The website of the Chair of the 2019 ISO 9000 World Conference, operated by the American Quality Institute (AQI) is falsely claiming his consulting company bears AS9100 “accreditation,” among other ISO certifications.

Robert Freeman, owner of the consulting firm Practical Perspectives, declined to respond to questions as to why his company’s website lists four international certifications under the term “Accreditations” on his website: ISO 13485, OHSAS 18001, ISO/TS 16949 and AS9100. The current IAQG OASIS database shows that Practical Perspectives does not hold AS9100 certification.

It is unlikely Practical Perspectives holds any of the other certifications, either. ISO 13485 is for medical device manufacturers, and not consulting service providers; ISO/TS 16949 is for automotive manufacturers, and is an obsolete standard that no longer exists. OHSAS 18001was replaced by ISO 45001, although OHSAS 18001 certificates are still valid for the time being.

Freeman was contacted for an explanation but failed to reply. It is likely that Freeman is confused over the proper usage of the ISO and various standards “marks” in promotional materials, and intends to show that these are the services his company offers and not actual certifications the company holds. Even then, it does not explain the usage of obsolete standards, and raises concerns over how the Chair of the international ISO 9000 World Conference can claim expertise while not knowing the seriousness of falsely claiming AS9100 certification, or the difference between the terms “accreditation” and “certification.” Freeman also freely uses the official ISO logo on his website, something ISO prohibits and frequently takes legal action on.

Freeman is also a member of the US Technical Advisory Group to ISO TC 176, which authors the ISO 9000 series of standards. That group has a long history of controversial members, including its current Chair Paul Palmes, who padded his resume by adding over 20 years’ of ISO related experience he did not have. Despite the revelation of this fact, Palmes remains Chair.

Former TAG leaders, and AQI board contributors, Jack West and Charles Cianfrani continue to falsify their “interest category” listing in the US TAG group, listing themselves as “individuals” and not as “consultants,” despite the two being perhaps the most famous consultants of ISO 9001 in the world. West and Cianfrani recently insisted to Oxebridge that they are “retired,” but they continue to operate their consulting firms. The AQI website lists West as an active consultant. West’s wife, San West, is on the AQI central committee, and Jack West is the current conference co-chair.

Freeman is also listed as the head of the US group that contributed to the ISO 19011 auditing standard.

Freeman’s resume is, itself, impossible to verify as he lists no prior employers, yet claims to have worked as both a Plant Manager and Director of Quality. An earlier post by Freeman indicates this was a shared position in a single company, and not separate roles. The AQI website claims these were “senior level positions” (plural). Freeman also claimed expertise in “electronics (commercial and military), hardware development, food products, telecommunications, software, medical devices, machining, sheet metal, distribution, cabling, packaging, injection molding, coatings & resins, and media duplication.” These appear to be industries he’s served as a consultant, but his online bios make it appear this expertise pre-dated his consulting work, which began in 1997.

Because no prior employment is listed anywhere for Freeman, none of his claims can be verified.

The AQI committee faced controversy last year when it was revealed that one of its speakers had published over a decade of racially insensitive material; ASQ founder Sermin Vanderbilt later dropped the speaker, calling his publications “hate messages.” The 2017 conference Chair, Lorri Hunt, was criticized for calling ISO 9001:2015 the “biggest boon to consultants ever” in official US TAG 176 presentation documents; Hunt operates a private consulting firm that now offers consulting services on ISO 9001:2015.

AQI’s Vanderbilt has falsely claimed that the Oxebridge reporting related to its activities and members is an attempt at unfair competition; Oxebridge has never held an ISO 9000 conference, nor is it a conference organizer.

[CORRECTION January 7, 2019: the article was updated to correct a statement which erroneously claimed OHSAS 18001 was obsolete; in fact, the certificates are still currently valid through 2021.]

 

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