ISO 9001: 2000 Upgrade from QS after 12/15/03



I just had an interesting question about the following situation.

* Company is currently QS-9000 certified.
* QS certificate is valid through 2004.
* Not eligible for TS 16949: 2002 because they do not produce/service parts.
* Waits until after 12/15/03 expiration of ISO 9001/2:1994 to upgrade.

Can a company in the above situation get an upgrade audit to 9001: 2000 at a reduced number of days, or do they have to have a complete new audit, even though they are upgrading from a valid QS certificate.

So far we have asked three registrars and gotten three different answers. I'm not going to post the registrar names since this is 2nd hand information and I am not positive it is official policy.

Registrar 1: Must do a complete new audit at full audit days.
Registrar 2: Can still upgrade at reduced audit days.
Registrar 3: Can do a one day "assumption" since QS covers all 9k2k requirements (except possibly process interactions)

Anyone know the official RAB or registrar specific standing on this?


Trusted Information Resource
The rules the registrars have to live by are in ISO/EIC Guide 62. I reviewed Guide 62 and the guidance document for it, and the way I read it the registrar decides. Here are a few excerpts from the guidance document. First from Annex 2 that has the guidelines for auditor time onsite:
The total amount of time spent performing the re-assessment will depend upon the findings of the review as defined in paragraphs G.3.6.6 and G.3.6.7. The amount of time spent at re-assessment should be proportional to the time that would be spent at initial assessment of the same organization and should be about 2/3 of the time that would be required for initial assessment of the same organization at the time that it is to be re-assessed. Re-assessment is time spent above and beyond the routine Surveillance time, but, when re-assessment is carried out at the same time as a planned routine Surveillance visit, the re-assessment will suffice to meet the requirement for Surveillance as well. Regardless of what conclusion is made, the guidance in G.3.3.1 applies.
Then G.3.6.6 & G.3.6.7:
G.3.6.6. Reassessment is a requirement of Guide 62. The purpose of re-assessment is to verify overall continuing effectiveness of the supplier’s quality system in its entirety. In most cases it is unlikely that a period greater than three years for periodic re-assessment of the supplier’s quality system would satisfy this requirement. The re-assessment should provide for a review of past performance of the system over the period of certification. The re-assessment program should take into consideration the results of the above review and should at least include a review of the quality system documents and a site audit (which may replace or extend a regular surveillance audit). It shall at least ensure
a) the effective inter-action between all elements of the system;
b) the overall effectiveness of the system in its entirety in the light of changes in operations;
c) demonstrated commitment to maintain the effectiveness of the system.

G.3.6.7. If, exceptionally, a re-assessment period is extended beyond three years, the certification / registration body should demonstrate that the effectiveness of the complete quality system has been evaluated on a regular basis, and should have a surveillance frequency that compensates for this in order to maintain the same level of confidence. However, periodic reassessment shall be conducted, regardless of the surveillance regime used.
And finally, G.3.3.1:
G.3.3.1. Certification / registration bodies shall allow auditors sufficient time to undertake all activities relating to an assessment or re-assessment. The time allocated should be based on such factors as the size of the organisation, number of locations and the standards which apply to the certification / registration. Annex 2 provides guidance on Auditor Time. The certification / registration body shall be prepared to substantiate or justify the amount of time used in any assessment, surveillance or re-assessment.
From what I read, there is no hard, fast rule. I think maybe the last sentence quoted there is the key. They will decide what they feel is right - or at least what they can justify. :vfunny: The fact that you got three different answers doesn't surprise me at all.
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