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Sunday, 30 September 2007

Monitoring and Measuring Devices

Both ISO9001 Quality Management and ISO14001 Environmental Management systems require that devices used for making meaningful measurements or tests should be calibrated or verified before use. Any calibration must be traceable to a National or International Standard.

There is an increasing trend for small companies to purchase so called "calibration boxes" and do it themselves. While this may be adequate as a verification it cannot take the place of a proper calibration by a calibration house.

I have witnessed the level of checking that takes place during a routine calibration and in comparison with a quick plug in check shows how much risk could be generated by not knowing the level of uncertainty.

Some electricians and electrical system testers are relying on the calibration box to assure themselves that their equipment is accurate. This may not be the case and if (when) someone is injured or killed their Insurance Company may void the policy for the company and the liability would then revert to the directors/owners for compensation. This could mean seizing of assets, and at worst bankruptcy.

The small amount of money that is saved by the DIY calibration route may well prove to be an expensive option. In addition the loss of reputation and damage to personal pride in the job may well have far reaching consequences.

Generally, the 'calibration boxes' that are available today are designed to be used for a daily or weekly check of the proper operation of equipment. However, such checks should no more be relied upon as a demonstration of accuracy than you would rely upon a check of the dipstick to replace servicing of a modern motor car.

The message is clear: If you use any monitoring and measuring equipment that is used for making meaningful measurements or tests then have it calibrated by a professional calibration house to ensure that the risk is minimal.

Friday, 21 September 2007

ISO9001 Certification or Not

Many organisations put a quality management system into place but don't go forward to formal certification. This is usually due to the fear of failure and of course cost.

The advantages of formal certification are many:
  • An independent verification of the organisation's quality arrangements;

  • Formal recognition, that is accepted world-wide;

  • Continuing checks that the system is still valid;

  • Requires evidence of continual improvement.

Systems that are not formally certified tend to drift over time. It is often the case that the system will deteriorate and the people involved with the quality management system are so close to it that they don't actually see the downward trend.

Where formal certification is used there is always a degree of uncertainty about the regular surveillance visits: "What will the assessor find?", "Will he/she still recommend continuing certification?"

It is this regular routine that ensures that the system retains that edge and still meets the needs of the organisation.

When all is said and done, the organisation wants to see some benefits from a quality management system and this can only really be achieved by third party certification.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

ISO09001 vs ISO027001


What is ISO9001?

  • A Quality Management system for turning customer requirements into customer satisfaction.

  • Provides the mechanism for continual improvement.

  • A set of common sense guidelines for running a successful business.

What are the benefits of ISO9001 Registration?

  • Internationally recognised quality mark

  • Certificates awarded by independent accredited organisations.

  • Customers do not have to do their own checks on a supplier.

How many ISO9001 Certificates have been issued?

Over 1 million worldwide.

The Model for ISO9001

The Model for ISO9001

What is covered by ISO9001?

BS EN ISO 9001:2000 requires 5 main sections to be addressed, these are:

  1. Quality Management System;

  2. Management Responsibility;

  3. Resource Management;

  4. Product Realisation;

  5. Measurement, Analysis and Improvement

Each section is subdivided as required and covers all elements of the business having an impact on quality.


What is ISO27001?

  • An Information Security Management System for protecting customer information and data from unauthorised disclosure.

  • Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability

  • Risk assessment and management

  • Access controls and computer security

  • Protection of hardware and software assets

  • Business continuity management and disaster recovery

What are the benefits of ISO7001 Registration?

  • Internationally recognised Information Security Mark.

  • Certificates awarded by independent, accredited organisations.

  • 3rd Party assurance of information security credentials.

How many ISO27001 Certificates have been issued?

Under 4000 worldwide (includes BS7799 certificates)

The Model for ISO27001

The Model for ISO27001

What is covered by ISO 27001?

ISO27001 requires 5 main sections to be addressed, these are:

  1. Management Responsibility;

  2. Internal ISMS Audits;

  3. Management Review;

  4. ISMS Improvement

Correlation between ISO9001 and ISO27001

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

How long does it take to obtain certification?

This obviously varies from organisation to organisation, but the prime requirement is that the organisation must have three months of 'track record' from completion of the document set.

As a rough guide, ISO9001 can be achieved in about 6 months while ISO27001 takes about 12-18.

What documentation is needed?

A Quality & ISMS manual and procedures/processes for operating the systems.

Once certificates are issued what happens next?

The certification authority will carry out surveillance visits each year to ensure continued compliance.

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