UPDATE see below.

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has released a survey asking respondents about their views on the IAF rules for minimum audit days. These rules, published in IAF “Mandatory Document Nr. 5” (MD5) affect all ISO management system audits, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and AS9100.

You can — and should — take the survey here. It’s free, and doesn’t require any sign-ups.

There’s a caveat, which you knew was coming. The IAF has (so far) only released this to a tiny subset of representatives among the certification body (CB) and accreditation body (AB) community. This means, of course, that the IAF is only gauging the opinions of those the rules are meant to apply to, and not asking for the opinions of actual ISO 9001 or AS90100 user organizations. I’m opening up the survey myself, just because. The IAF will react in one of two ways: they will appreciate the flood of user opinions, or they will shut down the survey, proving they don’t care what you think. Let’s see.

The survey appears to be the work of Sheronda Jeffries, from Cisco, who is also the Director of the IAF’s “User Advisory Committee.” That committee, despite its name, has not done any work reaching out to users, but instead appears to exist solely to advise users after the IAF makes decisions. Clever. Jeffries has ignored requests to explain what exactly she’s doing on that committee, and what it has achieved so far given that the IAF’s logo is slathered on ISO certificates from companies recently found engaging in criminal, illegal or other nefarious activities.

So, again, I urge you to take this survey. It will literally take about 1-2 minutes. If you don’t, the results will be wholly skewed by registrars who want to justify doing less audit days in order to justify their low-bid practices. Try to be thoughtful, though, and not merely view this through the lens of wanting fewer audit days yourself, because you hate auditors. Think about what is useful and what would help improve the overall trust and validity of ISO 9001 and other certifications.

If you get a “no page found” error on the survey, let me know. The IAF will have sent you a message as to what they think about your opinion.

UPDATE Jan. 17, 2019: the survey has been shut down. No word on if the IAF did so because of too many users accessing it, or if they felt they got sufficient enough feedback from the entire world’s stakeholder pool after running it for only one week.



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    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.