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QA in Brief - ISO9001 2015 Update #15

Kevin Stretton - Friday, February 05, 2016

Documented requirements


Many of the requirements for documented procedures have changed from the 2008 version. However, fundamental criteria for the design or structure of documents remain and these include:-

  Approved access or permission levels to use or view documentation

•      Controls

•      Distribution of documents


•      Identification of documents

•      Retrieval methods


In the standard’s new context of risk management organisations may need to consider how they identify critically important documentation, assess the risk levels, protect their information, maintain confidentiality and allocate responsibility for the use of documentation.


It could be interpreted as a broadening or an extension of the importance of electronic data management contained within the 2008 version and a way of encouraging organisations to pay greater attention to all documentation (information).


However, it may be too early in the implementation phase yet to obtain clear interpretations from auditors on how widely they’ll apply the new requirements for management of documentation. If organisations already have a mature certified system then current documentation requirements should be compliant.

Toolbox Tips #1 (Part 1) - Liability and Duty of Care

Kevin Stretton - Friday, February 05, 2016


Liability & Duty of Care: Part 1


What is liability?


•         A state of being liable

•         A condition of owning something opposite to an asset

•         A disadvantage

•         A risk to business

•         A legislative concept derived from the common law principle of an employer’s duty of care

•         The basis for action in minimising risk


Employer’s Duty of Care


•         An employer’s liability is a legislative concept having its roots in Common Law

•         Originally this extended to a Duty of Care over fellow servants

•         This responsibility could not be fully delegated

•         However via authority, the implementation of responsibility can be delegated

•         Note the similarities in interpretation with the clauses in recently updated WHS law (2012)

•         Fundamentally nothing has changed and an employer still has a duty of care to contractors, employees and members of the public


Liability themes are common in all legislation


•         Lord Thankerton, UK established the ‘Duty of Care’ concepts into British legislation: UK Law on line - Donoghue vs Stevenson

•         Safety is paramount

•         A master owes duties to a servant

•         A supplier owes care to a client

•         In society we have a duty of care to each other

•         Breaches of duty of care aren’t affected by the action of fellow servants

•         Performance of duty of care is the absolute responsibility of the employer (Lord Wright - Lord Wright and Innovative Traditionalism - Duxbury)


QA in Brief - ISO9001 2015 Update #14

Kevin Stretton - Monday, February 01, 2016

A significant change – understanding risk


In previous versions of ISO9001 the concept of risk was indicated and yet rarely understood, assessed and controlled by organisations.


The 2015 version requires a significant change in thinking and approach.


Organisations are now required to identify external & internal business exposures, assess the level of risk these issues pose, rank the issues for significance and plan controls for improvement.


Part of the risk management process requires that relevant personnel who may have involvement with the quality system are identified and their needs are taken into consideration.


Once all of this data and information is collated, planning must be capable of demonstrating how the organisation’s strategic objectives will be protected or adapted to meet new challenges all of which must be completed within a defined scope and application of the quality management system (QMS).


Whilst providing greater flexibility on how organisations adapt their QMS the 2015 version of ISO9001 calls for a greater level of business analysis as the basis for informed decision making and risk management.

NOPSEMA Alert #61 - Battery room fire

Shelley Inkster - Friday, January 29, 2016


Recently, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority was notified of a fire that occurred in the battery room on a production facility. The incident was likely caused by leaking electrolyte fluid contacting a conductive metal cabinet frame in the UPS battery room.


The incident highlighted the potential for thermal runaway events, specifically, when there is a short circuit between two or more battery banks of uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

Lead acid batteries are capable of delivering an electric charge at a very high rate. When charging the batteries can release flammable hydrogen gas which, when combined with oxygen, has the potential to cause an explosion.

Under certain circumstances, such as short circuit faults, energy may be rapidly released increasing the heat load, potentially causing an ignition of gases & explosion around the battery.

Even ‘maintenance free’ valve regulated batteries may release hydrogen through the pressure relief valves if the battery charging current or voltage is exceeded, which can also potentially result in explosion.

Battery installations, stands or trays need to be designed to eliminate or reduce the risk of faulty currents associated with battery terminals or short circuits. Battery stands or trays need to be insulated and access to battery terminals, inspection caps, or charge indicators should be sufficient to allow effective safe, maintenance.

The facility’s performance standards need to clearly identify the operational performance required for the battery systems and batteries checked for replacement d before they reach their end of life condition.

As a credible event, battery fire needs to be included in emergency response planning, procedures and drills.


