Meet the UK’s Peter Snowden, of Quality System Services (QSS) in Derbyshire UK. Mr. Snowden is sending promotional emails for his upcoming 2-day ISO 9001:2015 Internal Auditor Training classes while falsely claiming that such courses are mandatory per certification body (CB) requirements. In reality, CBs are disallowed from demanding anything not specifically stated in the ISO 9001 standard, and the standards says nothing about specific requirements for users’ internal auditors, and certainly nothing about requiring a “2-day” class from anyone, nevermind QSS.

Specifically, Snowden claims the following (emphasis added by me):

If you have updated  your system to the new standard, you need to be aware that 3rd Party Certification Bodies will expect your Auditors, both existing and new, to have attended a course focussed on ISO 9001:2015.

Our 2-day Internal Auditor Course provides comprehensive training in the Techniques of Auditing and ensures your auditors are aware of the new requirements in ISO 9001:2015 – EXTERNAL ASSESSORS WILL EXPECT THIS!

Snowden is an IRCA registered auditor as well as a CQI “Chartered Quality Professional,” and invokes both those titles in his email, thus dragging them into this. CQI and IRCA are sister organizations, and share a single “Code of Professional Conduct” which requires such folks to “always act honestly in all matters relating to the Institute” and “always act in a way which supports and upholds the reputation of the Quality profession.” Like its US counterpart, ASQ, neither CQI nor IRCA actually enforce this code, and it’s used largely as marketing material to entice people to join their ranks. So Snowden likely faces little risk of professional accountability for making false claims in order to sell his services.

Anyway, the controversy comes a little late, as the whole “ISO 9001 upgrade panic” is largely over at this point, and most companies that intended to upgrade their systems already have, with the rest dropping it entirely. But the incident points to yet another example of how CB auditors and consultants continue to fib to sell their services, and the oversight bodies that manage them do nothing about it.



About Christopher Paris

Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 30 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001:2015. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.