11 Questions for a Purchasing Manager

Our second post of this series focuses on the purchasing of goods and services within an Integrated Management System or IMS.

The purchasing manager can heavily impact upon the company’s Quality, Environmental, and Safety objectives and targets, and is responsible for an area of business where an organisation will spend a significant portion of its money.

As such, the checklist below should give any auditor a solid understanding of an organisation’s current standing within the IMS standards’ requirements, and can guide the auditor to areas that may need further enquiry.

  1. Have you established selection and evaluation criteria for your suppliers including your subcontractors? (ISO 9001 Clause 7.4.1)
  2. Is this selection and evaluation criteria tailored to the different types of goods and services that you purchase? (ISO 9001 clause 7.4.1)
  3. Have you established criteria for the re-evaluation of your suppliers? (ISO 9001 clause 7.4.1)
  4. Do your selection and evaluation criteria include the actual and/or potential impact the goods and services will have or could have on the environment? (ISO 14001 Clause 4.3.1) 
  5. Does your selection and evaluation criteria include the packaging and transportation of the goods and services? (ISO 14001 Clause 4.3.1)
  6. Does your selection and evaluation criteria include the disposal of any of the packaging material? (ISO 14001 Clause 4.3.1)
  7. Does your selection and evaluation criteria include the end of life disposal of the product or service to be purchased? (ISO 14001 Clause 4.3.1)
  8. Do you keep records of these evaluations and re-evaluations? (ISO 9001 Clause 7.4.1)
  9. Do you have a documented procedure that covers the identification of hazards/risks for purchased goods and services? (AS/NZS 4801 Clause 4.3.1) (OHSAS 1801 Clause 4.3.1) Note: OHSAS 18001 requires a procedure which by definition can be documented or not.
  10. When risks have been identified, are they controlled using the hierarchy of control, eliminated as a first priority with personal protective equipment the last resort? (AS/NZS 4801 Clause 4.4.6.4) (OHSAS 1801 Clause 4.3.1)
  11. Do the people who are required to conduct risk assessments on purchased goods and services fully understand the risk assessment process that they are required to do? (AS/NZS 4801 Clause 4.4.2) (OHSAS 1801 Clause 4.4.2)

While answering yes to all these questions does not assure total compliance to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, AS/NZS 4801, or OHSAS 18001, it does pick up on some of the key aspects of an integrated management system.

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