Quick Quality Tips
Simple quality ideas at a glance.
One operator’s staff has now got into the habit of using the note function on their smart phones to record hazards and issues. Whilst out and about when they see hazards and issues they quickly note them on their phones. They then, unless urgent, add these to the hazard/ issues log when convenient.
One method when numbering documents is to number drafts as versions 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3… and issues as 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 etc.
If using a date as a reference for an electronic document, writing the date in reverse enables an easy file name sort of documents in date order, 9th September 2014 = 20140909.
One useful tool is the use of checklists. A good checklist can ensure critical tasks are completed and act as a record to these being completed, if in the format of a form. They can also act as a step guide through a process. Outside the usual areas in aviation where they are commonly found they are an often overlooked solution in lieu of pages of instructions.
For example, a content checklist for a Safety Policy to satisfy ICAO Annex 19:
- Organisational commitment regarding safety;
- Clear statement about provision of necessary resources for the implementation of the safety policy;
- Safety reporting procedures;
- Clearly indicates which types of behaviour are unacceptable related to the aviation activities and includes circumstances under which disciplinary action would apply;
- Signed by Accountable Manager;
- Communicated with visible endorsement, throughout organisation; and
- Periodically reviewed to ensure it is relevant and appropriate (review when there is a change).
Sometimes found on audit, action tracking can be an issue. It is important:
- to highlight actions;
- to attribute actions to people;
- each action has a unique reference; and
- each action has a completion date.
So in a good set of minutes actions are clearly stated and attributed and it is possible to track actions through a series of minutes to closure.
Minutes may be referenced by meeting title, date and/or meeting number, for example:
- Safety Meeting, 27/08/14.
- Safety Meeting 21.
- Safety Meeting 21, 27/08/14.
- Safety Meeting August 2014 (if monthly).
Actions may be numbered sequentially through a meeting series or be a combination of meeting number and action number, so for example:
- 10/1 for the first action from Safety Meeting 10.
- 08/14-001 for the first action from the monthly Safety Meeting August 2014.
- SM001 for the first action of the Safety Meetings.
There are many ways to do this but it needs to work for your organisation.
Remember to ask: can you track the action? Is it unique?
Quality Management Key Objects
- Compliance – meeting requirements and following procedures.
- Consistency – repeatability and ensuring nothing is missed out (but if it is – for a valid reason – it is recorded).
- Error reduction/removal – application of investigation, test and review (performance, trends and incidents/errors).
And finally, a warning – Getting it wrong
A simple administrative error (which a good management system should prevent) can have huge cost implications – An airline’s management system once failed when the aircraft insurance documents failed to be placed on board the fleet. This then led to cancelled flights, hours of delays, crewing disruption, loss of reputation and a large bill.
A simple checklist may have avoided this costly event.
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The next issue, Winter 2014/15, will be focusing on Just Culture/Enforcement Policy so if you have something you wish to contribute or useful sources of information on this subject please submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org.