The Best of Oxebridge

Get up to speed quickly on key problems facing the industry, and related reporting by Oxebridge, by skimming our “best” articles, chosen entirely by ourselves!

What A Better Third-Party ISO 9001 Audit Might Look Like… and Cost

There is much discussion over whether the current third party conformity assessment structure is effective for ISO 9001 end users and their customers. So let’s spitball a little… what might a more robust audit program look like, and what would it cost end users?

Forget FIFA, Investigate the IAF

With this week’s ruling by the IAF — through its cohort the EA — clearing UKAS despite overwhelming evidence of failure to enforce accreditation rules, it’s become evident to the world that the ISO 9001 certification scheme is meaningless.

IAF Clears UKAS in Response to Allegations of Gross Misconduct, Accreditation Violations

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has cleared the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) of all the allegations made against it by Oxebridge in a high-profile complaint filed in January. The Oxebridge complaint specifically alleged UKAS was in breach of its obligations under ISO 17011, as well as UK law, by failing to enforce accreditation rules on two of UKAS’ certification bodies, LRQA and BSI.

IAF Clears UKAS in Response to Allegations of Gross Misconduct, Accreditation Violations

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has cleared the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) of all the allegations made against it by Oxebridge in a high-profile complaint filed in January. The Oxebridge complaint specifically alleged UKAS was in breach of its obligations under ISO 17011, as well as UK law, by failing to enforce accreditation rules on two of UKAS’ certification bodies, LRQA and BSI.

Oxebridge Audio Series: Why Certification Body Auditors Are Terrible

From a talk given at a closed event in February 2015, this discussion looks at why ISO 9001 certification body auditors routinely perform poorly, and how the current lack of training, as well as psychological factors which arise during the audit experience, ensure auditors will remain poor performers. Includes steps which must be taken to reverse this trend.

Read ANSI CEO Joe Bhatia’s 2012 Testimony before Congress

In 2012 ANSI CEO Joe Bhatia testified before the US House Committee on Space, Science and Technology, and assured the Congress that all was well with both ANSI the organization and its’ two primary functions: standards development and conformity assessment oversight. As we know, both are entirely off the rails, and have been so for years.

How does ISO 9001:2015 Stack Up Against Deming’s 14 Points?

It’s generally accepted in the quality profession that W. Edwards Deming’s “14 Points for the Transformation of Management” are considered a revolutionary way to view quality, and have been successfully used in major manufacturing organizations. Yet ISO 9001 has never much embraced Deming’s 14 points. The new ISO 9001:2015 standard had an opportunity to correct this, but did they? Let’s see how the new standard stacks up.

US TAG Elections – A More Serious Look

Pressing for electoral reform within the US TAG to ISO TC 176 is a first step in fixing the institutionalized cronyism within ANSI’s TAGs, and to correct course on the disastrous ISO 9001:2015 draft due to be published later this year.

Let It Go, Let it Go – SN9001 is Dead

SN9001 was a cynical, craven attempt by the certification community to create a standard out of thin air, and ten dupe companies into paying for it. Fortunately, it didn’t work.

IAF: Training on ISO 9001:2015 Will Not Be Required for Registrars

The International Accreditation Forum will not require accredited certification bodies (CBs) to train their auditors on the new requirements of ISO 9001:2015 before allowing them to audit companies against the new standard. This comes despite some areas of the new standard which the IAF has deemed “significant.”

IAAR Presentation Leaks Insider View of New Accreditation Rules

In a presentation to the Independent Association of Accredited Registrars (IAAR), the VP of ANAB and President of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Randy Dougherty revealed a telling look at some critical details of the new ISO 17021-1 standard, as well as the sources of those proposed changes. The accreditation rules governing certification bodies (CBs) are undergoing significant revision by ISO/CASCO, and will replace the current rules under ISO 17021:2011.

Did BSI Certify BP’s DeepWater Horizon?

It’s early days yet, but it seems the venerable ISO 9001 registrar BSI may have issued a certification to the BP company that operated the doomed Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Worse yet, the audit is reported to have included physical auditing by at least one BSI auditor of the Deepwater Horizon rig itself, and the auditor raised concerns of the operation of the rig prior to the disaster.

Bransky, IATF Need to Address Takata Airbag Scandal

Every day the IATF doesn’t address the Takata airbag issue, name the registrar involved, and give a valid explanation as to how this happened on their watch, is another day that the ISO certification schemes descend further into disrepute. If Joe Bransky is willing to take credit for when things go right, he should step up and reveal — with honest clarity — what happened when things go horribly, horribly wrong.

Oxebridge Files Complaint Against Bureau Veritas Alleging Consultant Conflict of Interest

Oxebridge has filed a 14-page complaint against accredited certification body Bureau Veritas alleging that it failed to properly police marketing claims made by GreenBizCheck, an ISO 14001 consulting firm. Oxebridge alleges that BV was impacted by a financial conflict of interest, due to an exclusive relationship whereby BV provides special certification services for GBC’s “Gold – Silver – Bronze” environmental certification.

Move by CASCO Will Kill ISO 9001 “Registration”

The ISO Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) is wiping out a decades-old requirement that certification bodies (CBs) of ISO 9001 and other management system certifications must maintain registries of their certified clients. Upon publication of the new ISO 17021-1 standard, the term “ISO 9001 registered” will effectively be moot, since there will no longer be any registries of certified clients.

Quality Digest Columnist Slips, US TAG Isn’t Interested in Consensus

Over at Quality Digest, US TAG go-to toady and editorial favorite Denise Robitaille accidentally let the truth slip out, broadcasting the TAG's position on ISO 9001 end user feedback: All the wringing of hands and ongoing debate will not hurry the process or change...

Takata Airbag Debacle Raises Questions About TS 16949 Certification

The three plants were operated by Takata subsidiary Inflation Systems Inc. (ISI), found to have been manufacturing the defective airbag systems that killed five people to date, were ISO/TS 16949 certified. So far, the registrar hasn’t come forward, and finding records of the certifications is proving difficult.

The Path Forward: The Final Step in Improving ISO 9001

The “long game” towards improving ISO 9001 was never going to end without a few struggles in the middle. Whenever an entrenched incumbent authority sees change coming, the reaction will not be a warm embrace, so history tell us.

Oxebridge Submits Complaint to IAF Alleging UKAS Violations

Oxebridge has filed a 12-page complaint with the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) against the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), alleging violations of ISO 17011, the IAF Code of Conduct for Members, as well as violations of EU regulations and UK law.

More Examples of ISO 9001 Registrars Performing Overt Consulting

The restriction against consulting is routinely ignored by CBs, who provide unending “opportunities for improvements”, all under the direct watch of their Accreditation Body overseers, like ANAB and UKAS. In fact, CBs are now so bold about it, they include such “specific solutions” right in their audit reports.

Through CASCO, ISO Certification Bodies Write Their Own Rules

The accreditation rules published as ISO 17021 (for certification bodies) and ISO 17011 (for accreditation bodies) are published by an internal committee called CASCO, or the Committee on Conformity Assessment. Unfortunately, CASCO is comprised entirely of representatives from Certification and Accreditation Bodies, who tailor the rules to suit their own needs, often against the needs of standards users.