Is the IAF drinking in the last chance saloon?

Paul Simpson

Trusted Information Resource
#1
Rumours abound in Tokyo that ISO is getting seriously annoyed about the standards of 3rd party certification and the damage it is doing to the ISO 'brand.' The rumour is that IAF have one last chance to do something about it before ISO step in.

Any thoughts, Covers?
 
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Paul Simpson

Trusted Information Resource
#3
On what basis does ISO think that 'ISO' brand is getting damaged :confused:
Simply when people get bad product / service from an organisation that is claiming to be ISO 9001 compliant (because they hold a certificate from a 3rd party) the buyer believes that ISO are somehow involved!

Hopefully we on the cove are aware that ISO play no part in the assessment and certification process but the average person in the street does not know. Hence ISO's concern.
 
#4
Rumours abound in Tokyo that ISO is getting seriously annoyed about the standards of 3rd party certification and the damage it is doing to the ISO 'brand.' The rumour is that IAF have one last chance to do something about it before ISO step in.

Any thoughts, Covers?
Yes, indeed, Paul........

I would hope that 'the ISO folks' would see that by emphasizing the role CBs and their auditors have had is going back in time and philosophy to the Quality Control era. Applying pressure to the people who check on quality never worked, did it. Indeed, ISO would be missing their own message of prevention vs detection......

Perhaps they'd point out that there is no balance in accredited training, for a start. There are no accredited 'Management' courses, even for a Management Representative! Clearly auditor training hasn't improved in years - the Lead Auditor course is pretty much out of step with anything an implementer needs to know to maintain an effective qms.......there should be more emphasis placed on the core of implementation and the qualifications of people tasked with it.

Certainly CBs are culpable in many ways. However, there's a lot more out there to 'clean up' as well.....
 
Q

qualitymanager

#6
Rumours abound in Tokyo that ISO is getting seriously annoyed about the standards of 3rd party certification and the damage it is doing to the ISO 'brand.' The rumour is that IAF have one last chance to do something about it before ISO step in.

Any thoughts, Covers?
And how would "ISO step in"?

As I understand it, 3rd party CBs are not required to be accredited. As such, 2 scenarios arise:

1. CB is accredited and falls under an AB, which (I expect) is subject to IAF rules and guidelines. IAF can use a "trickle-down" approach to change CB behaviour.

2. CB is NOT accredited. It is not subject to any external rules, unless there are legal requirements.

In neither scenario above does the CB have any contractual relationship with ISO.

How is ISO going to effect change in CB behaviour when they may not even know who all the CBs are?
 

Paul Simpson

Trusted Information Resource
#7
OK, Devil's advocate here! If the 3rd party CBs were doing their jobs then companies who hadn't invested in training of their management reps. For example by making them become full members of an appropriate Institute ;) wouldn't get to be certified in the first place.

I never liked to have to resort to it but in the event of a quality problem in the marketplace the first job was containment (stopping any more non-conforming product getting out there) and then sorting through existing stock to sort good from bad.

Is 3rd party certification so different?
 

Paul Simpson

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Good questions all! Let me start off by saying I don't know.

As I mentioned these are all rumours at this stage - but I'll have a go! :D
And how would "ISO step in"?

As I understand it, 3rd party CBs are not required to be accredited. As such, 2 scenarios arise:

1. CB is accredited and falls under an AB, which (I expect) is subject to IAF rules and guidelines. IAF can use a "trickle-down" approach to change CB behaviour.
ISO could take over the right for accreditation bodies to accredit CBs to ISO 9001, 14001 etc. Their right would be exercised through copyright / trademark (see below). Bear in mind ISO / IEC 'owns' all the conformity assessment standards (17000 series) as well.

2. CB is NOT accredited. It is not subject to any external rules, unless there are legal requirements.
If ISO chooses to enforce its copyright it should (?) be able to prevent unapproved organisations from using copyright text and any trademarks ISO has.

In neither scenario above does the CB have any contractual relationship with ISO.

How is ISO going to effect change in CB behaviour when they may not even know who all the CBs are?
If ISO took over the 'approval' of CBs world wide there would probably (IMHO) be less confusion even than exists now.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#9
Simply when people get bad product / service from an organisation that is claiming to be ISO 9001 compliant (because they hold a certificate from a 3rd party) the buyer believes that ISO are somehow involved!
I understand why this is an issue. ISO 9001 (in particular) has for years been 'sold' to the public as a 'quality' standard. That's the association most people have. So - I get a 'bad' product from a company that is ISO 9001 registered and who am I going to blame? As people who are involved in this every day, we are the minority (to say the least) - The few who really understand how it all works together and what ISO 9001 is about (Say what you do and do what you say). We know the ISO folks simply write the standard. Most people (I'm betting) associate it as a regulatory body as well.

ISO 9001 does require certain systems, and ISO 9001 does require 'continuous improvement' these days, but it doesn't focus on product nonconformances. Nor was it meant to, but that's not how people perceive it. How many companies will buy raw materials and/or parts from a company based upon its ISO 9001 registration alone? How many of those companies require records of product nonconformance numbers from the supplier? If I was making a decision about a supplier I couldn't care less if they're ISO 9001 registered. I'd really be more interested in nonconformance numbers and on-time delivery.

Most people do not distinguish between a standards body and a regulatory body. And there is some logic to it. ISO (IOS, actually) is an organization which puts out a standard, so when a person perceives there is an issue with a product they look to the body which produced the standard. They will turn to the 'top' link in the chain. This is becoming even more 'linked' as the times are such that many people are looking to regulation (melamine in your milk, anyone? Or some nice, crunchy roasted peanuts?) to reduce or eliminate 'nonconforming product'.

I just went back and read all the posts so far in this thread. None of what is being discussed, in my opinion, will prevent "...bad product / service..." from a company. And how could it? ISO 9001 does not police nonconformances.

I bring this up because I'm not convinced it's simply a 'compliance' vs. 'registered' issue if the complaint is receiving 'bad' product.
 
Q

qualitymanager

#10
Good questions all! Let me start off by saying I don't know.

As I mentioned these are all rumours at this stage - but I'll have a go! :D
ISO could take over the right for accreditation bodies to accredit CBs to ISO 9001, 14001 etc. Their right would be exercised through copyright / trademark (see below). Bear in mind ISO / IEC 'owns' all the conformity assessment standards (17000 series) as well.

If ISO chooses to enforce its copyright it should (?) be able to prevent unapproved organisations from using copyright text and any trademarks ISO has.

If ISO took over the 'approval' of CBs world wide there would probably (IMHO) be less confusion even than exists now.
It could, but I don't expect it to:

The auditing and certification of management systems is carried out independently of ISO by more than 750 certification bodies active around the world. ISO has no authority to control their activities. The ISO 9001:2000 (and ISO 9001:2008) and ISO 14001:2004 certificates issued by certification bodies are issued under their own responsibility and not under ISO's name.
(my emphasis)

As for Assessing CBs (or anybody using any standard for that matter):

ISO itself does not carry out assessments or audits to check that its standards are being implemented by users in conformity with the requirements of the standards. Conformity assessment – as this process is known – is a matter between suppliers and their customers in the private sector, and of regulatory bodies when ISO standards have been incorporated into public legislation.
(ISO's emphasis)


All that having been said, I agree with you - if ISO were to start doing things outside of it's current scope of activities, it could be in a position to increase the degree of enforcement.
 
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