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Question on Certification extensions?

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2008 - Quality Management Systems' started by Annemarie, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Annemarie

    Annemarie New Member

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    Hello,

    This is my first time on this forum. I have read several of the threads and I am impress with the answers and helpful solutions.

    Now I have a dilemma and I would like some feed back:

    Our 3 year surveillance audit is coming up in March. We are a company of about 55 employees. The auditor wants to come in January 2016. However, I am totally swamped with two other audits, and testing on our products with the customer that I need to be available for. I have told him that February is a better month for us.

    He insists that he cannot do February, and that no other auditors are available for February. He is really
    trying to push me into a corner.

    Is it possible to to get an extension on our certification? I did find a site where I can do it online, and I have made an inquiry. Our company is small, so I do it all. I am proud to say that I have done a great
    job on our Quality System, always passed several different types of audits, and of course ISO audits.

    Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Annemarie
    ahovey@lift-systems.com
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello Annemarie. When does your certificate actually expire? Is it the auditor telling you they can't meet a date or your CB? It's not the auditor's choice, it's the CB and their management to support YOUR needs. If you have time before your certificate expires, since your scheduled visit is in April, why is the auditor dictating February, anyways? I'd suggest you take it up with the CB's management, express your dissatisfaction with their lack of customer care with this inflexible approach (ISO 19011 says auditors are supposed to be flexible) and tell them "fix it". Of course, NOW is the perfect time to look at alternative CBs...;)
     
  3. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    In ISO 19011:2011, the "customer" here is the organization who request for audit. Clause 3.6 defines "audit client" as the "organization or person requesting an audit". I guess you have to assert your position as the CB's customer.
     
  4. Annemarie

    Annemarie New Member

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    Hi there,Thank you for your response. Our actual certificate expires on March 18, 2016. According to the auditor, if we don't have the surveillance audit the certificate is null and void. But its not as though every year, we get findings galore, our record is spotless. LOL. I honesty think the auditor is trying to bamboozle me!

    I just want to know what are the consequences if we do go past our certificate expiration date.

    Any other help is greatly appreciated. - Annemarie



     
  5. James

    James Active Member

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    Never take a no from someone who doesn't have the power to say yes. I would also suggest talking to the 3rd party registrar's management and not that auditor. If you would like the name of a good 3rd party registrar that works with the company let me know. We are smaller than you and they have been excellent.
     
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  6. Annemarie

    Annemarie New Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks for your advice. If you could provide me with the name of the 3rd party registrar, That would be great.

    Annemarie (ahovey@lift-systems.com)
     
  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Annemarie: Once you have gone past the expiry date without an audit in the previous 12 months, the certificate has expired. That's true for everyone, no matter how "good" the previous 3 year's performance has been. Consequences? You'll have to start over. You could transfer your certificate (often at no cost) and the new CB may be more flexible - but you'll have to get going, time's running out!

    Is there a reason why this auditor is the only one available? Are they the only one competent/close/qualified? Like I said, and James added, talk to you CB management. The availability of one auditor shouldn't dictate when you do your next audit - unless there's a VERY good reason (And even then, only having 1 person? C'mon!)
     
  8. Annemarie

    Annemarie New Member

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    Andy,

    We had an audit done in July 2015. and we passed. But the auditor told us we need to have another audit before our certificate expired in March of 2016. This would be our 3 year surveillance audit.
     
  9. Sidney Vianna

    Sidney Vianna Well-Known Member

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    Annemarie, listen To James advice. Your organization did not sign a contract with the auditor, but with a Certification Body. One of the typical mistakes many registrants make is not to become aware of the registrar organization and "deal" only with the auditor, for communication purposes.

    This could be a case where the auditor is looking at what is best for him/her and not taking your concerns into consideration.

    Contact the CB office and DEMAND a dialogue.
     
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  10. drgnrider

    drgnrider Member

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    I have talked to a few CB's. and all have variations on 'Client Support Manager', the person at the CB that you SHOULD be dealing with. This is the person that I schedule all my audits through (9001, 14001, etc.) and whom I communicate with at the CB for various issues (where's my certificates, status of the submitted audit, company name change, etc.). This CSM is the one who negotiates with me the audit dates and auditors. I then deal with the auditor for site-specific details (lodging, airport, rental car, etc.).

    Call your CB and see if you have a CSM.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2015
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  11. Tekno9000

    Tekno9000 New Member

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    Annemarie:

    All options listed above are valid and in case none work for you, I BELIEVE you can also request your CB to file for an extension (for audit - not certificate). This way you don't have to go in for whole re-certification process.

