Q: I have a few questions about employee training records. My company is certified to ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems–Requirements, and we are considering transitioning to electronic records. However, we don’t know what the requirements are from an ISO perspective. Specifically, we want to know:
1. Do we need to retain hardcopy originals, or can we just keep the scanned electronic copies?
2. Does a record need to be in each individual’s file, or can there be a spreadsheet, cross reference-type matrix?
3. How long do they need to be retained?
4. Are there different requirements for environmental and safety type training records?
A: Thank you for contacting the ASQ Ask the Experts Program. Responses to your specific inquiries follow:
- You may retain records in any format or media you desire. You do not need both hardcopy and electronic.
2. You may use a spreadsheet matrix.
3. Retention times are your determination. Consult with the corporate attorney as to any requirements from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to protect yourself if there is a lawsuit (assuming your organization is located in the United States).
4. Check with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding requirements for these records. These are outside the scope of ISO 9001.
Voting member of the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 176 – Quality Management and Quality Assurance
Browse the articles below, or find more open access articles and resources about documentation practices in ASQ Knowledge Center search results.
Geometrica Builds ISO 9001 QMS on Wiki, ASQ Knowledge Center
Geometrica, a manufacturer of domes and free-style structures, used a wiki to document its ISO 9001:2008 quality management system. The company attributes its fast track to certification—nine months from beginning to certification—to the ease and efficiency of wikis. Read the case study.
Consultants’ Style: Sometimes Less Is More, Quality Progress
Many small to medium sized organizations hire consultants to help them attain ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 registration. Consultants who base their advice on the organization’s existing practices and do less documentation are usually more effective. Ten companies share their experiences. Read the article.
Explore the ASQ Knowledge Center for more case studies, articles, benchmarking reports, and more.
Browse ASQ magazines and journals here.