False Certification and Collusion?



Dear Forum,

This might be considered as a "negative" question, but I'll ask it nevertheless:

Does anybody know of a (documented) case of false certification in which a certifier and a "certifee" colluded to arrive at a false certification?

I have read this forum with much interested and found some hints that some active members regard part of the certification procedure as "rather random" and of "knowing the right people". That sound to me a bit dodgy, but I haven't seen any real "hard evidence" supporting this. Does anyone know of an actual case in which a false certification was obtained through bribes or services in kind?
One documented case I found through this forum was the case of "Intertek". But this lab firm seemed to certify without a proper examination to reduce costs without the "certifee" knowing about it. Hence, I would not classify this case as one of collusion between certifier and certifee.

I am much interested in any response.

best wishes,


PS: Hope to have posted in the right forum

Al Dyer

Would a company going from being on the verge of decertification from a registrar then 6 weeks later being certified to QS-9000 with no majors or minors from another registrar count?

Of course I have no written documentation, just verbal verification of payments to auditors and a registrar that were forwarded to the R.A.B. to no avail. (No, I'm not surprised)

But that was another life and I'm feeling much better now!:biglaugh:

M Greenaway

I'm sure we can find corruption in all walks of life.

What does the original post hope to determine ?

That is happens - i'm sure it does.

Is it widespread - I dont think so.

Or where can I find these fellas !!!

Al Dyer

Originally posted by M Greenaway
I'm sure we can find corruption in all walks of life....Or where can I find these fellas !!!

I'm sure the one I'm thinking about will find all of us one way or another, sooner or later!:biglaugh:


How Close?

This might not be what you are looking for because it contains no "collusion", but I know of a company that received their registration prior to the registration audit. They didn't ask for it, but the auditor wasn't surprised by it.

Sloppy?....if there wa no corruption, then definitely!

We have to remember registrars employee people (including the auditors). People are prone to do three things:

1. make mistakes
2. get lazy
3. become "influenced"

BTW, as the Nations premier non-accredited registrar (david bradley registrar Extremely Limited, dbrEL – emphasis on the Extremely Limited), I just registered a company to BS-9000.



As seen in Quality Progress

The following was sent to our auditors, clients and members of the Board of Governors as a memo (discussed in the March 2002 issue of Quality Progess)--
In a recent speech to the (ISO 9000) conformity assessment community (registrars and accreditation bodies), the Secretary General of ISO, Lawrence Eicher made the following assertions, “We regularly receive complaints about certificates being awarded undeservedly to companies that have not been properly audited or about certification bodies (registrars) who offer to write the manual for the company and sell them a certificate.” He went on to challenge the community of registrars and accreditation bodies “…to weed out the malpractice and dishonest operators.” He concluded, “You need to police yourselves.”

Registrars seeking and maintaining accreditation must comply with the requirements of ISO/IEC Guide 62, and the Guideline document issued by the International Accreditation Forum. This document describes some of the activities which may be relevant to the statements above, and should be considered by any company selecting the services of a registrar or assessing the validity of the certification of a supplier. Questions may be directed to the Registrar Accreditation Board at 1-888-722-2440, or the International Accreditation Forum at [email protected].

ISO/IEC Guide 62 requires the following in paragraph 2.1.2.o “..the certification/registration body shall: ensure that activities of related bodies do not affect the confidentiality, objectivity or impartiality of its certifications/registrations and shall not offer or provide 1)those services that it certifies/registers others to perform, 2) consulting services to obtain or maintain certification/registration, 3) services to design, implement or maintain quality systems.”

The IAF Guidance on the Application of ISO/IEC Guide 62:1996 states:
G2.1.25. Activities under clause 2.1.2o) of ISO/IEC Guide 62 by a related body and certification/
registration should never be marketed together and nothing should ever be stated in marketing material or presentation, written or oral, to give the impression that the two activities are linked. It is the duty of the certification/registration body to ensure that none of its clients is given the impression that the use of such activities and certification/registration would bring any business advantage to the client so that the certification/registration remains, and is seen to remain, impartial.
G2.1.26. Nothing should be said by a certification/registration body that would suggest that certification/registration would be simpler, easier or less expensive if any specified consultancy or training services were used.
G2.1.27 A related body, as referred to in clause 2.1.2o) of ISO/IEC Guide 62, is one which is linked to the certification/registration body by common ownership or directors, contractual arrangement, common elements in the name, informal understanding or other means such that the related body has a vested interest in the outcome of an assessment or has a potential ability to influence the outcome of an assessment.