NOPSEMA Alert #61

Working safely in battery rooms

Lead acid batteries


Battery charging rooms - Gas detection and safety


QA in Brief - ISO9001 2015 Update #13

Kevin Stretton - Friday, January 29, 2016

The revised quality concepts


Within the 2008 framework mandating a documented quality management system companies were required to demonstrate how they controlled:-


  Internal auditing

  Policy & objectives

  Quality manual & procedures

  Preventive action

•      Records


It’s important to note that internal auditing, policy objectives and preventative action are inter-connected with each other and closely linked to continual improvement methods.


However, with changes to the 2015 version all of these requirements have been reorganised and so your organisation has a unique opportunity to adapt creatively to those changes while demonstrating control of risk.


Areas to consider are:-


  Context of the organisation compared with its community and industry sectors

  Decisions made or based on evidence and facts, not opinions

  Engagement of people (external to and within the organisation)

  Evaluating the organisation’s performance


  Increased customer focus

  Leadership (not just management commitment)

  Managing relationships

  Operations – how they are structured and controlled


  Process based controls and thinking (no matter what industry sector you are in)

  Support mechanisms

Training in Brief #5 - Common Training Delivery Problems of Novice Trainers

Shelley Inkster - Tuesday, January 05, 2016

 Results from a survey* of people considered experts in delivering training identified three major focuses:

(1) Determine what trainers considered to be the most frequent training delivery problems they faced as novices
(2) Determine how experts respond to these problems with solutions they have found to be effective
(3) Present the findings in a useful manner for practitioners


The conclusions from each of the two distinct surveys within the study formed the research base for the major outcomes – the 12 most common training delivery problems novice trainers experience and expert solutions to these problems.


12 Most Common Training Delivery Problems of Novice Trainers:

1. Fear

    a. Be well prepared - thoroughly research your topic beforehand
    b. Use ice-breakers
    c. Acknowledge the fear

2. Credibility

    a. Don’t apologize
    b. Have an attitude of an expert and demonstrate this in presentation behaviours
    c. Share personal background

3. Personal Experiences


    a. Report personal experiences
    b. Report experiences of others
    c. Use analogies, movies, or famous people

4. Difficult learners

    a. Confront problem learner
    b. Circumvent dominating behaviour
    c. Small groups for timid behaviour

5. Participation

    a. Ask open-ended questions
    b. Plan small group activities
    c. Invite participation

6. Timing


    a. Plan well
    b. Practice, practice, practice

7. Adjust instruction

    a. Know group needs
    b. Request feedback
    c. Redesign during breaks

8. Questions


    Answering questions
    a. Anticipate questions
    b. Paraphrase learners’ questions
    c. “I don’t know” is okay. However, follow up and identify the answer or a source of information that will

        provide an opportunity for the learner to explore / investigate.


    Asking questions
    a. Ask concise questions

9. Feedback


    a. Solicit informal feedback
    b. Do summative evaluations


10.Media, materials, facilities


    a. Know equipment
    b. Have back-ups
    c. Enlist assistance

    d. Test equipment beforehand



  1.     a. Be prepared



    a. Visit and check facility beforehand


    b. Arrive early

    c. Brief or 'induct' participants on the facilities available


11.Openings and closings


     a. Develop an “openings file”
     b. Memorise
     c. Relax trainees



     a. Summarise concisely

     b. Thank participants


12.Dependence on notes


     a. Notes are necessary
     b. Use cards
     c. Use visuals
     d. Practice

     e. Notes are reference material - don't read from them verbatim

*For Expert Selection and Data Sorting criteria refer to pages 300 - 302 of "The Adult Learner".



A selection of instructive text from:


“The Adult Learner” 6th Edition, 2005
Malcolm Knowles, Elwood F Holton III, Richard A Swanson
Publisher: Elsevier Inc – Butterworth- Heineman


Training in Brief #4 - Elements of the Andragogic Process

Shelley Inkster - Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The andragogic process consists of eight elements:



• Preparing the learners
• Considering the physical and psychological climate setting
• Learner involvement in the various stages of learning - 
     • Diagnosing their own needs 
     • Formulating their own objectives
     • Designing and developing plans,
     • Evaluating their own outcomes



These concepts will influence a mentor’s presentation style and relationships with the learner. So how consistent are your results with what you imagined your presentation style to be? How would you like your style to grow and change in the future?

