineer) found the course to be very helpful in providing a structured approach to auditing. It also allowed them to get some specific key questions answered by people who had clearly been auditing for many years. Having fully trained internal auditors was viewed as being the first key step to achieving certification which is targeted at Q1 16.
We are fortunate in having a very experienced production technician (Elizabeth Thewlis) who joined SPS in June 2012 having previously worked for many years in the power electronics industry. Liz had previously been trained to IPC-A-610 but her certification had lapsed. Given her experience it was an obvious decision to ask her to take the IPC-A-610 certified instructor course at Electronics Yorkshire so she could then instruct other members of staff. She duly completed the course in July 2015.