Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the Oxebridge Q001 certification scheme.
Jump to: FAQ for companies considering Q001 certification
Jump to: FAQ for certification bodies / auditors wanting to issue Q001 certification
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FAQ for Companies Considering Q001 Certification
What is the basic path towards obtaining Q001 certification?
Companies must implement the Q001 standard, then undergo an official Q001 audit by a third-party certification body.
Do you have a list of available Q001 certification bodies we can use?
The official Oxebridge Directory will list the accredited certification bodies, but the site is not yet ready. For a current list, contact Oxebridge directly.
Why do you claim that Q001 audits will cost less than traditional ISO 9001 or AS9100 audits?
The Q001 scheme was designed to be more efficient, and to rely more on evidentiary records than spoken-word discussions and auditor interpretations. This, combined with the use of official Remote Auditing Methods, reduces wasted time during audits, and reduces the overall audit days required. The reduction in audit days, removal of travel expenses results in a lower overall cost for most user organizations.
Will the Q001 certification be recognized by industry?
Oxebridge admits this is the heaviest lift. It is working to have the standard officially recognized as an equivalent, or superior alternative, to both ISO 9001 and AS9100 certifications. This will take time, however.
Our company already has or is pursuing ISO 9001 or AS9100. Can we obtain Q001 at the same time?
Yes, but with three caveats:
- Your CB must be fully accredited by an IAF signatory body.
- Your CB must agree to perform additional “Q001 Bridge Audit” steps in order to ensure the Q001 audit portion is valid
- You will only receive an Oxebridge Q001 Level 1 certificate. (Levels 2 through 4 are only available from Oxebridge-accredited CBs, and only through standalone Q001 audits.)
Q001 Bridge Audi9ts may be conducted during any normal ISO 9001 or AS9100 audit event, whether an initial certification audit, a routine surveillance audit or a re-certification audit.
What is the difference between the Q001 certification levels?
Q001 Level 1 is a rudimentary certification focused primarily on the manufacturing or service delivery activities; it is a pass/fail certification. Only a portion of the Q001 standard is audited, so clients do not have to implement the entire standard.
Q001 Levels 2 through 4 are a scored certification, with the final Level determined once the audit is complete. The entire Q001 standard applies in such cases, barring any justified exclusions.
Can I change my desired Q001 certification level during the audit?
No. The intended certification level must be determined up front, and made part of the service contract with your CB. It cannot be changed mid-audit.
How are Q001 audits different from ISO 9001 or AS9100 audits?
See this training video. In short, Q001 audits include additional steps and required pre-defined minimum audit evidence be presented.
What is the Statistical Data Review?
The SDR is a mandatory audit step which requires the CB to verify the statistical validity and accuracy of your quality objectives, KPIs, or process metrics.
What is the Incident Investigation?
The II is a mandatory step in which the CB researches public-facing information about your company related to product recalls, disasters, scandals or other known incidents, and then expects you to have corrective actions underway to address them. This is not a moral judgment, but only an assurance that you are working internally to correct such problems.
What is the Customer Feedback Review?
The CFR is an optional step in which you allow the CB to contact your customers to gauge their levels of satisfaction with your company. Opting for the CFR can add points to your final score, and can result in a higher Q001 certification level.
What is the Deep Dive Audit option?
Clients may opt for the Deep Dive audit, which will be performed on-site and for a longer number of audit days. The Deep Dive option adds additional points to your final score, and can result in a higher Q001 certification level.
What evidence will I need to present during an audit?
The minimum required evidence for each Q001 audit is defined in Q002 Minimum Audit Evidence document, available here.
Doesn’t this allow me to “spike” the audit by preparing only good evidence ahead of time?
No. While the Q002 document defines the minimum audit evidence, the CB auditor will eventually select which evidence artifacts to examine. For example, if Q002 indicates you must have five inspection records, you must provide all of your records to the CB auditor, who will then select which five to examine. CB auditors may also seek more evidence, at their discretion.
Is there an appeals process if I disagree with the audit findings?
Yes, and this is included in the Q006 Certification Body Accreditation Requirements document, available here.
Will my Q001 score be published?
No. Only your final Q001 Certification Level is published on the Oxebridge Directory. The actual score remains confidential.
What is the Q-Number?
Every certified client and accredited CB receives an official Q-Number, tracing their information back to the Oxebridge Directory. This number is used to verify valid Q001 credentials from fake ones. Only Q001 certificates with an official Q-Number are considered valid.
Will my company receive a physical certificate?
Your CB may provide you with a physical Q001 certificate, which will include your unique Q-number for traceability purposes.
Can Q001 certificates be withdrawn?
Yes. In such cases, the Oxebridge Directory is suitably updated.
How long is a Q001 certificate good for?
Q001 certificates are issued for a period of two years. After that, a company must undergo a full, new Q001 audit. There are no “abbreviated” surveillance audits. This improves the overall validity of the resulting audits, while reducing long term costs.
