Does anyone have any experience in changing their certification body (registrar)?

A

Adam Scrase

#1
Hello guys and gals,
Decided to post under my real name rather than some strange pseudonym.

Does anybody have any experience in changing their certification body ? After a number of complaints and conversations with various auditors and account managers we've decided to consider this action. We don't believe that we're getting any value from our six monthly visits.

So any experiences or opinions gratefully received.
Thanks :frust:
 
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Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#3
Conversion of accredited certificates from one Certification Body (CB) by another one is common practice, even though it does not happen very often.

I would suggest to you, before you move forward with your conversion, make sure that YOU and your colleagues have a clear understanding of what YOU deem to be value added audits. To many, including participants of this Forum, a value added auditor is someone that comes, causes the minimum amount of disruption, rubber stamp their system and leaves, as unnoticeable as possible. To others, value added come from a thorough auditor that will positively challenge your system, without being inflexible. Some auditors will question, for example, if you present quality objectives that do not have a correlation with business results or customer satisfaction. Some auditors will identify to you opportunities for improvement, inefficiencies, etc . . Some auditors will give you an impression that they work against you. Others will make you think that they are true partners and they also want your business to succeed.

Once you define your criteria for what YOU consider a value added audit, request proposals from several CB's, interview the auditors they could assign to you, talk to their customers (especially some recent ones that they might have converted), and ascertain yourself, as much as you can on issues of consistency of interpretations, appeal processes, access to enquiries, etc . . .

I am sure that many CB's would love to entertain your RFP. I believe that you will find that CB's operate very differently. Even worse, different auditors working for the same Registrar think, act and deliver differently. Some Registrars do a much better job of calibrating their people. Others use free lance auditors with no concern for the consistency and continuity of the audit program. Isn't that odd that for a business based on standardization, there is so much variation on service delivery?

Good luck in your search for a value added Registrar.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#4
That is your opinion, Jim.

And, I would have to admit the fact that, based on the present state of the 3rd party certification business, your assessment is correct for a high percentage of audits done, worldwide.

However, there are assessors that are very knowledgeable, seasoned professionals that can provide the assessed organizations a lot of value by doing thorough investigations. Let me offer one example. A couple of years ago, a lead assessor auditing the corporate Purchasing function of a MAJOR Aerospace conglomerate found out that the computer application, responsible for generating Purchase Orders, was failing to invoke several quality clauses, as applicable by commodity. That meant that aerospace components were being purchased without adequate definition in terms of process and quality system requirements, e.g., traceability to many suppliers. Nobody, inside the organization had caught the problem. Not even their internal assessors. This Organization identified the cause to be a glitch in the software, and upon fixing it, they realized that, had the problem be allowed to continue undetected, they could have found themselves in BIG trouble for failing to correctly specify the products. They estimated that, in the worst case scenario, it would have cost them between US$2.5 to 3 Million to rework incoming parts at their expense. And they were MOST thankful that an outside 3rd party auditor FOUND the problem and wrote them up. Names are obviously omitted, due to confidentiality reasons.

Do you have any idea of how many audits would it take to cover US$2.5 Million savings?

As an collective business sector, the Registrar community fails terribly in identifying on how we add value. But a few of us, do.

As mentioned above, in my opinion, most 3rd party assessors do not bring value into the process, but the same is true to consultants and implementators. ISO 9000 has been trivialized to a point that ANYONE can attain certification in a very short time. It is just a matter of finding the "right" partner.

Some of us bring value into the process. It is incumbent on the organization to determine of what value added is, and find an assessor that delivers it.
 
K
#5
Changing Registrar

I was at one organization when we changed registrars. The drive came down from above because of $$, not that there was any real disatisfaction with the audits. I interviewed several registrars and decided on one that appealed to me as QM and and appealed to the powers above $$-wise, not the cheapest. One thing that came out of the change that I was very happy with was that the new registrar (who shall remain nameless thought it is mentioned above) looked at things differently and identified a number of areas where improvement was possible. Made me wonder if changing registrars periodically might not be a good idea.:D
 
A

Adam Scrase

#6
KenS, in the past we've periodically changed auditors for the same reason, but that might in part be contributing to the problem. I don't feel like they're "supporting" me, and I'm sure they don't feel they are able to get any continuity to do their job effectively.

It's a fine line to tread - too much continuity and inside knowledge means auditors let you get away with too much. Just an opinion.

Thanks to all those that responded I've got some useful info.
 
K
#7
I was refering to changing registrars, different auditors from the same registrar seem to have very similar viewpoints (surprise?). Different registrars can have widely varying ideas of what is important, as well as differences in interpretation.
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
its done more often than you think

visit "imsworld.org"
Excellent registrar, and located in the uk

they have a good transfer policy, and excellent service. Their auditors are very comfortable to work with, and knowledgeable.
they are my registrar of choice.....
use my name if you like,

barb
 

Brian Hunt

Involved - Posts
#9
Re: Changing certification body

Adam Scrase said:

Hello guys and gals,
Decided to post under my real name rather than some strange pseudonym.

Does anybody have any experience in changing their certification body ? After a number of complaints and conversations with various auditors and account managers we've decided to consider this action. We don't believe that we're getting any value from our six monthly visits.

So any experiences or opinions gratefully received.
Thanks :frust:
Yeah - I've done it. For a telecoms company of 500 people. We were being audited by XXX but this wasn't adding any value and wascontributing to the belief that "quality gets in the way of business".

I selected a shortlist of two or three bodies and told them what I wanted from them. I described a process approach to ISO9000 and wanted them to look holistically at the Quality Management System and to both look for areas of improvement and identify internal best practice. My stand with the telecoms company was that these external auditors can be used as external consultants that will help us improve the business. I had half day meeting with each of the reps from these bodies and the operations director of the telecoms company. From this we chose one that showed they understood the way we wanted to work. Changing auditor was also a way of signalling a change in the approach to quality for this company - I'd just taken over as quality manager, and there was a lot of unhappiness about the way XXX were doing things.

Call me if you want more details - contact details on my website at www.sanguma.com

Regs

Brian
 
V

vanassm

#10
I am in a process of considering changing registrar. When my actual one (SGS) heared I might be considering changing, they CANCELLED my registration, claiming that they could not assure we still maintain our system. I filed an appeal to this decision, with copies to the Canadian Standard Council, waiting for an answer form any party.

Anyone heard or experience this kind of actiuon from their registrar?

P.S. I consider changing beacuse of the poor customer service of my registrar. Am I right?
 
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