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource

NOTE: Jim Wade has been PERMANENTLY BANNED from this forum because of his continual disruptions in the forums. Do NOT patronize Jim Wade for anything... Or... Do so at your OWN RISK.

Quotes from Jim Wade's 'article':
1. Adopting the party line that ISO 9001:2000 is a first step and that continual improvement comes later with ISO 9004:2000 is a huge cop-out.

2. Finally, consider this: the ISO 9000:2000 series claims to be a much tougher principles-driven set of standards, requiring new behaviours and knowledge from senior management. Taking on board this knowledge and making such behavioural changes will, as we all know, take a long time. Does it not then follow that some significant percentage of currently registered organizations will initially fail to qualify for an ISO 9001:2000 certificate?
Therefore, we must expect that the proper, good practice deployment of ISO 9001:2000 will result in a (hopefully temporary) marked reduction in the number of ISO 9000 certificates issued. But will the facts reflect this expectation?



I'm bothered by the above quotes on some level, but I'm not sure that I can explain exactly why yet. Maybe I took them the wrong way? I gotta run soon (other work to do!), but I wanted to make a few quick, off the cuff remarks and check back later to see if I'm all wet or what.

As far as comment #1, when the company I'm working for (not on the leading edge) finally decides (owner's decision) to pursue 9001:2000, I figure we will do it exactly that way -- use 9001:2000 as the first step and then use 9004:2000 as an improvement guide or source of ideas for the next steps. But you say that's a cop out. I thought the journey of 1000 miles began with a single step. How many organizations can, or want to, go straight to 9004:2000 as the first step? (Boy, I could think of a dozen good poll questions in this area).

On comment #2: I can imagine the loss of a certificate to some companies who have trouble transitioning from 1994 to 2000 could cost those companies (especially small ones) dearly -- perhaps enough lost customers to cause layoffs or cause them to fold entirely. Yet maybe the company that loses their certificate actually does a better overall job serving their customer than their competitor who keeps theirs, but the lack of certificate dooms them because of a policy the purchasers have requiring that piece of paper to do business with them. Yet your remarks sound almost cavalier -- too bad for them, they get what they deserve. As I think you've said yourself, the certificate does not necessarily mean better quality/service/value, whatever. Maybe after a rough week I'm just being too grumpy?

Mike S.

Randy Stewart

A very close friend of mine here in Michigan was working as the QS coordinator of a rather large and successful company a few years ago. He was stalemated trying to implement what was needed to achieve registration and implement a Quality System. Nevertheless they scheduled an audit and ended up being recommended for registration. The next time I talked to him he was looking for a job so I questioned what had happened. The day the auditors arrived the management team met them with Stanley Cup tickets (Finals at Joe Louis against Philly) in the company box. He left because it would be way too much work to try and maintain a nonexisting system.
So yes it does happen, but as much as I dislike the registration system, I will say I truely believe this is a very rare occasion.


Not so grumpy!

Mike S.

You have the same reaction I had to Jim's article. We, as Managers, cannot control what the Company decides to do on ISO Certification. Jim and I find ourselves at odds because he has a vision for the best way to get the most out of ISO 9000. Me? I couldn't agree more that a company should live to the 8 principles all the time, not just before audits. But, we do not have that choice or decision to make. The CEO's and Company Presidents are not visiting the Cove and could care less about the "out of the box" thinking of Jim. If I were to mention some of these ideas during one of our Steering Committee Meetings, they would definitely restrict my Internet access privileges.

I also see some things in there that I feel were influenced by your participation in the Cove. While you give credit to your own members, I can understand that it is improper to mention another site. Nothing intended by that. It's just that some of the article is posted here in various threads. That's a good thing. So which came first, The Chicken or the Egg? Oh No. That's another thread.:ko: :smokin:

Randy Stewart

I might well have plagiarized, but I don't think

I can't say one way or the other Jim, maybe it's just that great minds think a like!!!!:D

We have had discussions similar to this article because it is a hot topic. I'm thankful to see and hear it's being looked at.

I think the article reflects a lot of the feelings and opinions here, but not that you based it on the cove discussions.

I enjoy the web and article. Thanks for sharing them with us.
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