IAF-ISO JWG (Meeting of the Minds?)


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As ISO 9000:2000 inches its way toward becoming an international standard, companies already registered to ISO 9000 and those planning registration are closely monitoring the transition.

A joint working group (JWG) between the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) met on Sept. 26, aiming at making that transition as smooth as possible. The following agreements were reached at the meeting:

Registration to ISO 9001:2000 will not be granted until the publication of the new standard as an international standard. ISO 9000:2000 is currently in the draft international standard (DIS) phase; ISO Technical Group 176 plans to publish the international standard in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Registration body assessments to the latest draft of the new standard may begin prior to publication of the ISO 9001:2000 International Standard Assessing conformity to the latest draft (DIS or FDIS) may help organizations prepare for registration and take any necessary actions. To minimize costs, currently registered organizations may want to be assessed to the latest draft of ISO 9001:2000 as part of surveillance or reassessment audits for their existing registrations.

Registrations to the 1994 editions of ISO 9001, 9002 or 9003 shall have a maximum validity of three years from the publication date of ISO 9001:2000. Organizations with such registrations are encouraged to make the transition to ISO 9001:2000 as soon as possible. However, because ISO 9001:2000 represents a fundamental change in approach from the 1994 series, registration bodies may assess organizations against the 1994 standards for up to three years from the date of publication of ISO 9001:2000.

ISO 9001:2000 will require auditors and other relevant certification/registration body personnel to demonstrate new competencies. In the period following publication by ISO of ISO/DIS 9001:2000, accreditation surveillance will concentrate on how the registration body is managing the change within its service. In particular, it will focus on the competence of the auditors and other relevant personnel with respect to the aspects of the new standard that differ from those of the 1994 edition.

Registration bodies will need to take particular care in defining the scope of certificates issued to ISO 9001:2000 and the permissible exclusions to the requirements of that standard. Replacement of the 1994 editions of ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003 with a single standard (ISO 9001:2000) will necessitate the use of a very clear and concise description of the organization's activities that are included in the registration process.

"Industry expects that the introduction of the new ISO 9000 family of standards will be a coordinated effort between the developers of the standards, certification bodies and accreditation bodies," a JWG member announced while reporting on the first meeting of the JWG. The stated purpose of the JWG is to "establish common and consistent messages to ensure a smooth transition to the new standards."

For more information about the first JWG meeting and ISO 9000:2000, visit ISO's Web site at www.iso.ch or IAF's site at www.iaf.nu
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