Dismiss Notice
You must be a registered member in order to post messages and view/download attached files in this forum.
Click here to register.

Is purchasing the ISO standard required for certification?

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by DaQu8, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. DaQu8

    DaQu8 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My company is currently working with an external consultant to get ISO 9001:2015 certification. The consultant has been working with us for about 5 months. A couple of us employees have "unofficial" copies of the standard, which were given to us by the consultant. I would say we are well-acquainted with the standard and how it applies to us.

    Anyway, the consultant asked me to buy the ISO standard and to add it to our master list of externally-provided documents. I, however, don't think buying it is necessary. Where in the standard does it say that the organization has to buy it? As long as you follow the standard, I don't see why buying it should be necessary. I guess the obvious objection is "How can you know that you're following the standard if you don't have it?" But my answer to that would be "We hired an external consultant who told us how to apply the standard to our organization, hence we did not have to purchase the standard."
     
  2. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    214
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Good day @DaQu8 and welcome to the forum.

    The short answer is, no, there is no specific requirement to "buy" the standard.

    However, your post raises numerous concerns...
    1- "Unofficial" copies of the standard violate copy-write laws.
    2- Copies are less than $200 US. Is that really a prohibitive cost for your organization?
    3- It surprises me that "do we need to buy the standard" would even be a question that is raised. Is the top management in your organization really interested in ensuring they and their teams are familiar with the standard? Is top management in your organization really interested in seeing the benefits of a properly implemented QMS manifested?

    Council:
    Be committed. Procure legitimate copy(ies) of the standard necessary for the appropriate individuals to have frequent access to/be aware of the requirements. If not committed to making the necessary investment(s) with the simplest thing such as purchasing legitimate copy(ies) of the standard, how is the organization going to prepare for the larger commitments that come with proper implementation of an effective QMS?

    Hope this helps.
    Be well.
     
  3. DaQu8

    DaQu8 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks for your response!

    The copies were given to us by the consultant; they are given for training purposes. I guess if someone violated copy-write laws it was the consulting firm and not us.
    It's not the amount ($200) that bothers me so much as the idea of unnecessary spending. The consulting period will be 6 months, which has given us enough time to be well-acquainted with the stardard. I don't see why we have to have the official version NOW.
     
  4. yodon

    yodon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    27
    I've had ISO auditors demand that the company purchase ALL referenced standards (which would have run into the thousands... and would have been a complete waste of money for a variety of reasons). It was a lively debate and, ultimately, no NC was written. There are some that, as @John C. Abnet points out would seem better to have than not (i.e., 9001).
     
    John C. Abnet likes this.
  5. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    335
    Trophy Points:
    62
    Whether or not your consultant told you how to apply the standard, you'll need it for internal audits and as reference for future changes to your system when the consultant is gone. Unless, of course, your going to pay that consultant to come back and do all that. I would suggest the standard would be cheaper than the consultant. Good luck.
     
  6. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2015
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    27
    Location:
    Mexico
    Even If it was a consultantĀ“s fault, you are using a prohibited material.
    On the other hand, first off, You decided , I guess for important reasons, to implement a Management system,and want to have all what is related in the correct manner, and if you are spending hundreds or thousands of Dollars, why not
    to spend 200?.
    Remember that in the control of external documents, this standard has to be controlled and it is better to have the purchased document.
    Suppose you are audited by your most important customer and the auditor asks you to show the ISO
    standard, and you show him/her the illegal copy, what is he/she going to say about it?
    Will this negative point could affect your business relationship with this customer?
    Take care of the bills not for the cents.
     
