ISO9001:2000 Interpretations - Year 2000 Change Easy Or Hard?


Fully vaccinated are you?
From: ISO Standards Discussion
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 12:21:02 -0600
Subject: Re: Year 2000 Change Easy Or Hard? /../Scalies/Naish

From: PNaish

To The List:

Charlie just made a good point about being the consultants welfare act. It is not how the individuals will interpret it as much as how the registrars and even the auditors will interpret it. I have been with 3 different auditors in the past few months. Each of whom has felt that the standard meant this or menat that in one section or another. Funny that it reminds me so much of the 1994 standard during its DIS.

There is no exact interpretation today and 2000 changes do not give the definitive answer that will save us all. I for one have spent many hours reviewing it and trying to see what it says. Having been involved with ISO implementations since 1989, I would think if it were that clear and straight forward I would be able to pick it up and know exactly what was meant. That is not the case. And from talking to auditors who have done the same they don't know either. But since no one has really been trained it is hard to say.

As to my original message I liken it to the interpretations of QS. There is much more definition as to intent in that standard than in either the old ISO or the new. And yet we are constantly faced with understanding problems. In fact from recent information, I understand a large number of the auditors who had passed the QS training and testing 3 years ago and have been working with it ever since are falling short in the new testing. Is that because the standard although more defined than ISO is still open to interpretation when it comes to applying the information.

I applaud some of the good changes that have been included in the standard. I think the idea of the focus is great. But I think that everyone is kidding themselves that a company who wants just a piece of paper on the wall won't still have it with no real improvement in their system.

QS has been around for several years and has many companies who are registered.

Some of them have peices of paper on the wall. And some of the worst offenders for not doing their part are the companies who instigated the diversion from ISO. They don't identify critical parameters and don't care if they don't have specified acceptance criteria. But their suppliers are expected to meet the criteria without the customer's meeting their side. So they do what they can. I have been in several client sites who have to plead and beg to get criteria from their QS customers but the customer are the first to point out any small deviation in their system.

By the way, I have seen several registrars who don't meet the ISO standard much less a QS standard but continue to be registrars. And I know of only one consultant who is regsitered and only a handful more who have any documented quality system. But we continue to drive the companies be they manufacturing or service down the path without thought to the effect on thier business.

ON with Y2K version so we consultants can get more work and keep ourselves busy for another 5 years until the next version comes out. (Which is another funny point since the standard are to be reviewed and updated every 5 years as I understood the standard. That must be another misinterpretation on my part since they have yet to get one done in the 5 years as per their procedures. Good thing they don't get ISO audited for following their procedures or they may get a major like some companies do when they are audited).



Fully vaccinated are you?
Not even registrars are consistent....


From: ISO Standards Discussion
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 14:34:35 -0600
Subject: Re: Internal Auditing Resources /../Hillyer/Whitcomb/Woodley


With my first registration, we set up an internal audit scheme that ensured that all sections of the standard (ISO 9002) would be covered over the course of the year. We did not show that all sections had been audited prior to the registration audit. There were no issues with this with the auditors.

With my second registration (different company, different registrar), I was informed up front (at pre-assessment) by the auditors that a full round of audits (all sections of ISO 9001) would need to be audited, plus all Corrective Actions (findings) from those audits closed prior to the registration audit.

Two different registrars with two different requirements. The second acknowledged that there was no requirement in ISO 9001 to audit the full system and close all issues prior to registration. This was their definition and they certainly didn't apologize for that, or other, extensions of the requirements of the ISO 9001 system.

I do feel, however, that we got an audit second time around that was much more well-rounded and focused on developing our business overall, not just getting registered.

C.S. Woodley

Jase Eyre

Couldn't agree more, Phyllis

It seems to me that you could establish a superficial QMS, take pot luck with a shonky auditor and get your registration without actually having a working quality system: You know the ones? Where the QMS exists like some kind of parasite on the Org, existing to sustain itself rather than its host.

Then again, you could establish an operating quality system that everyone in the Org is reasonably happy with, which works for the Org, fits in with other systems etc., etc., In other words, a viable, highly customised QMS...and still fail the registration audit. I'm sure you've seen these too: the registrar remains unhappy with the way this or that is put together, how something-or-other doesn't fit in with the way the auditor is used to. And so on and so forth.

The question is this: why do you want a quality system in the first place? Stuff registration. Unless you really need it to get business, I'd pick the working quality system over the scrap of paper any day. Put something else up on the wall. Like customer testimonials...



Fully vaccinated are you?
My understanding is the 'going rate' to buy a cert for a company of less than 500 souls is about US$25K.

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 23 December 1999).]

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
When you talk about registrars fees the range is outrageous. Had a client recently 300-400 3 RFQs for a 3 year was $16K higher than the next. The last was 4k lower than that. It was 3 sites.... all had local offices to the biggest of the 3 (within 100 miles) shopping around is beneficial if money is a factor. Might add each was equally as reputable....if any, the highest bid was the one with issues (my own personal opinion)

I have said many times, compliance is more important to the company than registration, provided the customer isn't driving it. then when the customer does drive it, its done......or they can come on in and audit themselves. Its a great sales tool, and some markets require it,,,,and thats one reason to register...but for self improvement/satisfaction if the commitment is there....compliance is sufficient.

[This message has been edited by barb butrym (edited 17 December 1999).]
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