Transitioning to API Q1 - 9th Edition
The API Q1 Specification outlines the minimum quality management system requirements for organizations that manufacture products for the oil and gas industry. Q1 has been around for more than 20 years and has gone through several editions in that time. The ninth edition is right around the corner and its implementation will alter your organization’s compliance processes.
API Q1 9th edition expands the scope of previous publications by adding over 80 new clauses and 5 new sections. API recommends, that as a result of the vast changes, that the implementation time is a year from the publication date.
So, what does this mean for your organization?
The first step of the transition involves auditing. API will conduct audits based on the 8th edition up until November 2013 to allow your organization and any third parties to become familiar with the 9th edition. API realizes that implementation and training can drain time and resources. To reduce these impacts, they have provided organizations and interested parties 5 months to train personnel and become prepared.
The second step will begin in December of 2013. At this point, all audits will be done according to the 9th Edition of Q1. During this period any unusual findings will be marked as “concerns” and API will not follow up to ensure corrective actions have been taken. However, beginning March 1, 2014 any of these issues that remain unresolved will be marked as non-conformances.
The final phase takes effect in June of 2014 and requires conformance to the 9th edition and any nonconformities will be treated with appropriate penalties.
With these dates rapidly approaching, it is essential that you develop a plan to become compliant. If you do this properly, you can put the 9th edition transition in the rearview mirror and focus on core business operations.
To discuss how your organization can easily comply with API Q1 9th edition standards call Accupoint at 800-563-6250
Handling Nonconformities in API Q2
Quality is crucial in the oil and gas industry. We are constantly adjusting and readjusting in order to improve our products and services. But even with this improvement, nonconformities will happen. So, in order to act responsibly, we must have plans in place when nonconformities occur.
The impending API Q2 Specification highlights controlling nonconformities. API Q2 stresses that your organization identifies responsible parties and have the proper procedures in place for tracking nonconformities in services or service-related products (SRP). When responding to these nonconformities it is important that you treat each incident appropriately and that the effect on the service performance is analyzed thoroughly.
Nonconformities should be handled in the following order:
1. Make a correction, or;
2. If correcting the issue is not possible, stop using the service-related product, or;
3. If neither option is acceptable, request a waiver or deviation from the customer.
Once you have identified and corrected the nonconformity, with CAPAs (if required) you need verify the action was effective. Throughout this process, you need to document required changes and communicate, if applicable, the information with your customer and other interested parties.
Control of nonconformities and related impacts are a focus of the new standard and it is important to manage the process in order to be in compliance with the requirements of API Q2.
Beat the Heat
We are in the midst of the dog days of summer and staying cool is on the top of everyone’s mind. It is the perfect time of the year to take a dip in a pool or relax in the air conditioning. But many of us have to work during August, so we must keep cool while on the job.
It isn’t difficult to imagine a scenario where workers will be dealing with extreme heat this time of year. When a person is exposed to a hot environment, his/her body must find a way to release the heat. If this heat isn’t released, workers can experience some serious side effects.
Workers that are more likely to be affected by heat related illness are those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight or take medications that may cause an adverse reaction to excessive heat. Of course, this does not mean that if these do not apply to you that you are safe from heat related illness.
Heat related illnesses are a significant concern in the workplace and it is important that we take the appropriate steps in order to mitigate the risk.
Extreme heat should be avoided whenever possible. If exposure cannot be avoided, employers should:
Whether we are checking the weather or communicating with loved ones, technology has made a significant impact on our personal lives. As you might expect, these advances have also significantly impacted the business world.
Picture this. A quality manager needs to make sure that his organization is in compliance with ISO 9001. In order to do this, he needs to practice careful process and data management. Historically, organizations would spend countless hours every day manually recording metrics by hand and filing them away in hard copy. When it was time for an audit, the management representative had to dig through mounds of paperwork and hope that everything was where it was supposed to be. Once he finally retrieved all the information, it needed to be presented to the auditor who was required to wade through the stacks of records to ensure the processes were in compliance.
What is wrong with this scenario? The quality staff is shuffling through paperwork instead of monitoring operations to identify possible improvements. Additionally, cumbersome legacy systems are unorganized and confusing, which leads to mistakes and poor audit results.
With the advent of cloud-based technology, organizations can now cost effectively record quality data and develop metric reports with the click of a button. In addition, records are accessible anytime, from any web enabled device.
We have successfully integrated technology into our personal lives; why not improve our businesses as well? Technology has empowered quality managers everywhere to get back to the basics and focus on managing processes instead of drowning in a sea of unmanageable data.
Click here to find out how a cloud-based Quality Management System can help your organization.