After you've written, reviewed and approved your processes and work instructions, you need to release them and make sure people are aware of the content.
This also needs to be done in a controlled and documented way, which means you'll need to be able to provide records.
What does this mean?
- It needs to be clear which version is the current version to be used
- The relevant people need access to the correct version
- There should not be any confusion with older versions
- People should be aware of any changes
- People should receive training, if applicable
How to approach this?
In a paper-based QMS, what you often see is a binder or a cupboard with the current approved version of all procedures. This is guarded by the QA Manager with his or her life as it's THE binder or cupboard to be used during audits.
A scanned version of the procedures can be found in a folder somewhere on the network, accessible by (ideally) everyone.
This is good, but it does have some risks and disadvantages:
- Printed procedures tend to hide in drawers only to come out during audits (probably already outdated)
- It's not always clear to people that there is a new version of a procedure when they open the folder on the drive
- When all is kept on paper, how to make sure nothing happens to these copies?
- How do you organize and document training for procedures?
MatrixQMS has a specific workflow to handle this process.
In the previous blog we discussed the review and approval of processes. Once they have been approved in MatrixQMS (and only then), you can publish your processes and work instructions.
Publishing in this case means, that they will appear on a dedicated webpage called the LiveQMS. This webpage is accessible to all people within your organization and contains the latest approved version of the different processes and work instructions. As this webpage is separated from the work that is done in MatrixQMS, there is no possible confusion or risk that someone might be using an unapproved draft version.
What are the advantages?
- One central webpage that ONLY contains the latest released version of the processes and work instructions
- Read-only access: people can consult but not change the processes and work instructions
- Filters: people can easily look for processes that are applicable to them or the groups to which they belong
- Search: you can search for specific words in all processes
- Compare: you can compare the curent version to the previous published version to check what has changed
- Training can be done on the LiveQMS webpage
Training you say?
In MatrixQMS you have the possibility to add training questions and additional explanation to each process and work instruction. These training questions or explanations can be updated specifically to the changes that were made to a process.
Once the process or work instruction is published, a training notification is shown to those users/groups for which the process is relevant.
People need to answer the questions or click on a ‘read and understood’ button in order to complete the training.
The progress of training overall can be monitored in MatrixQMS. Also re-training can be scheduled.
If you'd like to see how publication and training of processes works in Matrix, don't hesitate to contact us!
So far, we've discussed how to set up your QMS using MatrixQMS, in the next post, we'll focus on how to create records in MatrixQMS.