Is Third-Party Certification (Registration) on the way out?

Is Third Party Registration on the Way out?


  • Total voters
    23
L

lean_machine

#1
and not before time, given that it has failed totally to add any value to the ISO 9000 process. If you want to neatly expose the false premises on which certification is founded, ask yourself these questions:

1. How is it possible, in all conscience, for any company to implement ISO 9001:2000 without any reference to ISO 9004:2000, and for certifiers to fail to demand in their audits any evidence that this has been actioned and done?

2. That ISO 9001:2000, which encourages quality management as opposed to inspection-based quality control as the primary means for realizing quality, should itself rely on a system of third-party "pass-fail" inspections to provide verification and validation of supplier claims of conformity. The whole notion of third-party certification is one which has been grafted onto the ISO 9000 model - by parties who have a vested commercial interest in the outcome.

Certification has as much to do with quality as the man in the moon. The numbers tell the story - with only about 10% of the North American certified company base transitioned over to ISO 9001:2000, and many companies and stakeholders now openly questioning the certification process, there are new dynamics afoot. Its time this value-robbing concept was done away with and companies were left to implement the ISO 9000 model in their own way and use it for what it was intended - as a framework for managing quality and creating real and sustainable business improvement.
 
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Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#2
lean,

Welcome to the Cove. That is quite a first post! If I didn't know better, I'd say Jim Wade (another Cove member with whom you will be aquainted soon, I'm sure) changed names!:vfunny:

I agree with much of what you say as I'm no big fan of the certification game and have posted this opinion often, but I have to disagree with part of your first point. There is no requirement that I am aware of in 9001:2000 for either users or certification agencies to "demand" the mention of, or use of, 9004:2000 with 9001:2000. In fact, 9001:2000 says they "have been designed to complement each other" but they "can also be used independently". Perhaps the ideal situation is to use them both, but I do not see it as a failure of conscience for either users or certification agencies not to do so.

Again, welcome to the Cove. I hope to see you jump in and participate often.:bigwave:
 
L

lean_machine

#3
Mike S. - the consistent pair of ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 9004:2000 may be thought of as requirements (ISO 9001:2000) and obligations (ISO 9004:2000). Recognizing and committing to the obligations, while not required by certification, is, I would argue, necessary for developing a proper ISO 9000 QMS. Accepting the requirements without the obligations is like getting a cart with no horse to pull it. Show me one Japanese company whose management doesn't feel obliged to manage for quality. Therein lies one of the greatest weaknesses of certification - its focus only on requirements and meeting them. Cheers,

Lean
 
L

lean_machine

#4
Jim, I've seen that article from Anderson School. I don't dispute that some companies receive some benefits from implementing ISO 9000 quality models. What I would dispute is that third-party certification is a necessary and value-adding part of the process. In all likelihood, the companies in the Anderson survey would have received the same benefits even if certification had not been part of the equation. And the Anderson survey, as I recall, did not look at the long-term benefits - a must, in my opinion, when you are dealing with quality management, which has a prime objective of building sustainability.

If the benefits from certification are so clear, I wonder why the certification community itself seems to have such a hard time articulating clearly, precisely and quantitatively what they are.

My point is that there are other viable models for implementing ISO 9000 besides third-party certification. I don't see it in anyway as being necessary, value-adding, or even helpful. Cheers,

Lean
 
L

lean_machine

#5
Re: And in further news ....

Jim Wade said:

Did you know that - in the UK at least - BSI will sell you a Business Performance Improvement Review based on ISO 9004:2000?

