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  ISO 14001 And Other Environmental Specs
  Integration with ISO9000

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Author Topic:   Integration with ISO9000
Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

Posts: 4119
From:West Chester, OH, USA

posted 07 October 1998 03:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Quality Digest:

The Scoop on ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 Compatibility

Earlier this year, the International Organization for Standardization endorsed creating common elements in ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 to ensure greater compatibility between the two standards. To better understand developments currently underway, Quality Digest spoke with Oswald A. Dodds, chairman of ISO/TC 207 SC1, the subcommittee responsible for producing ISO 14001. Dodds also belongs to ISO's Joint Coordination Group and co-chairs ISO's Joint Task Group, the subcommittee-level body coordinating review and revision of ISO 9000 and ISO 14001.

QD: What prompted ISO's decision to make ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 more compatible?

Dodds: There are several drivers. Users of either or both ISO 9000 and ISO 14001, and the standards writers themselves, see the logic in a consistent approach: It will help them as well as potential users. ISO itself has formed the same view. TC 207 SC1 created its standards using TC 176's [the committee responsible for ISO 9000] standards as a model, and the two sets already are considerably compatible.

QD: Why not merge the two standards?

Dodds: Because the stakeholders are different. The ISO 14000 series also requires consideration of, and compliance with, legislation. Users expressed concern that a merged document would prove complicated. Some users don't want a merged document at all; others want the option to choose either or both, which isn't possible with a combined standard.

QD: Who is guiding this project?

Dodds: At a strategy level, the ISO Technical Management Board. At a TC policy level, both TCs and SCs. At a standards-writing level, the SCs, and at the detailed-writing level, any working groups or panels created by the SCs.

To ensure that things actually happen, the two TCs and three pairs of subcommittees have created coordinating mechanisms -- the Joint Coordinating Group, Joint Task Group, Common Study Group and Joint Advisory Group. The latter three will draft the jointly developed words, which will be forwarded to the groups redrafting the ISO 9000 standards.

The joint group meetings keep progress under review, while the J6 -- the leaders of the other subcommittees and joint coordinating groups -- pick up any problem issues and try to find ways of dealing with them.

QD: Have the committees established a deadline for completing this project?

Dodds: All involved are working toward publishing any improved standards by the year 2000. TC 176 has a published timeline that we're using to guide our discussions.

QD: What are the biggest obstacles to achieving compatibility between ISO 14000 and ISO 9000?

Dodds: I'm not sure. Drafting standards takes considerable time, but all involved know this. They also know users' needs and interest in seeing any new versions agreed upon and in print as soon as possible. We're therefore trying to meet these apparently opposing aspects.

Time is needed to ensure that the many experts involved in the revision and review processes are equally up-to-date and understand each others' positions and views.

QD: Will making the two standards compatible result in any major changes to either ISO 9000 or ISO 14000?

Dodds: From an ISO 9000 standpoint, that committee is better qualified to respond. From TC 207 SC1's perspective, it's too soon to be certain, but it looks like the process will adjust some of ISO 14000's existing language to improve the current edition. From the TC 176 documents I have seen, some changes are likely.

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