A selection of instructive text from:


“The Adult Learner” 6th Edition, 2005
Malcolm Knowles, Elwood F Holton III, Richard A Swanson
Publisher: Elsevier Inc – Butterworth- Heinemann

Training in Brief #3 - Implications of the Models for Mentors

Shelley Inkster - Thursday, December 24, 2015


A subscription to either the andragogic model or the pedagogical model of learning carries with it certain implications for the mentor. The basic concern of people with a pedagogical orientation is content. Teachers and trainers with a strong pedagogical orientation will be strongly concerned about what needs to be covered in the learning situation; how that content can be organized into manageable units; the most logical sequence for presenting these units; and the most efficient means of transmitting this content.


In contrast to the pedagogic approach, the basic concern of people with an andragogic orientation is process.

A selection of instructive text from:


“The Adult Learner” 6th Edition, 2005
Malcolm Knowles, Elwood F Holton III, Richard A Swanson
Publisher: Elsevier Inc – Butterworth- Heinemann

Training in Brief #2 - The Traditional and Contemporary Learning Models

Shelley Inkster - Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Traditional Learning: The Pedagogical Model


The pedagogical model is the one with which all of us have had the most experience. Teaching in our elementary schools, high schools, colleges, the military service, churches, and a variety of other institutions is largely pedagogically oriented. When we are asked to serve as instructors or prepare instruction for others, the pedagogical model comes quickly to mind and often takes control of our activities. That is easy to understand since pedagogy has dominated education and training practices since the seventh century.


Five assumptions about learners are inherent in the pedagogical model:


1. The learner is a dependent personality. The teacher/trainer is expected to take full responsibility for making the decisions about what is to be learned, how and when it should be learned, and whether it has been learned. The role of the learner is to carry out the teacher’s directions passively.


2. The learner enters into an educational activity with little experience that can be used in the learning process. The experience of the teacher/trainer is what is important. For that reason a variety of one-way communication strategies are employed, including lectures, textbooks and manuals, and a variety of audio-visual techniques that can transmit information to the learner efficiently.


3. People are ready to learn when they are told what they have to learn in order to advance to the next grade level or achieve the next salary grade or job level.


4. People are motivated to learn primarily by external pressures from parents, teachers/trainers, employers, the consequences of failure, grades, certificates, and so on.

Contemporary Learning: The Andragogical Model


During the 1960s, European adult educators coined the term andragogy to provide a label for a growing body of knowledge and technology in regard to adult learning. The following five assumptions underlie the andragogic model of learning:


1. The learner is self-directing. Adult learners want to take responsibility for their own lives, including the planning, implementing, and evaluating of their learning activities.


2. The learner enters an educational situation with a great deal of experience. This experience can be a valuable resource to the learner as well as to others. It needs to be valued and used in the learning process.


3. Adults are ready to learn when they perceive a need to know or do something in order to perform more effectively in some aspect of their lives. Their readiness to learn may be stimulated by helping them to assess the gaps between where they are now and where they want and need to be.


4. Adults are motivated to learn after they experience a need in their life situation. For that reason, learning needs to be problem-focused or task-centred. Adults want to apply what they have learned as quickly as possible. Learning activities need to be clearly relevant to the needs of the adult.


5. Adults are motivated to learn because of internal factors, such as self-esteem, recognition better quality of life, greater self-confidence, the opportunity to self-actualize, and so forth. External factors, such as pressure from authority figures, salary increases, and the like, are less important.

A selection of instructive text from:


“The Adult Learner” 6th Edition, 2005
Malcolm Knowles, Elwood F Holton III, Richard A Swanson
Publisher: Elsevier Inc – Butterworth- Heinemann

Training in Brief #1 - Andragogy Explained

Shelley Inkster - Monday, December 21, 2015

Andragogy is the antonym of pedagogy. In pedagogy, the concern is with transmitting the content, while in andragogy, the concern is with facilitating the acquisition of the content. Andragogy is a theory developed by Knowles (1913-97) which differentiates the needs of adult learners from those of juveniles and uses the term andragogy to describe the specific methods which should be employed in the education of adults.

•   The adult learner moves towards independence and is self-directing. The mentor encourages and

     nurtures this development.
•   The learner's experience is a rich resource for learning. Hence mentoring includes discussion,

     problem-solving etc.
•   People learn what they need to know, so that learning programmes are organised around life application.
•   Learning experiences should be based around experiences, since people are performance centred

    in their learning.


Andragogy requires that adult learners be involved in the identification of their learning needs and the planning of how those needs are satisfied. Learning should be an active rather than a passive process. Adult learning is most effective when concerned with solving problems that have relevance to the learner's everyday experience.


About Andragogy