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Response to ISO Press Release – various comments


QualityZoneWe have had comments and experiences coming in from all over the world. Rather than publish each individually, here are an anonymous selection.

I was recently told that, with most certification bodies, the only way that certification to ISO9000 would be withdrawn is if the company concerned didn't pay their bills! I'm inclined to agree. Provided that the system is basically there, albeit not in the most effective/efficient manner, and the usual bullshit can be peddled to cover your backside, most assessors I've met will overlook sometimes glaring inadequacies (such as no internal audits for 14months!!!). I also believe that there should not be a "routine" assessor for the routine assessments. Too many times, I've come away from assessments feeling that we've paid good money for an independent view of our system but the assessor concerned seems not to be particularly interested in actually auditing. Some of my customers quality engineers on routine supplier/vendor audits do a better job (in my view) than some of the assessors I've met over the past 10 years.

Other than that, the certification process is fine!

I am back home in the U.S. now after a year and a half in Pakistan. My decision to come home was due to the malpractice and dishonesty in the ISO systems being practiced in Pakistan.

My last few months there consisted mostly of me reaching out to businessmen and warning them that such malpractice would only hurt them in the long run.

The majority of certification organizations based in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are awarding certificates based on under the table payments and good relations. Hospitals are being certified, but no quality improvements are evident. ISO has basically become a money making scheme there.

Next January 10th, I will perform my last third party audit, I don't want to be associated with what is happening, I have personal cases of influence over me.

Company A had a pre audit, according to ISO 9001:2000, pre audit done by the technical director of the certification body. Result: two minor nonconformances. Two weeks later I receive the quality manual to perform the document review,
surprise the quality manual has no mention to processes. Result: another auditor was chosen.

Company B had not even one record of final inspection. I consider that a major nonconformance, an evidence of breakdown of the system. My lead auditor transforms the nonconformance in a minor "No records of final
inspection of the lot x" (that's true). Consultant company and certification company belong to the same international group, with offices in the same building.

I think it is down to incompetence, rather than dishonesty. Dishonesty would suggest that these people know the right way of going about things, but choose an alternative, why would they do that? It neither makes life easier for the certifier or the certified.

Also the standard is now even wider open to interpretation. My experience of asking assessment bodies on a certain interpretation of the new standard constantly get the response 'it is up to you' or 'it is your system' or 'we don't know your business, you do' etc etc.

Could this be the beginning of the end ?

Food for thought..... We are currently debating this topic in our discussion, click here to add your comments.


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