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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Another Successful Certification

Last week saw yet another successful assessment for a client. One of our proud boasts is that our clients pass the assessment process, and at the first attempt. Fortunately the assessment, which covered three days, was a complete success with only three OFI's (Opportunity for Improvements).

Our unbroken record shows commitment to our 'Quality Matters in your Business' slogan.

The environmental management system is harder to get than ISO9001 and differs from the quality management standard in that continual improvement must be carried out.

There can be no sliding back. The assessor made the point fairly well: 'You have set the bar at this level and the only way you can progress is to improve on it'.

It is a well-known fact that many organisations insist on 9001 and 14001 as an entry qualification for tenders. This client already has 9001 and now has added 14001. These two qualifications will allow tendering for contracts to be far more successful.

This client can also reap the benefits of ISO14001 and the three R's:

  • Repair - where possible, rather than scrap
  • Re-use – if this is possible
  • Recycle- ensure that waste is recycled
  • Reduce – energy and resource usage

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

New Auditing Standard ISO 19011- A Preview

The latest version of the ISO19011  "Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems" is due to be published next year. Users of this standard will note that the title, which was "Guidelines of quality and/or environmental management systems auditing"  now reflects the need to audit ALL  management systems, and not just quality and environmental systems.

Providers of Internal Audit Courses have concentrated predominately on Quality and Environmental management systems, but it is becoming clear that 18001 (the Health and Safety Standard), ISO27001   (the Information Security Standard), ISO20001 (The IT Service Management Standard) plus the automotive Standard TS 16949 and the Aerospace Standard AS9100  and many others are featuring more and more. These need to be audited on a regular basis.

Our own internal auditing course will be updated to reflect these changes, once the standard is published.
The new auditing Standard focuses far more on RISK, including the risk of not carrying out audits correctly, either through inappropriately defined audit objectives, insufficient competence of auditors or inadequate risk evaluation methods.

Competence of auditors in the Standards being audited features in the new annex A to 19011 and details the discipline- specific knowledge and skills of auditors for:
  • Quality
  • Environmental
  • Information Security
  • Resilience, Security, Preparedness and Continuity (RSPC)
  • Transportation  Safety
One revolutionary part deals with distance or remote auditing by video or telephone link.   A marked change and one recognising the use of technology to reduce travel times and maximise auditor resource usage.

Where sampling of systems takes place, e.g where it is not practical nor cost effective to examine 100% of the items, a representative sample of the population may be used to provide sufficient evidence that the sample is truly representative of the whole population.  Annex C provides an informative strategy for auditors.  This section also recognises that the  "Auditor’s nose" can be used to choose a sample based on size, selection, methodology and previous experience.  Where extensive sampling is required the Standard refers the reader to Sampling Plan Standards (e.g. ISO 2859)

And finally there is far more emphasis on the evaluation of auditors/team leaders to ensure competence, skills, knowledge and personal behaviour. 

This update is well overdue as the original standard was produced in 2002 and we can look forward to its publication in 2011.

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