(Updated)

Contacts within ISO Technical Committee 176 have notified Oxebridge that the automotive and aerospace industries are considering dropping all connection with ISO 9001, citing frustration over a “lack of improvements” in the proposed ISO 9001:2015 standard.

Members of both the automotive group IATF and the aerospace group IAQG have confirmed that separate discussions have been held to consider “decoupling” the applicable standards, ISO/TS 16949 and AS9100, from ISO 9001, and from the control of ISO entirely.

In addition, a source within NASA has told Oxebridge that the space agency is also “very concerned over the lack of progress” made with the draft ISO 9001 standard, and they are considering a return to audits done solely against NASA requirements.

The US Department of Defense has begun ramping up audits conducted against its own internal requirements as well, although it is not currently clear if this is due to any frustration over ISO 9001.

According to one source, a session to consider sector specific concerns was scheduled to be performed by TC176 prior to beginning any drafting of ISO 9001:2015, but the session never took place.

In general, the sector representatives expressed concern over issues related to a lack of improvements in the draft standard, which appears to emphasize renumbering of clauses rather than adding new quality concepts. To date, the only significant addition to the standard is for risk management, something already addressed in AS9100 and TS16949.

Aerospace representatives also expressed dismay over a lack of improved process auditing requirements, although the rationale for this complaint is unclear, since ISO 9001 does not provide guidance on auditing practices.

Oxebridge recently published the draft standard for public comment, which is currently at the Working Draft (WD) stage. VP of Operations Christopher Paris has written to TC176 Secretary Charles Corrie, asking for a pause in development activities in order to allow time for considering the sector concerns. Mr. Corrie refused to acknowledge the request, saying ISO can only process feedback if it comes through “official channels” … “supported by your national standards body, which is ANSI.”

The sector representatives have already expressed their concerns to the US Technical Advisory Group (TAG), since they attend TAG meetings personally, and had hoped the message would be carried by Chair Alka Jarvis to Geneva. This has apparently not happened, and the WD is likely to push ahead to a Committee Draft (CD) without any significant changes addressing the sectors.

Ms. Jarvis and former US TAG Chair Jack West were both included in the correspondence with Mr. Corrie, who asked that they consider the request, but who have nevertheless refused to respond.

Contact information for TC176 Chair Dr. Gary Cort was not available at press time, but Oxebridge will continue to work to inform him of the situation, and to request his comments.

Update 04/10/2013:

Oxebridge VP Operations Christopher Paris is in contact with Dr. Cort.

An IATF representative has confirmed that the automotive sector is not considering full decoupling, but has “serious issues with the ISO 9001 revision.”

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Since 2000, Oxebridge has worked to improve ISO and related certification schemes by identifying problems and then proposing solutions. We report on issues affecting standards users because so few other news outlets do. Our belief is that in order to fix the problems in these schemes, we must first understand the nature and breadth of those problems. Our reporting aims to do just that. Elsewhere on the Oxebridge site you will find White Papers and other articles proposing ideas to correct these problems.

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