In TS16949, is it necessary to carry out yearly evaluations on salaried employees, ie. Customer Service Manager, Plant manager, Receptionist, etc.?
During our last TS audit, the auditor noted that we do this for the hourly employees and mentioned that we should do this for management, however, I cannot find a section in the TS standards that states we must. This was an informal, passing comment as we were reviewing training documents for hourly employees. The comment/finding was not including in the formal audit report.
Sometimes, during an audit, it’s tough to figure out whether an auditor’s comment is a finding, or simply an attempt to be helpful, and encourage best practice. In this case, I think we’re dealing with the latter.
Section 6 of the TS Standard has some significant differences from the ISO 9001 baseline. It specifically mentions product design skills, the identification of training needs, and the qualification of personnel for specific assigned tasks…thereby eliminating some loopholes in the baseline standard. It also mentions training on the job, which addresses a significant failing in the 9K Standard.
Where regular assessment becomes a potential issue is in Section 220.127.116.11, where we discuss Employee Motivation & Empowerment. Specifically, I am looking at the second paragraph, where “The organization shall have a process to measure the extent to which its personnel are aware of the relevance and importance of their activities, and how they contribute to the achievement of the quality objectives.”
Annual assessments are the most common means of fulfilling this requirement. Another is the conduct of internal audits – if no…or only minor…issues are found, then a worker can be considered to be competent. For office personnel, Management Review can actually be used as a means of determining ongoing competency, empowerment and motivation. You have options, but you have also set a precedent by conducting annual reviews for production staff.
It all comes down to how your system is written. You need to have process. You are not required to have a procedure, but you need to be able to prove you have a process, and that it is working. In a prescriptive standard such as this one, this is a luxury – you actually do have options. You just need to pick one, and be able to prove it works.
- Ted Uffen, BRC Consultant