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ISO 45001: Processes vs Procedures

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Guest user Created:   Sep 02, 2019 Last commented:   Sep 02, 2019

ISO 45001: Processes vs Procedures

How does one draw up processes? Does procedure form part of the process, or is procedure drawn up from process?

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ISO 45001 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

ISO 45001 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

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Mark Hammar Sep 02, 2019

Answer:
The root of both of your questions is the difference between processes and procedures, so it is best to answer them together. A process is anything that you do that takes inputs, does something to them, and creates outputs (this does not mean that the activities need to be in a specific order). A process does not need to be documented. A procedure is a set way of doing a process, so when the activities need to be done in a certain order (this does not mean that the procedure needs to be written down). A documented procedure is when you choose to write a procedure down. If will give you an example using a purchasing process; I like using purchasing because it is easy to understand.

So, as an example: If you have a process that states that your purchasers will get a purchase request, choose some vendors from the approved vendor list, find prices online, and then place an order of the best value; you have a process (i n this case you may then find prices online first and then look at the vendor list to make sure the vendors are approved because the order doesn’t matter).

If you decide that the order matters and you want to do the steps in the order listed (purchase request, approved vendor list, find prices, place order) then this becomes a procedure. Note that if you only have a few purchasers, and don’t think you need to write this down because it is not complex, you now have a procedure that is not documented, but it is still a procedure.

By writing down the procedure you have a documented procedure. You can do this an any way that works for you; flow chart, text document, etc. The important thing to remember is that if by not writing down the procedure you could have a process nonconformity, you should write down the procedure.

For more information on the difference between processes and procedures, see the 9001Academy article: Watch Your Language! Don’t confuse processes with procedures, https://advisera.com/9001academy/blog/2014/11/04/watch-language-dont-confuse-processes-procedures/
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Sep 02, 2019

Sep 02, 2019