ISO 9001 News Improving the Brand Integrity of ISO 9001 - Task Group of ISO TC 176

Sidney Vianna

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#1
The ISO TC 176 created a Task Group to tackle the "brand integrity" of ISO 9001. So far, in the working space designated for the TG, there are no publicly available documents. A recent article in the CQI Quality World magazine triggered a discussion in LinkedIn and I joined in, despite the atrocious platform that LinkedIn is for sensible discussions.

As this issue has been discussed for over 20 years, multiple times here at The Cove, I wonder if the minds that brought where we are can take us out of there...
 

Sidney Vianna

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The LinkedIn link that I posted resolves to a discussion in a CQI group. You might have to ask the group owner to be admitted, but as far as i know, they grant access to almost everybody.
 

Sidney Vianna

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The concern over the ISO 9001 brand. A 5-Why exercise to identify root causes and possible corrective action(s).

Remarks:
  1. We are talking about properly accredited certificates; not unaccredited nor pseudo-accredited certificates.
  2. The real users of ISO 9001 certificates are not the registrant organizations themselves, but the registrant’s customers.


Q. Why is there a concern over the ISO 9001 brand?

A. There are concerns that a significant percentage of SUBSTANDARD quality systems attain and maintain certification to ISO 9001 and, by definition, a substandard system should not be certified compliant against a standard. There is also a possibility of misguided expectations about what accredited certification should signify and represent. For, this we have to promote the awareness about the expected outcomes of what accredited certification to ISO 9001 should mean.



Q. Why do SUBSTANDARD systems attain and maintain certification?

A. Audits performed by certification bodies (CB’s) are not identifying significant issues that should de-certify and/or deny certification to systems that don’t consistently deliver on product conformity and customer satisfaction.



Q. Why are CB audits under-delivering on it’s expectations?

A. The lack of proper from registrants’ customers to CB’s channels lead to audits being performed without proper understanding of the customers perception of the certified system ability in delivering to their satisfaction. Commercial pressure, leading to audits performed without enough time and audit team’s competence to delve into the real issues that affect the certified system’s ability to ensure orders conformity to requirements and sustainable customer satisfaction. CB’s are focused on direct customer’s feedback, but unaware of their customers’ customers (the real users of the ISO 9001 certificates) perception about the value of ISO 9001 certification.



Q. a) Why don’t we have an effective channel that provides information to CB audit teams about customer’s perception of the certified systems?

b) Why are audits being performed without enough time and team competence?

A. a) The ISO 9001 accredited certification process does not mandate a channel whereby feedback can be easily provided and involved parties kept accountable, like the one established in the IAQG ICOP Scheme via the OASIS-based FEEDBACK LOOP. Many certified organizations don’t have effective processes in place to capture customer satisfaction and, even when they do, CB audit teams don’t use the data during the planning phase of their audits. The real USERS of the ISO 9001 certificates are not the registrants, but the registrant’s customers. The accreditation process should, without a question promote communication channels so the USERS of certificates can interact with supplier’s CB’s in a way that such data can be used for audit planning and actioned during the registrant’s audits.

b) The accreditation process does not ensure that CB audits are effective in planning and conducting audits in a way that registrants’ customers feedback are captured and acted upon. Once again, most users of accredited ISO 9001 certificates are not knowledgeable about the accreditation layer of oversight and don’t know who and how to engage if and when underperforming certified suppliers maintain their accredited certification in good standing, even though, such suppliers continually fail to adequately fulfill orders and deliver on customer satisfaction expectations.

As can be seen from the above, in order to improve on the brand integrity of ISO 9001, the USERS of such certificates have to be better educated on the expected outcomes of certification, but also, on the roles of accreditation and certification bodies. Channels should be created to enable/facilitate continual communication between the USERS of certificates, the CB’s who issue them and the AB’s, responsible for oversight of CB’s. A possible approach is to emulate the IAQG OASIS feedback loop, a tool very much in use in the aerospace sector, which promotes accountability of all parties involved.

Obviously, this 5-why exercise was done without input from other people and certainly this is NOT the only root cause analysis for the problem at hand. Alternative suggestions are welcomed, as comments to the above, as well.
 

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