Timeline for Issuance of ISO 9001:2008 Certificate after Follow Up Audit



Good day!

I was new in the QMS post in the company. A month after I started (May), I found out that our ISO9001:2008 will expire in 3 mos time (Sept 16). I am not yet familiar with the company system and it was a haste. Re-certification should have been in June but we requested about it last July.

Here were the scenario:

(1) A minor NC was escalated in major NC only because we cannot provide the data at the time of audit (accessibility issue). It was escalated because it came from a Sept 2012 finding and was about to be a year (July 2013 Recert audit).
At that time, I wasn't very well aware of the detailed history since I just started. Tracing back, verification of this was not included in the audit plan of the certifying body early in 2013 during their surveillance prior to this Recertification audit.

Since we have this 1 major and 4 minors, they require a follow up audit for all NCs (Major and Minor).

We requested it in Aug 22 but due to typhoon, we had to reschedule last Sept 11.

During that rescheduled follow up audit, we were able to close the major and 2 minors. The remaining 2 minors remained opened just because our timeline of implementation and its check of effectiveness will be on October to November. (I am doing an overhaul of document procedure and re-training will start by October/November).

The thing is follow up was Wed (CB auditor recommended continued certification with follow up on some open items), but our certificate will expire this monday.

I called our CB today to inquire what do we expect if this is the case.

The rep said that their technical body needs to review it say for a week and further notice will be emailed regarding the certificate reissuance.
But prior to that, we will have that days/week gap and unfortunately, from her word, we cannot claim that we are still ISO certified.

Can you enlighten me regarding this gap on days before they can re-issue the certificate or any further detail I need to understand?

Further in any case, once they issue the certificate, can't we request them to date it near Sept 16 so we cannot have that gap?

I would appreciate your knowledge on this. Thanks.


Moved On
It's simply a customer service issue. It appears your CB isn't willing or doesn't understand how to expedite the processing of the paperwork. Have you asked them directly why someone can't walk it through the system? They may not have the initiative to ensure you are taken care of, so if the rep. seems unhelpful, then escalate it to their manager. We really can't advise you on the inner working - or lack of - at a CB. I'd suggest that this is what you are really paying for - customer service!


I'm actually thinking it that way. But would 2 days for technical review enough? Well our auditor said we closed our major.

The thing is I can't get to talk to our CB's Director of Certification.

Hmm, it's due today. I'd try to call again. Thanks.


Quite Involved in Discussions
It doesn't sound as if the CB is as customer focussed as an ISO 9001:2008 organization should be but that could be unfair. The thing I've learnt / was always taught is that the CB is your supplier. Yes, they have to follow the requirements of their own standards. Yes, they have their own version of a CB checking up on them. But despite that they have to be aware of what you, as their customer, need. In this case some form of assistance with expedition of the certification process.

I've been aware of delays to the re-certification process that resulted in gaps. In this case it was solely down to the CB's internal issues. They knew about it and issued 3 month extensions to their customers' certification period. I think they do have the authority to do this if the circumstances are right but I am not sure in your case. My concern is the minor NC that was from Sept 2012. Is that a long time to sort out a minor? Would this be enough to make a CB want to pay closer attention to the findings causing their delay? I hope you get this sorted satisfactorily and your certification continues unabridged.

BTW how common is it for the technical bodies of a CB to go against the recommendation of the auditor/lead auditor?
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