ISO Certification fraud? A company tells its customers it's ISO 9001 "compatible"



How could a company tell its customers its ISO 9001 "compatible" when it has ZERO intentions of ever getting certified? Wouldnt this step on someone's toes?

For the record, I ask this as a disgruntled ex-employee. Here is what they are claiming on their web site FAQ:

Is companynameremoved ISO 9001 certified?
We are 9001 compliant and have all necessary procedures in place, including a quality system that contains a formalized process and problem resolution format. As a result of this quality system, less than ½ of 1% of our products are returned.


Fully vaccinated are you?
Their verbiage (the word compliant does the trick) is 'legal'. This is relatively common. Most companies claiming 'compliance' do not plan to register. Nothing you can do. Their statement is not fraud.

Rick Goodson

Just a note regarding compliant organizations. I worked with a small organization (17 employees) that provide a sole source product to a large international organization. The small organization implemented a 'compliant' system to satisfy the large organization's requirement for 'ISO 9000" registration. The basis for accepting the 'compliant' system was purely economics. The small company had sales of less than a million a year. Registration would have a major cost impact on profit. They were willing to register but wanted to pass the cost on to the larger organization in terms of a price increase based on the third party registering body cost only. The larger organization decided that compliance was acceptable.


I have audited several organizations that have an extremely ISO compliant QMS yet, they have no intentions of registering the QMS through a registrar.
I have noted that there is a sort of trend happening with organizations who may model their existing QMS on the ISO standards yet, are unwilling, indifferent or see the registration process as being either financialy wastefull or, as has been said to me directly fraudulant.
The registration process has become so time consuming and wastefull for many organization, even becoming rather useless to existing business practices, which in many cases exceed the requirements of the ISO standards.

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
the $$$ cost of registration is minimal for small companies. Most < 20 souls would fall near $2000 initial and $1000 per annum there after. does it add value? for the most part that is registrar/auditor dependant. I like to think so, as that is where the majority of my business comes from. the "getting there" adds the most value.....continued disclipline for small companies is tough sometimes with out surveillance of some kind. When resources are taxed and no one is looking.....human nature leads us to change focus from system controls to shipping. for companies of that size the cost is often reimbursed/funded and always deductable...and 99% of the time would pay for itself almost immediately anyway if done right...SO I don't buy the excuse its too expensive.....Maybe some have been misled to think so?????????

John C

Rather than fraudulent, I would call it admirable, as long as they do it well and don't try to give the impression that they are registered. What I think is fraudulent is when companies whose system is far from compliant and who have no real intention to implement the system in the way it is intended, receive registration from 'compliant' registrars who are afraid to do, or incable of doing their job properly.
The fact is, that there is little or no value added by the registrar. If the company is keen to do a good job, they'll do it anyway and, if they are not, for the most part, they'll get away with it. So, all you get is a plaque and, if you don't need a plaque, then why pay out?
On the subject; I came across some reference lately, to self certification. It seemed a similar idea to the self certification for the CE mark but I have no details and might be mistaken. Has anyone any info on such a scheme?
rgds, John C

Rick Goodson


You have to look at the true economics for a small company. Audit of 1 day, plus follow up of one day in six months, plus book audit, plus auditor travel, meals, etc. The quotes came in at around $4,000. At a 10% net operating profit on sales of a million that is $100k. The owner's income is the $100k. Would you be willing to reduce your income by $4,000? The real issue is why wouldn't a large international be willing to pick up $4,000 additional cost since they want to add the additional requirment.


John C,
Called the non-registered organizations who use and implement ISO "admirable", I agree, the fact is becoming very clear to organizations that, registering a QMS is not necessary.
I have personaly been involved with organizations who use TQM type management systems and, verify the cost efficiency of the QMS by using auditors/consultants to audit using the value added aproach.
The bottom line for any organization is the $$$$$$$, this has always been the same, even before the advent of the ISO series of standards.IMHO I believe that auditors of quality may be expected to be able to conduct audits based upon quality and financial aspects to be of more value to the business process.
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