Whether you are certified or not, read on for some of the expected trends in the world of standards and certification for 2018.
If there had ever been any naysayers, “this is a waste of time” name callers, or hard-headed “this does not apply to us” kind of people, your time has come. If you think you are doing just fine without certification to ISO 9001, it is very likely that you are losing money through inefficiencies. More to the point, you have probably already lost a contract or two to a competitor who was certified, whether that was disclosed to you or not. ISO 9001 is the bare-minimum standard that any good company should follow, and for this reason, all companies should adopt it. Although it has gone through various revisions during the past 30 years, ISO 9001 is undoubtedly a mature standard, and so are the auditors. So fight it no more, get your team together and invest in getting a good, basic quality management system into your organization.
If your company functions in the oil and gas industry, then you know that requirement was the intent of the American Petroleum Institute (API) Q2 standard when it was created late in 2013. Fast forward five years, and today API and its auditors have learned how to audit and interpret this standard, and requirements for compliance and certification have made its way into many contracts. Yes it is occasionally a pain in the derriere, but in the way that many companies were functioning in the past, boy oh boy did they need that pain. Remember, no pain no gain! Your company, if it is in the energy industry, should get your team on the same page and stay ahead of the competition by implementing this standard. (P.S… large service companies are already doing it.)
Unless you have been living under a rock, you should be aware that the 2008 version of ISO 9001 is going away and you must upgrade to the 2015 version by September 2018. Unless you no longer wish to be certified, you have to do the dues and migrate.
No matter how small of a company you are, you just cannot objectively audit yourself. You do have several options, though: train more of your employees so they can become qualified auditors, outsource your internal audits, or if push comes to shove, rescind your certificate. Yes, if you find this to be too cumbersome or costly, then don’t remain certified. There is a cost and effort to being certified, but that’s why you will be better than your competitor… right?
You qualify your welders, you qualify your painters, but gosh, when it comes to quality management, everyone seems to think it is child’s play. Well, it is not, and registrars are cracking down on companies who appoint internal auditors without proper qualifications. So come up with a combination of the training, skills, experience, and education that your company can agree on and sustain to qualify its auditors. Again, don’t forget you still have two alternatives, outsource your audits (to a qualified company/auditor) or let go of your certificate.
And speaking of auditors… Although there is some variation from auditor to auditor, there is no question that registrars and their auditors have matured in terms of the knowledge and interpretation of the standards. This helps preserve the integrity of the certification scheme and elevates trust, while crushing companies who rely on smoke and mirrors. Here are a few general trends expected for 2018:
Miriam Boudreaux is the CEO and Founder of Mireaux Management Solutions, a technology and consulting firm headquartered in Houston, TX. Mireaux’s products and services encompass international standards ISO and API Consulting, On-site and Public Training, Auditing, Document Control and implementation of Web QMS platform. Mireaux’s headquarters, located in the North West area of Houston, counts with a 6,500 square feet facility, which houses their main offices as well as their state-of-the art Training Center. Mireaux itself is certified to ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013.