Speech of ISO Secretary-General

E
#1
Here is a fragment of speech by Dr. Lawrence D. Eicher ( ISO Secretary-General) at the opening of the 17th meeting of ISO/CASCO. Nota bene, it was published on ISO official site.

The ISO Secretary-General said that the conformity assessment community was facing a serious challenge caused by a certain number of certification bodies which acted without integrity.

Although ISO itself does not audit companies and does not issue ISO 9000 certificates nor control the certification bodies that do so independently of ISO, these bodies base their business on ISO standards and guides. "Therefore, when certification bodies act without integrity, many people believe that it is ISO's fault," Dr. Eicher said.

"We regularly receive complaints about certificates being awarded undeservedly to companies who have not been properly audited, or about certification bodies who offer to write the quality manual for the company and then sell them a certificate, or about others who claim to have been approved by ISO. No one at ISO has ever approved such certification bodies."

Dr. Eicher said that ISO was concerned about such practices and that all conformity assessment professionals needed to be concerned too if they wanted to avoid being seen as "charlatans", concluding: "You need to police yourselves."
Don't you think it is a kind of provocation or may be it is an act of ISO standards promotion? In all cases it is a very strange speech.
 
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J

Jim Biz

#2
Wonderment??

I've read this post a couple of times now & what keeps comming to mind is:

The ISO body - writes the words - sets the standards - defines the issues that they are comfortable with - - yet turns at least a semi- blind eye to such a wide range of interpretaions that when anyone points out possible problems of what is actually being done -

They ask that certification bodies "Police themselves"

I possibly am thinking way off base here but --

Is this not a form of "we want accountability" as long as that accountability does not fall on us??
 
R

Rick Goodson

#3
ANSI issues standards also, but does not police the users. A company can select an ANSI standard and elect not to apply the the standard in the recommended method yet still claim compliance.

Isn't there a correlation between the ISO issuance of standards and ANSI issuance?

Rick
 
M

M Greenaway

#4
Jim

I wonder who has mislead who.

Was it ISO for the purposes of popularising the standard ?

Was it the registrars for selling their services ?

Or was it companies marketing departments to sell their goods ?

When you look at the history of the standard and trace it back to its military standard roots it begs the question 'was the standard ever meant to be a standard of excellance ?'.

I would argue that it was not created for this purpose, it was created purely for compliance for contractual reasons so that the customer (MoD) knew (or thought it knew) the systems that their suppliers operated. Obviously the intent was to assure quality, but the award of such a certificate was never based on an assessment of excellance of the product.

Unfortunately one of the above 'suspects' hi-jacked the whole thing and started making outlandish claims about what their ISO9001 certification meant - clearly this has lead to widespread dissappointment.

So who mislead who ? :confused:
 
M

M Greenaway

#5
Jim

So is it an inevitable conclusion that QMS certification will ultimately one day die ?

Or are there too many vested interests in the certification business ?
 
E

energy

#6
Possible demise?

First, the content of the posts from M Greenway and Jim Wade are excellent. My input here is merely to re-enforce what I have said in previous posts. And, I might add, been called out for my apparent disdain for the Quality profession. Since the advent of Mil Specs, the problem has always been the same. You question the reasons for adhering to a system that never guaranteed the product. It was always about controls. The strict interpretation, by some, and the reverence for, by some, of whatever Quality System was-is the fad of the day, always p-ssed me off. None of the bull*** made the product any better. Continuous (Product)Improvement was always done by Engineers trying to reduce costs, while increasing reliability. Smart companies always looked at streamlining processes to increase profitability while ensuring that their product was the best it could be. Yes, I still sneer at the experts who doggedly defend a System, because (I feel) it is mostly self serving. It's about their making money, not improving the way you do business. You should know how to do that. Use the guidelines, throw out what is of no value to you, utilize those things that are. Being forced to "comply" for the sake of a Certificate is wrong. But, until the powers to be (Customers) realize that they are being had, they will force their Suppliers to "go for it". So, this is how I make my money, too. I don't have to like it, just do it. I have a fondness for the MIL-Q-9858, MIL-I-45208, etc..You were source inspected, maybe had a Resident Gov't Inspector at your facility. No certificate to hang on the wall. No shopping around for Registrars. $$$$$$ Just contracts for more orders, as long as you met the requirements which weren't as subjective as they are today. The product was no better or no worse than what's produced today, in spite of all the "new" fads that have come and gone. JMHO
:ko: :smokin:
 
