Non UKAS / EA / IAF accredited certification bodies - Certification company QMS

B

Boing

#1
Hi all,

Recently I have been reviewing some of our supplier quality certificates and have come accross one or two that do not have the usual tick and crown (the UKAS symbol). The symbol they use is very similar (a tick and four square boxes).

After digging in a bit deeper it appears that this certification company (QMS) is not accredited by any accreditation body that is affiliated to UKAS via either the European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA) or the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), but is accredited by the International Accreditation Council.

One of the suppliers also claims to be Q1 registered without having TS16949 or QS9000.

As far as I know QMS provide a one-stop service where they write the manual and procedures and then audit the company against the documents they have written !

Has anyone else come accross this company or the accreditation body ??

And how valid / acceptable are the certificates...QMS claims they are accepted by a large number of companies including some very high profile automotive OEM's.

Any thoughts / comments would be very useful.
 
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Sidney Vianna

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#3
there is always a catch

Howard Atkins said:
A certificate is valid if someone accepts it.
This statement is simple, to the point and very wise.

Howard Atkins said:
In TS it says specifically 7.4.1.2
unless otherwise specified by the customer...must be third part registered to ISO9001:2000 by an accredited third -part certification body.
There is thus only one way round using a non accredited body.
But that is a catch here. Some of these "alternative" CB's are becoming a little more sophisticated and using an "alternative" Accreditation Body to "give" them some credibility. The INTENT of the TS requirement is:
unless otherwise specified by the customer...must be third part registered to ISO9001:2000 by an IAF signatory accredited third-party certification body.
 
#4
Boing said:
As far as I know QMS provide a one-stop service where they write the manual and procedures and then audit the company against the documents they have written !
Ouch.... That sounds like the (too) easy way out. I would be wary... I'm not very impressed by people getting their grades without doing their homework. Besides, there is no particular shortage of properly accredited registrars, is there?

Boing said:
And how valid / acceptable are the certificates...QMS claims they are accepted by a large number of companies including some very high profile automotive OEM's.
How nice. Then, no doubt, they will be prepared to provide examples? I would ask...

/Claes
 
C

chergh - 2008

#5
If it doesn't have the tick and crown on the certificate, for UK companies, then consider them as not being certified.
 
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B

Baldrick

#6
I know this company very well...unfortunately.

The company in question are well known to me, my previous role being in Supplier QA in a large company with many thousands of suppliers. When a critical supplier sent in an ISO9000 certificate awarded by this company, we rejected it immediately based on what we knew about them. When we explained to the (often distraught and/or embarrassed) QM or Managing Director of the company why we couldn't accept their approval, they were often taken aback at how easily and comprehensively they had been IN OUR OPINION duped.

I have to put this diplomatically - they are VERY CLEVER and VERY GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO. Their website is EXTREMELY CONVINCING. They responded to repeated criticism and rejection of their certificates by VERY CLEVERLY AND COMPLETELY LEGALLY becoming "accredited" to the so-called "Quality Accreditation Council", a relatively new organisation, based in Switzerland (which they describe as "The Home Of Quality").

You may wish to do some research on this body, and if you can find anything out about them at all (other than the fact that they are NOT recognised as an international equivalent to UKAS) then I hope this may help you to decide whether certificates issued in their name are worth the paper they are written on.

I would love to give you a more detailed personal opinion of this company, including details of some of the VERY CLEVER AND COMPLETELY LEGAL statements they make to clients about the value of the service they provide, but am unable to do so. My mother always told me that if you can't say something nice about somebody, don't say anything at all.

I believe that they are owned and/or run by a lawyer, which doesn't make it surprising that everything they do is both VERY CLEVER AND COMPLETELY LEGAL. You are quite right to say that one of the VERY CLEVER AND COMPLETELY LEGAL services that they offer is a one-stop service where they write the manual and procedures and then audit the company against the documents they have written.

Did I mention (for the benefit of the tape) that this company does NOTHING ILLEGAL?.....
 
#7
Boing
I afraid to say I've seen these people in action. A routine 12 month audit to IS9001 took 1.5 hours, including coffee. I had been asked by the customer to go in to provide "visible" support to the team as I was providing an inspection service then.
If I get a certificate submitted from a supplier from QMS, or anyone else not UKAS accredited, then I ensure a site audit is completed and an comprehensive report issued. And also treat them with extreme caution.
They do provide a "buy a certificate" scheme, nothing to do with quality.
Paul
 
B

Boing

#9
Thanx

Thanks guys for all your comments.

:thanx:

One of the other things that interest me about the supplier is how on earth did they manage to get Fords Q1 award !

From what I remember of it (i haven't had any dealings with ford for a few years now) it was a real pain to get !

I have actually gone back to the supplier in question and commented on the legitimacy and value of their ISO9000 and ISO14000 certificates and their representative is quite happy with their certification and commented "if it's good enough for Ford then I don't see why you have a problem with it !"
 
B

Baldrick

#10
Don't assume they're a poor company!

Bear in mind that a company that has been duped into going for non-accredited certification (or even one that has no certification at all) may be a perfectly good company with a solid, customer-focused and effective management system. There are lots of them out there.

The point is, if a company chooses to go down the non-accredited route, the resulting piece of paper means absolutely nothing. They may be a good company or a poor company - but their certificate won't help you decide one way or the other.

Some people, of course, argue that there is little or no value in an accredited ISO certificate, another argument we have had on the Cove. I would argue that accredited certification is certainly not perfect, but compared to a non-accredited certificate it at least gives you SOME level of assurance. And if you have thousands of suppliers, you will probably have to rely on third party certification as your only practical starting point (you can't audit them all to see for yourself, right?).

So it's quite possible that the company you refer to is up to Q1 standard (and possibly already compliant with ISO9000 and/or TS16949). They just can't demonstrate to their customers that this is the case. And that's why larger companies, with huge supplier bases, don't usually recognise non-accredited certification.
 
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