Archive for August, 2009

Accreditation vs. Certification?

Saturday, August 1st, 2009
Performance Improvement Solutions for Your Business Needs August 2009
In this issue

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Our newsletters provide guidance on operational and quality systems ISO 9001, AS9100, ISO/TS 16949, TL 9000, ISO 13485, ISO 14001, and others. This includes process improvement methods Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.

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Accreditation vs. Certification?
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Despite the fact that accreditation and certification denote different concepts, they are often used synonymously. In reality, however, the terms are vastly different, describing the end result of entirely different processes states Roger Muse, Director of Sales and Marketing for the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board.

More than a half-million organizations in more than 160 countries have already implemented one or both of these management systems, helping to make ISO a household name in many nations. The ISO member in the United States and seller of ISO standards is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Many of ISO’s standards include guidance on how to demonstrate that a product, person, service or system meets the requirements contained within a standard. How the assessment of conformity is performed-and by whom-can have a significant impact on the level of confidence buyers and regulators place on the assessment results.

In some cases, the supplier may offer a first-party statement of compliance. In others, the buyer conducts his or her own second- party assessment of conformity. Yet another option is to engage a third party that is recognized as being independent of both the provider and intended user.

Third Party Assessment

Among the several terms that have been identified for third-party conformity assessment activities, two rise to the top because of common usage:

  • Accreditation is a "third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks," as defined by ISO/IEC 17011 Conformity Assessment-General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies.
  • Certification is a "third-party attestation related to products, processes, systems or persons," as defined by ISO/IEC 17000 Conformity Assessment-Vocabulary and General Principles.

The hierarchy is structured in such a way that accreditation is one step higher than certification. Accreditation is reserved for those bodies performing some type of certification service. This might be an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited lab issuing an accredited calibration or testing certificate, an accredited certification body issuing an ISO 9001 (management system requirements) certificate, or an accredited product or personnel certifier whose responsibility is to certify a product. Accredited certification bodies are commonly referred to as CBs.

The Future of Conformity Assessment

It is estimated that standards and conformity assessment influence 80% of all exports-that means the dollars and cents impact in 2008 alone is nearly $13.5 trillion. These numbers have prompted businesses to leverage compliance with standards-whether design-specific, performance- based or management systems-to boost their competitive position while also providing regulatory confidence and protecting public safety. In turn, businesses are demanding globally accepted standards and globally accepted assessments of compliance.

ISO, along with a host of other internationally recognized standards bodies, is meeting the requirements for globally relevant standards, while accredited certification bodies are ensuring that organizations are compliant with those standards.

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In the News
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July 8, 2008: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) announced today the launch of ANSI iPackages (iso14000.ansi.org), an online tool that allows organizations to share, annotate, and personalize standards for internal use. The website was launched with six collections from the ISO 14000 series of environmental management system (EMS) standards.

Discussing "accredited certification" at a cocktail party isn’t likely to make you the center of attention. But depending on where you work, you may be able to stir up some interest around the water cooler. In the manufacturing sector, certification to management system standards is common, though by no means universal, and it’s increasing in other areas…Read the ANAB White Paper – The Third Party Process: Waste of Resources or Added Value?

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) is holding its 18th Annual Service Quality Conference on October 5- 6, 2009 in Long Beach, California. The conference theme is Service Quality: Surviving the Economic Storm. Walter Tighe, President of Sustaining Edge Solutions, is a speaker at this conference. The topic of the presentation is "Finding Lost Profits in Your Service Processes".

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) Audit Division is holding its Audit Division Conference on October 15-16, 2009 in Tucson, Arizona. The theme: Audit Revolution, focuses on the auditor’s role in achieving and reporting effective audit results to provide management with accurate data to make informed decisions.

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AIAG Web Page for ISO/TS 16949 Customer Specifics
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Organizations seeking or maintaining ISO/TS 16949 certification are required to comply with Customer Specific Requirements (CSRs) for all of their customers subscribing to ISO/TS 16949. Currently, there is no central repository for an organization to access ISO/TS 16949-related CSRs.

AIAG has developed a page on the AIAG website for ISO/TS 16949 subscribing organizations to post links to their Customer Specific Requirements. This will ensure the current revision level is available and communicated to the supplier and auditing community. To date, Delphi, Freudenberg-NOK, Magna Mirrors of America, Visteon, Timken, Automotive Components Holdings (ACH), and ArvinMeritor have established links on the AIAG website to their companies’ ISO/TS 16949 Customer Specific Requirements.

Overcoming the Confusion

A number of ISO/TS 16949 subscribing customers are currently listing all requirements, including commercial and engineering specifications, as part of their ISO/TS 16949 Customer Specific Requirements. Since there has been no guidance available for their development, these requirements do not adhere to a common format or content requirement. This has caused confusion in the supply chain as well among third- party ISO/TS 16949 auditors.

The AIAG Customer Specific Work Group developed this guideline for the automotive industry to apply when developing ISO/TS 16949 Customer Specific requirements. It is intended to provide guidance for suppliers at the Tier 1 level and below.

The guideline suggests a methodology to:

  • Align your Customer Specific Requirements to ISO/TS 16949 clause numbers; and
  • Distinguish and separate ISO/TS 16949 requirements from commercial/contractual and/or engineering-related requirements.

View the New Web Page

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2009 Baldrige Award Applicants
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A total of 70 Baldrige Award applications were received for the 2009 award. This year, the Award category breakdown as follows: Manufacturing (2); Service (4); Small Business (5); Health Care (42); Education (9); and Nonprofit (8).

The 70 applicants will be evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results. Examiners provide each applicant with 300 to 1,000 hours of review and a detailed report on the organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement.

The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence have played a valuable role in helping organizations of all types improve their operations. The Criteria are designed to help organizations improve their performance by focusing on three goals: delivering ever-improving value to customers and stakeholders, improving the organization’s overall effectiveness, and organizational and personal learning. The Criteria have been widely distributed since 1988, and last year, they were downloaded more than 1.8 million times from the Baldrige Web site.

The 2009 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be announced in late November.

Download a PDF copy of the 2009-2010 Criteria for Performance Excellence.

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Web-Based Training Courses
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We are now offering Web-Based Training Courses!

Benefits of training include:

  1. Maximize Your Budget – More affordable with no travel.
  2. Minimize Time from the Office – Training is self- paced.
  3. Higher Retention of Content – Increased material understanding.

The courses are offered through our Virtual University. View our current courses and others coming soon.

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Training Courses
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            training

To see the course description, schedule, and on-line registration click on the course title below. Courses are awarded Continuing Education Units.

Understanding & Implementing ISO9001:2008
ISO 9001:2008 Process Based Internal Auditor
Documenting Your Quality Management System

Understanding & Implementing AS9100B:2004
AS9100B: 2004 Process Based Internal Auditor
Documenting Your Quality Management System

Understanding and Implementing ISO/TS16949:2002
ISO/TS16949:2002 Process Based Internal Auditor
Documenting Your Quality Management System

Understanding and Implementing ISO14001:2004
ISO14001:2004 Process Based Internal Auditor

The Five Pillars of a Lean Workplace Organization
Continuous Process Improvement
Lean Six Sigma

All courses can be delivered at your company. Don’t see a course, location, or date that fits your needs?

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