J

JodiB

#7
Have to agree

Originally posted by M Greenaway

I would argue that it was not created for this purpose, it was created purely for compliance for contractual reasons so that the customer (MoD) knew (or thought it knew) the systems that their suppliers operated. Obviously the intent was to assure quality, but the award of such a certificate was never based on an assessment of excellance of the product.
I agree, Martin. ISO 9001 is the standard used for the assessment of the QMS for certification purposes.

That's all it is for. It is an assessment tool with minimum criteria so that customers know certain business processes are in place to increase the liklihood of getting what they want. Meeting the contract.

The definition of Quality as used in the ISO standards: degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements. It does not address excellance of product. What is required is that the customer experiences satisfaction that his needs have been met, whether those needs are cost, reliability, or disposability.

energy, I feel your pain. And yes, business is in business to make money and, certfication or no certification, a company will try to do the best business they can. But I feel that certification is the easiest way to demonstrate to your customers that you have these most basic of business processes. Believe it or not, not all companies do!
 
M

M Greenaway

#8
Trouble is that when these companies get their certificate they herald its arrival with all kinds of pomp and ceremony, and make wild claims that the 'award' of the certificate demonstrates the high quality of their product, or the excellance of their business, when in fact it means no such thing.

Its a bit like throwing a party because your car passed its MOT, and declaring your car to be the greatest in the world.

Would ISO9001 have such popularity though if it were truthfully marketed as 'the basic minimum a company should be doing to offer assurance of the quality of its products - which doesnt actually necessarily mean that their product will meet your requirements'.

Probably not.

I think companies will always look for a badge of excellance to use as a marketing tool. Whether ISO9001 continues to be the main badge looks doubtful, but I am sure something else will come along and all those involved in the ISO9001 business will migrate to whatever else takes its place.

Are we doomed ?
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#9
I think as long as certified companies (and registrars) can snooker their customers into believing the certification makes their company somehow superior to those who don't have the paper not much will change. There have been a few big companies that bucked the trend and "self-certified" or did things their own way by picking and choosing from ISO 9000 but they have not started a landslide.

I liken having the ISO certificate to having a college degree. It (the degree) means that at one time you knew enough of the required knowledge and had enough of the required skills to pass the required tests. It certainly does not mean the degreed individual still (at a later date) has all of this knowledge and skill nor does it mean that the person has worked to maintain that knowledge or continue to learn more (continuously improve). Yes, he/she can show continuing education credits or more classes taken, but the bottom line is always performance. College grads forget (use-it-or-lose-it); I couldn't pass many of the tests I once took now!

Whether looking at companies or people, the performance still means much more to me than what piece of paper thay have. I would suspect most companies beleive this too, but they are trapped into looking only for degreed employees and certified vendors out of habit, the desire to "comply" with the norm, and because it is possibly easier than the alternatives.

Mike S.
 
E

energy

#10
Yes Sir

M Greenaway said:
Trouble is that when these companies get their certificate they herald its arrival with all kinds of pomp and ceremony, and make wild claims that the 'award' of the certificate demonstrates the high quality of their product, or the excellance of their business, when in fact it means no such thing.
We will have the Newspaper Reporters here and a banner that will stretch a city block. It will be in the business section of the Sunday paper for maximum exposure. After all, that is really what it all about, to our Top dogs. Perception. We just did it for LEAN. You would have choked on aroma of bull---- that was fed the reporter.
But, fortunately for all of us, ISO Certification isn't as easy to obtain as the "preachers" of currupt/false registrations would have you believe. No effort, no banner! No implementation, no reporters. No certification. No party. Blame? Oh yea!. :bonk:

:ko: :smokin:
 
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