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How many fail ALL ISO 9001 registration audits - How many never make it?
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How many fail ALL ISO 9001 registration audits - How many never make it?
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How many fail ALL ISO 9001 registration audits - How many never make it?

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  Post Number #1  
Old 27th August 2004, 04:37 PM

Total Posts: 131
Question How many fail ALL ISO 9001 registration audits - How many never make it?

There is another thread regarding the success ratio of registration upon the First Audit. Presently, there are 42 out of 42; i.e., all respondents made it on the first try.

I personally know of more organizations that did not make it on the first try than otherwise, and added my ‘two hundredths-of-a-dollar’ to that other thread. But what I consider to be the burning question has not be answered, or perhaps, has not been properly asked:

How many organizations fail (major nonconformities cited) the audit, whether it be the first audit, and require subsequent audits? Better yet, how many never make it at all after several tries?

As far as I am concerned, polling here (Elsmar forum) to get the answer is about as significant as trying to determine the percent of the population that is overweight by sampling the runners in the Boston Marathon, if you get my drift.

Is there a way to get an idea of the number of failures?


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  Post Number #2  
Old 27th August 2004, 11:23 PM
Govind's Avatar

Total Posts: 560
I have not even heard or come across with any organization that failed the first audit or the registrar has to come for an additional audit before recommending for registration.

These incidents could have happened when the ISO standards were first released back in late 80s or after a Major Update like 2000. During these periods, even the auditors also have difficulty in interpreting the standard and try to be too strict. As more articles and papers are published on interpretation, implementation strategy, auditor/ Client organization gets more experience and this initial failure rate start to reduce rapidly and become very few.

Many organizations take a “Risk Free” Pre-assessment approach before the audit. Even the results turn out terrible; this will not affect the registration process. Many findings are exposed at this stage and organization has the opportunity to delay the Registration audit until they close the Major findings.

Iam not sure as to why you are looking for this data. However, if you had a valid reason, talk to your registration auditor, they may informally provide an approximate figure of this data.

  Post Number #3  
Old 28th August 2004, 10:39 PM

Total Posts: 130
The Hat Likely not to try

I have helped about a hundred organisations get certified. The only one that got a major on the first audit was one that had a pre-assessment where the auditor never left the meeting room the whole day-waste of time and money. We managed to fix the NC in a couple of weeks without a follow-up audit.

I think there are a lot of companies that go down the road of getting certified but convince themselves that they are not ready and never go for it.

The worst that can happen is that they get a major, know exactly what to do to get certified, fix it and move on.
  Post Number #4  
Old 30th August 2004, 08:58 AM

Total Posts: 131
The company where my wife works, and I prefer to not divulge the name, have been audited more than once to become ISO 9001 certified prior to 2000, and didn't make it. They have several locations, and all are certified, except the headquarters (guessing around 500 employes), which is where my wife works.

One of the engineers I used to work with, worked for a company that tried it, again prior to 2000, and had a major nonconformity (I don't know whether more than one) and never made it; although my friend did not know how diligently, if at all, they pursued it after the first audit.

The reason I am asking is twofold.
1. Attempting to convince a company (one guess?) that given proper effort, support, and envolvement, the company can attain and maintain ISO 9001:2000 certification. That is, they are (were) not the only company that did not get recommended upon the first audit, and that is OK.
2. Debunk several comments I have heard to the effect that the certification doesn't mean a thing - why everyone makes it on the first try, and you can even hire a consultant and a registrar that will guarantee certification.

In other words,
1. If indeed there are companies that require more than one audit, as I am rather certain there are, what percent of all audited companies do they represent, approximately?

2. Of the companies that have been audited but had major nonconformities cited, what percent didn't follow up to correct the issue(s)?

Again, I believe that conducting the survey among the companies represented in this forum is not representative of the population.

  Post Number #5  
Old 30th August 2004, 09:25 AM
Claes Gefvenberg's Avatar
Claes Gefvenberg

Total Posts: 4,952

In Reply to Parent Post by Ingeniero1

Better yet, how many never make it at all after several tries?
There must be at least one more category: It is inevitable that some organizations (for whatever reasons) throw the towel in before they reach that first audit. How many? We'll never know...

  Post Number #6  
Old 30th August 2004, 10:15 AM

Total Posts: 309
In Reply to Parent Post by Ingeniero1

Is there a way to get an idea of the number of failures?

I do not know the answer to that. But, not enough applicants are failed.

If failure was more common, the certificate might be respected more as it would then denote real accomplishment.

As I observed elsewhere, if a certificate is to be used by a customer wanting assurance that its supplier has met a standard, it is most disingenuous to provide one when there are issues outstanding i.e. CAs which deal with infractions of the supposed "standard".

The only right approach, IMO, is fail one part, fail the lot. You have not met a standard when you have not met some part(s) of it. The only honest alternative is to issue a certificate stating the applicant has met XXX standard with the exceptions of clause(s) YYY. But, in this day and age, what applicant or sales department wants to present THAT truth to its customers?

Since two of the most prominent arguments put forth years ago supporting the idea of "registration" or "certification" (call it what you want), were that multiple assessment would become unnecessary and the customer would have the type of assurance sought inferred by the certificate issued by an unimpeachable, independent "third party", there should be no other way.

But, considering present day needs and realities facing the firm, neither of those promotional arguments holds water. And we all know it.
  Post Number #7  
Old 30th August 2004, 10:53 AM
Carl Keller

Total Posts: 264
I have to question

I have to question the statements concerning the number of companies that "Fail" registration.

First, we have absolutely no numbers to support that a significant number of companies do, or do not fail their first attempts. Of the ones that do "fail", are the companies that have a "Major" and answer via e-mail or fax with a corrective action, followed by the cert being sent included in this number?

Second, the last actual number I saw concerning REVOKED registrations (passed initial registration, certificate later revoked) was over 47,000 certificates issued, 27 (that's correct, twenty seven) revoked, but admittedly, this was several years ago. This data (U.S. data) was provided by a publishing company that I had to BUY the report from.

Which brings me to a very good point concerning this:


ISO does not track them (I called Bienne Switzerland)
RAB does not track them (I called them)
ANSI does not track them (Yep, called them too!)
ASQ does not track them (no surprise there)

I am willing to bet that the number of companies that fail registration completely (Requiring a total re-audit) is almost insignificant (less than .5 of a percent)

Do I have data to back this up? No, and nobody else seems to either.

I think there is a very good reason that they (ISO/ANSI) does not provide the data.

If we, as one of the strongest Quality communities do not have access to this information, then we MUST question the integrity of the process altogether.

  Post Number #8  
Old 31st August 2004, 12:20 AM
Greg B's Avatar
Greg B

Total Posts: 831
Hi All,

Here comes the cynic. The reason you won't see the numbers is probably because they do not exist or will be bad for their businesses. These so called 'independent' certifiers are first and foremost in a business and their business relies on customers and if they do not (eventually) pass your company you are more than likely to try another company or give up. Either way they are going to dip out on revenue and that is NOT going to happen. Their KPIs will dictate that they must attract and retain business. As long as there is no legislation dictating that a company must be certified then registrars are going to be between the proverbial rock and you know where because business growth and professional pride are going to override the requirement to cancel certification or not certify at all.

Bring it on........I'm expecting it. (I might require help Randy)

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