Larry Caracciolo’s blog on ISO 9001 is running some good material lately, and his new post on what the CBs are saying about ISO 9001:2015’s “risk-based thinking” is worth a look.

We can conclude three things from the research of certain TC 176 documents and a sampling of available registrar brochures and guidance documents about “risk-based thinking”.

1) The registrars’ understanding of risk-based thinking doesn’t jive with what TC 176 has promoted and promulgated.
2) Registrars’ material and guidance documents don’t harmonize with each others’ perceptions and interpretations. Each has their own approach (or no approach!) toward the phrase “risk-based thinking”
3) “Explicit requirements” within DIS 2015 which mandate “risk-based thinking” do not seem to exist.

Read the full article here, at the Lawrence International blog.

This aligns with what I’ve been seeing. The CBs are clashing directly with TC 176 on this, and TC 176 has its head in the sand. For now TC 176 is claiming the interpretative superiority, but the CB’s are just ignoring — or sometimes outright defying — them. In the end, they know what we all know: the CBs determine the common, and often wasteful, interpretations of the standard by writing up nonconformities to anyone who disagrees with their view. TC 176 then rolls over, terrified to legal liability, and says “we don’t have anything to do with certification anyway.” So whatever TC 176 says right now is pretty much moot, even if they are the ones writing the standard.

The next set of battle lines will be drawn up when TC 176 finally releases its official ISO TS 9002 “implementation guide” which will have come months too late. The CBs will have already developed their interpretations, and begun enforcing them. Already some CB trainers are telegraphing that they have no intention of honoring anything TC 176 says in the 9002 guide anyway.

Still, it’s a good gig for the CBs. They get to sell special risk management training and seminars, and it’s not like TC 176 can do anything 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.