Expect other registrars to follow suit.
Jim, I note that the BSI page you cited contains the following:

BSI Business Performance Improvement Review Certificate
On successful completion of the review, we will reward
you with a BSI Certificate. This provides recognition that
your organisation is working beyond the requirements of
ISO 9001:2000 and is performing in line with the principles
of ISO 9004:2000. Focus on Improvement, Business and appropriate BSI Business Performance Improvement Review


My intepretation of this BSI offering is that it is BSI's attempt to extend their services beyond providing a mere ISO 9000 certificate to providinge a "super certificate" if you will. Why is this necessary? Why could a company not go beyond ISO 9001:2000 certification without this "super certificate'? ISO 9004:2000 tells you everything you need to know and it even contains a self-assessment tool in Appendix A - which is all the BSI methodology probably is, except your paying for it (and the certificate). Cheers,

Lean
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#6
Re: Re: Third-party certification on the way out

Jim Wade said:


They compared business results of 350+ ISO 9000 registered firms with a control group of non-ISO 9000 companies

Broadly their conclusion is that "firms experience significantly better performance, after deciding seek their first ISO 9000 certification, than a control group of firms with similar perfoirmance prior to that decision".

I'll try to get a PDF of the article to post here.

rgds Jim
I'd love to read the article, Jim. I wonder just who was in the "control group". Did they have any QMS at all? Were they companies that were mostly ISO compliant but did not want to pay the $ and the hassle for the cert? I certainly agree a company with a good QMS will outperform one without a good QMS, but I have doubts that companies with the cert will significantly outperform those who are compliant without the cert. But I'm willing to look at the data and change my mind if I'm wrong.

Also, I wonder who paid for the study? Was it fair and unbiased or was the methodology rigged to arrive at a certain answer?
:confused:
 
L

lean_machine

#7
Jim Wade said:

Their figures (four measures for each of three SIC codes) cover a six year period, Lean.
The article looked 3 years both prior to and beyond the certification date. I think a flaw in the study is that it fails to distinguish between certification and implementation, i.e, would a company which implemented an ISO 9001/2/3:1994 QMS have received the same benefits as one which went ahead and had its QMS certified? By failing to distinguish between "implementation" and "certification", the study conveys the notion that the results were attributable to the certification process itself. An interesting study would be to compare the performance of two groups of companies - one group which has implemented ISO 9000 QMS's but not certified them, and the other which has certified them. This would show us the befits from certification per se. Cheers,

Lean
 
L

lean_machine

#8
Re: Re: Re: And in further news ....

Jim Wade said:

Lean, you are a cynic!

I can't tell you how much I value that attribute in a person. :bigwave: :agree:

But there is a clear and obvous problem with your proposal. If a company did as you suggest, BSI would get no extra revenue to offset their shrinking 9001 reg market.

rgds Jim
Exactly, Jim, and therein lies the problem - this new offering from BSI has probably little to do with helping companies mature beyond a base ISO 9001:2000 certification (for which they don't need BSI's help anyway); its all to do with preserving market share and revenue (for BSI) and creating another edifice which they can slap a certificate on to.

Given the latest report in QSU (Quality Systems Update) that "at least 10% of all auditors employed by registrars around the world may not be able to make the transition to ISO 9001:2000", and that there is an acknowledged paucity of auditors with the required BUSINESS knowledge to audit to the new standard, BSI may be a bit presumptious in suggesting that they can help companies move to a new level of business performance.
 
L

lean_machine

#9
Jim Wade said:

By the way, what is interesting for me in the article is simply the apparent correlation between implementing ISO 9000 and increased business performance. Assuming the study is legit, I may have to rethink at least a bit of my prejudice.
Jim, it does not surprise me that the study showed some benefit from implementing ISO 9000. To argue that it is a result of certification, though, is another story.

Read your article, and it is another powerful blow against certification, eloquently put. You have also hit upon the tragedy of ISO 9000 - that it does contain a useful and viable model for quality management and improvement but that it has been hijacked by the third party industry, and they have conned us into believing that certification is the only way to go.

BTW, regarding that BSI article, it also sounds very much like consulting - another dance routine the third-party boys have become expert at. Cheers,

Lean
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#10
This is from a while ago - I saw a bot spidering the page and thought - heck, why not a poll.

So - Going beyond whether ISO is value added or not, Is 3rd party registration here to stay? Or is it on the way out?
 
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