    John C. Abnet likes this.
  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    3,301
    Likes Received:
    1,654
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Location:
    In the "Rust Belt"
    Welcome. I hope this isn't funded from your pocket! What's "unnecessary" about it? You'll get several times more back if you do it correctly. It's an asset. The consultant shouldn't have given you copies "for training purposes" - whatever THAT is! You're reading it, aren't you? What you do with it doesn't matter. It's a copyright infringement, whatever way you try to rationalize it. Or, look at it this way... The auditor writes you up for not having a copy. Will it take time to respond to the nc? Yes? How much is that time worth?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  8. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    825
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Location:
    Laguna Philippines
    The consultant has given you good advice to buy your organization's own copy. Since the ISO 9001 standard has requirements to implement your QMS in accordance/conformity with it (see 4.4.1 and 9.2.1a.2), you will need to demonstrate that to an auditor. An auditor might ask the basis for implementing a particular approach and that basis could be a statement in the standard. You wouldn't want to hand over an "unofficial" copy of the standard to an auditor, if the copy infringes copyright laws. Not to mention that your organization has a "commitment to satisfy applicable requirements" as stated in your quality policy (see 5.2.1c).

    You also mentioned: "As long as you follow the standard, I don't see why buying it should be necessary." Don't forget that the initial page of the standard has a Copyright Protected Document statement.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    John C. Abnet and Qualmx like this.
  9. Quality Guy

    Quality Guy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2019
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    2
    How would you be able to perform any internal audits without a copy of the standard? You have to be able to reference it in order to audit to the standard. Most internal auditors are not going to have it memorized, and even if they did, would you trust that? This reminds of the brake press operator that never looks at a print because he has formed this part thousands of times. Not a good idea. You really need your own copy on hand to make it work for you. As was mentioned earlier, it as an asset. Use it as such.
     
  10. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    3,301
    Likes Received:
    1,654
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Location:
    In the "Rust Belt"
    I can answer that! Two ways:

    1) do a Google search for "ISO 9001 audit checklists) and see what you get. Job done!
    2) ignore the standard and audit the actual processes of the QMS (which is what management is really interested in) and leave knowledge of compliance to the standard to someone who may be competent in that (auditors don't need to be competent in the standard to be able to do awesome audits).

    "You have to be able to reference it in order to audit to the standard." Only if that's the audit criteria you use - which it shouldn't be for all audits.
     
  11. Quality Guy

    Quality Guy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2019
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    2
    That might be but at some point someone in the organization needs to look at the standard to understand what they need to be auditing to. At the end of the day you need to know what the standard is, whether it is ISO or any other standard. Without having a copy of it how do you know what is in it? You shouldn't be relying on a copy from a trainer or an external auditor for your copy should you? Look at it this way, would you be willing to look at parts and sign your name that they are good without looking at a drawing as a floor inspector? Probably not. It really is the same concept to me. Others may have a different take, as I see some of you do.
     
  12. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    3,301
    Likes Received:
    1,654
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Location:
    In the "Rust Belt"
    Let's not overlook the fact that ISO 9001:2015 isn't an auditing standard, per se (unless you are a CB auditor). It's a set of requirements that have to be addressed within the design and implementation of the QMS, of which internal audits are a component. Internal auditors, like end of line QC people, can't second-guess the design of the product they are checking. Not their job. Do you need to know the design intent/regs/requirements to inspect the product after manufacture? Nope.

    That's a better analogy...
     
  13. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    825
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Location:
    Laguna Philippines
    I believe the OP's issue here is not about not having a copy of the standard but about not having a "legal" copy of the standard.
     
  14. hogheavenfarm

    hogheavenfarm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    157
    Trophy Points:
    42
    We do not have any "official" copy of the standard here, I have found everything, in detail, available on the web, and have my own cobbled together copy which serves me fine. Many consultants post the clauses and the interpretations on their websites, there is no lack of material floating about. I also have a DIS copy of it (which I know has been changed slightly) which was published about 2013 or 2014, I dont remember exactly. None of our (second) party audits have ever been concerned with its availability (they have it anyway), they simply audit us to it. All that said, it is certainly not a break-the-bank expense to obtain a copy, although my higher ups may think otherwise... :)
     
  15. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    3,301
    Likes Received:
    1,654
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Location:
    In the "Rust Belt"
    I'd find this the most risky source of "requirements". It's difficult to determine "opinion" from "requirements". For the amount of money it costs, there is ZERO reason not to buy it. That way: Zero risk!
     

Share This Page