“Champion” Projects

championOver the years, Oxebridge has conducted many efforts to support the improvement of ISO 9001 and to advance the needs of ISO 9001 end user organizations. We call these “Champion Projects.”

Here are the current Oxebridge Champion Projects, followed below by our previous efforts.

Current Champion Projects

Call to Pause ISO 9001:2015 Development

Oxebridge is calling on ISO and Technical Committee 176 to issue a temporary pause on the development of ISO 9001:2015, to ensure the resulting standard meets the needs of all stakeholders and industry sectors.

Read more here.

Initiated: April 2013.

Status: Underway.

Management Maturity Model (M3) Standards Development

Oxebridge is in the early stages of developing  a proof-of-concept for an alternative to ISO 9001, tentatively called (formerly “ALT 9001”), which will enable participation across the world by all stakeholders. The hope is that by eliminating the need for standards authors to only come from national standards bodies, and by eliminating physical meetings, greater participation in the development process can be achieved, and the final work product will be better received by the world.

Initiated: 2013.

Status: As of September 2013, development has been moved to the M3 Development Council discussion forum. This will be followed by an online project collaboration website based on Atlassian Confluence.

Expose the Unaccredited/Self-Accredited Certificate Mills 

Unaccredited and self-accredited registrars are on the rise, issuing dubious ISO 9001 and AS9100 certificates to duped client organizations. These “certificate mills” do not follow any international accreditation rules, nor any auditing guidelines, and can even issue certificates without an actual on-site audit. They routinely certify their own work. Such practices are dangerous not only to the validity of QMS certifications, but present a possible physical danger to the public.

Oxebridge is attacking this problem by exposing such certificate mills in a series of articles called “The Indefensibles.”

The process has been damaging to Oxebridge, as the unaccredited certificate mill operators launch a series of pseudonymous attacks on external websites, accusing us of horrendous acts and even criminal behaviour. We’ve even received death threats. This is to be expected, when the certificate mill operators are those men and women who are comfortable issuing fake certifications for medical products, aircraft parts and even food inspections, without any care for the risk of human life they present.

If we can save a few lives by exposing these miscreants, it’s worth a little harassment.

One message to the mill operators: you can’t stop us. Something to consider.

Initiated: 2013.

Status: Ongoing.

Push to Stop Consulting by Certification Bodies

Accreditation rules under ISO 17021 prohibit certification bodies (registrars) from certifying systems where their employees also conducted consulting. While the need to maintain a strict firewall between CBs and consultants is obvious, registrars nevertheless want to breach that wall and conduct as much consulting as possible under the current rules. This, of course, is because consulting contracts are typically more lucrative than certification contracts.

Unfortunately, this means some CBs push the rules to the breaking point. Adding to the problem are the conflicts of interest inherent in the ISO 9001 certification scheme: the CBs pay their Accreditation Bodies, who are the same organizations tasked with policing the conflicts of interest. Faced with losing their CB clients, the Accreditation Bodies often look the other way, allowing the CBs to consult and certify at the same time.

Oxebridge takes a dim view of this arrangement, and fights hard to ensure that CBs abide by their contractually obligated rules under ISO 17021 and various other standards and international agreements. This puts us at odds not only with the world’s largest CBs, but also the Accreditation Bodies. But the fight is worth it.

Oxebridge is filing a number of high profile complaints to “test the system” and publicize when CBs break the rules, and publicly reveal the resulting lack of oversight by ABs and the International Accreditation Forum. It is our hope that by shining a light on these misdeeds, the industry may correct its course and return to a path of truly valid, and valuable, third party certifications.

Initiated: 2004

Status: Ongoing

Push for Equal Stakeholder Involvement in AS9100 

The IAQG and AAQG limit membership and voting rights only to aerospace primes and certification body representatives. This lopsided view has resulted in tangible faults and flaws within the AS9100 certification scheme, including the disastrous “PEAR” rollout, expansion of non-accredited AS9100 registrars, growth of bogus AS9100 certificates, and growing dissatisfaction with the AS9100 audit process by audited clients.

Oxebridge is pushing for the IAQG to open its voting membership ranks to AS9100 end user organizations, who bear nearly the entire cost of the AS9100 certification scheme, and yet have no representation on the appropriate committees.

Initiated: 2012.

Status: Underway, little progress made.

Past Champion Projects

10 Steps to Save ISO 9001

Citing ISO Survey data showing increases in the rejection rate of ISO 9001, Oxebridge launched a speaking tour and media blitz to promote 10 ways that ISO 9001 rejection could be reversed. The speaking engagements included presentations to various ASQ chapters across the US, the IAAR, the US TAG to TC 176, ANAB and large corporate clients. Copies of the presentation were sent to ISO and other groups.

Initiated: 2001/2002.

Status: Little progress was made. The presentation was met with a flurry of articles by ISO, ASQ and others which, while not mentioning Oxebridge by name, nevertheless attempted to dismiss the predictions as a marketing stunt. In 2003, Oxebridge’s predictions for “negative growth” of ISO 9001 certificates in the US came true, however. The effort has continued in various forms ever since, but has now been replaced by the current Champion Projects.

Countering “Traditional Consultants”

Oxebridge’s biggest disaster was to try to position itself in opposition of the bulk of what it called “traditional consultants,” especially when it came to defending its Rapid ISO 9001 Implementation Program. Competitors claimed the program was impossible, and Oxebridge engaged them head-on, showing proof and even providing client contact information so that critics could talk with the users directly.

Initiated: 1999.

Status: unmitigated disaster. Attempting to rationally discuss 40-Day ISO 9001 with consultants who could not achieve it proved impossible. In the end, it was about scoring cheap points rather than looking at facts, and Oxebridge bowed out. The discussion still rages on, fueled by one-sided posts on various websites, but Rapid ISO 9001 continues to prove itself with every client that chooses it. Sometimes you have to avoid a fight, and Oxebridge learned its lesson.

There was a bright side. Oxebridge has won many new clients who read those old posts and see through the competitor’s anger, only to wonder why so many consultants argue for charging clients to take longer to implement a QMS. Some things are worth riding out.