Incorporating your Employee Manual into your Quality Manual?

Is it necessary to incorporate your employee manual into your ISO9001:2000 quality manual? Would you want to do this? What are the pros and cons?

First of all, it is not a requirement of the ISO9001:2000 quality standard. Other than determining competency of employees, ISO9001 does not delve deeply into personnel issues.

I’ve heard a few (very few) people claim that the employee handbook should be a controlled document, and should be included in their quality system. And I suppose this point of view has some merit. You do want to make sure that only authorized personnel are able to make changes in your employee manual, to be sure. And you want to ensure that all your people have access to the latest version of your employee manual. In this regard, controlling this document as you would control quality documents makes sense.

If your company uses the employee manual as part of training related to your quality system (I hope you’re not really doing this) then yes, your employee manual should be included as a controlled document in your quality system. Hopefully you’re not doing this, and you’re keeping your training documentation separate from your employee manual.

Also, if you’re responsible for quality at your organization, you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, and you want to enlarge your personal little kingdom within the company to enhance your job security, you probably will want to incorporate your company’s employee manual into your quality documents. After all, the more complicated you can make things, the better for you.

However, if you are like most companies I know of, with never enough time to run the freakin’ business let alone deal with excessive documentation, then I believe you should not incorporate your employee manual into your quality manual. There’s no requirement for doing this, and very few practical reasons for doing it.

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