Will the Q001 standard always be free?
Does the Q001 standard violate ISO’s copyright?
No. The Q001 standard complies with ISO 9001, but does not contain any of its text or copyrighted material.
FAQ for Certification Bodies / Auditors Wanting to Issue Q001 Certification
What are the requirements to become a Q001 Certification Body?
A company may seek accreditation by Oxebridge by implementing the necessary accreditation standards found here. These requirements are based on the international standard ISO 17011.
Are there fees related to acting as a Q001 Certification Body?
Yes. A Q001 CB would be expected to pay an initial accreditation application fee, an annual maintenance fee, and a per-certificate fee. Additional fees may also be incurred for training. Some of the fees are based on national Gross Domestic Product calculations, providing a sliding scale fee schedule based on a nation’s economic strength. During the initial pilot phase of the Q001 rollout, most fees are being waived.
What are the requirements for the CB auditors?
CB auditors must have completed a recognized ISO 9001 or equivalent Lead Auditor course.
Will my CB auditors have to undergo additional training?
Yes. All Q001 auditors will have to undergo a brief training on the differences between Q001 and traditional management system auditing, such as that for ISO 9001.
What if my CB is already accredited by an IAF member body, such as ANAB or UKAS?
IAF-matrixed bodies may offer Q001 Quality System Level 1 certification only through the official Oxebridge “bridge audit” procedures. An IAF-matrixed body that wishes to offer Q001 Level 2 through 4 with Honors, however, must undergo the full Oxebridge accreditation process.
Can my company issue Q001 Certificates without official Oxebridge recognition?
No. The official Oxebridge Directory will list the current, official Q001 certificates. Any certificate found in the wild that is not included in the Oxebridge Directory is to be considered fraudulent and may be subject to legal action.
Can Q001 audits be conducted remotely?
Yes, with exceptions. Almost all Q001 audit activities can be performed per the standard Oxebridge Q017 Remote Auditing Methods. If a client opts for the “Deep Dive Audit” option, or requests a Special Corrective Action Review audit, these must be conducted on-site.
Will my company need to hire a statistician?
The Q001 audit process requires a mandatory Statistical Data Review of each client company’s quality process objectives data. If the data is complex, this may require the use of a contract statistician. Oxebridge can provide a list of available, independent statisticians, or the CB may hire their own. The fees for the Statistical Data Review are expected to be paid by the client.
Is there a schedule for the required minimum Q001 audit days?
Yes. The standard Oxebridge Q007 Minimum Audit Duration provides this information.
Can a Q001 Certification Body provide consulting services?
To a limited degree. Because Q001 audit results rely on evidence scoring, consultants have a lesser impact on audit results. See the FAQ for consultants below.
Will my CB be listed in the Oxebridge Directory?
Yes. Each Q001 certification body will receive a unique “Q-Number” which it can use on any resulting certificates for traceability purposes back to the Oxebridge Directory.
What is Oxebridge “Authentication?”
While certification bodies issue Q001 certificates, each must be “authenticated” by Oxebridge before final release. This authentication process requires Oxebridge to confirm the audit was conducted by the CB properly, and that all requirements have been met. Oxebridge then publishes the certification on the official Oxebridge Directory, which is the only official source of valid Q001 certifications. If irregularities in the audit are uncovered, the CB will have to perform a re-audit at its own expense, or take other corrective action as dictated by Oxebridge, before the certificate can be released.
FAQ for Potential Consultants
Can I offer Q001 consulting?
Are there licensing fees for offering Q001 consulting?
Are there special requirements for Q001 consultants?
No, but consultants should undergo the basic training provided through the free Oxebridge training videos.
Will Oxebridge offer certification for Q001 consultants?
Can Q001 certification body auditors perform consulting for their audit clients?
To some degree, and this is covered in the required CB training. In short, Q001 certifications are issued based on the scoring of mandatory audit evidence. The Q001 rules allow a consultant — including a CB — to provide training and develop procedures, but not to produce evidence. A CB may provide a procedure for “Purchasing,” for example, but may not literally perform purchasing, or create purchasing records, for the client. During the mandatory Oxebridge post-audit verification process, Oxebridge will confirm directly with the client whether this rule was adhered to. fAilures would require the CB to conduct a full re-audit at its own expense.
Will Oxebridge offer Q001 template kits?
Yes. Oxebridge will be offering a free Q001 template kit, but one which will require heavy customization in order to be used. Consultants may assist clients in completing these kit documents, or may use their own.
Will Oxebridge dictate or control consulting fees?
May I distribute the Q001 standard to my clients?
Yes, provided the standard is not altered. Only the official versions released on the Oxebridge website may be distributed, and only if wholly un-altered. We strongly urge consultants and clients to download the official copies only from the Oxebridge website, to ensure they have the latest approved version.