    Kindly note the verb in first sentence is "Believe". So you may want to check with your CB for all above options FIRST and if none work, then request to file for an extension.

    Anyone who has filed for an extension, please share your thoughts.
     
  12. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    CB's here in our part of the world have a common approach in setting up the schedule for their surveillance audits. According to them the date of the surveillance audit can be carried out within plus one (+1) month, minus two (-2) months from the exact anniversary of the certification audit. So they can audit earlier or, if there's a request for extension, later but not more than a month.
     
  13. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting. I believe - for the first surveillance visit - the rule is no MORE than a year after the day of "approval" being granted (after the stage 2 audit). But after that, there's some flexibility. I'm just working from memory, and I *think* it's in the IAF MD-5 document. Please correct me if I have it wrongly. After that, Tony's comments are pretty accurate. Schemes like TS and AS versions of ISO 9001 have different rules.
     
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  14. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Annemarie,

    You called the upcoming audit a surveillance but said your certificate expires in March 2016. Are you on a multi-site sampling plan, or do you hold your own certificate?

    Here is a site with access to the mandatory rules (MD) documents that CBs are required to adhere to. They accompany the requirements of ISO 17021. MD-5 is about audit days, what's allowable for decreasing time etc. For stand-alone certificates, on-site surveillance audits are expected annually in the first two years, then a recertification audit to renew the certificate.

    A recertification audit must cover the full system and is typically longer than a surveillance. In order to confirm effectiveness of the management system and no repeat findings indicating weak nonconformance resolution, the recertification audit likely also will include a review of actions including management review over the 3-year period.

    Certificate dates can't be moved forward past the 3-year cycle, and the process for actions closure, documents review and certificate generation usually takes more than 30 days; for this reason CBs like to do recertification audits as much as 90 days before the certificate expires.
     
  15. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Jennifer is correct on the 90 days in advance aspects. It can also be viewed that *some* (and I stress some because it's not universal) CBs will attempt to book well in advance of even 90 days, since if the client doesn't commit, the CB can (in theory) suspend the certificate due to the client (apparently) not maintaining their system... This could be viewed as an attempt to ensure the client doesn't look elsewhere to transfer to another CB.
     
  16. Leonid

    Leonid Active Member

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    Dear colleagues, accredited certification bodies have been governed by ISO 17021:2011. The new version ISO 17021:2015 Part 1 was published on 15.06.2015. The period for transition from ISO 17021:2011 to ISO 17021:2015 Part 1 is two years.
    Please refer to information about recertification from ISO 17021:
    ISO 17021:2011
    9.1.1.2
    The audit programme shall include a two-stage initial audit, surveillance audits in the first and second years, and a recertification audit in the third year prior to expiration of certification. The three-year certification cycle begins with the certification or recertification decision.
    9.4.2.2 When, during a recertification audit, instances of nonconformity or lack of evidence of conformity are identified, the certification body shall define time limits for correction and corrective actions to be implemented prior to the expiration of certification.
    LY NOTE: The recertification audits are normally planned 90 days before the expiry date of the certificate to allow closure of any NCRs, and any approval of said corrective actions before expiry of current certificate to ensure continuity of client certification.
    ISO 17021:2015 Part 1
    9.1.3.2
    The audit programme for the initial certification shall include a two-stage initial audit, surveillance audits in the first and second years following the certification decision, and a recertification audit in the third year prior to expiration of certification. The first three-year certification cycle begins with the certification decision. Subsequent cycles begin with the recertification decision.
    9.6.3.2.3 When recertification activities are successfully completed prior to the expiry date of the existing certification, the expiry date of the new certification can be based on the expiry date of the existing certification. The issue date on a new certificate shall be on or after the recertification decision.
    9.6.3.2.4 If the certification body has not completed the recertification audit or the certification body is unable to verify the implementation of corrections and corrective actions for any major nonconformity (see 9.5.2.1) prior to the expiry date of the certification, then recertification shall not be recommended and the validity of the certification shall not be extended. The client shall be informed and the consequences shall be explained.
    9.6.3.2.5 Following expiration of certification, the certification body can restore certification within 6 months provided that the outstanding recertification activities are completed, otherwise at least a stage 2 shall be conducted. The effective date on the certificate shall be on or after the recertification decision and the expiry date shall be based on prior certification cycle.
     
  17. Nick1

    Nick1 Member

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    Hi Annemarie,

    My answer has not really a lot to do with the rules and guidelines but more with the business mechanics, because you do have until half of march to get re-certified.

    First off, it seems very unlikely that the CB only has a few auditors who can help you out.

    Second, you are the customer keep that in mind. You are the company who has significant bargaining power.

    Third, if you want to get things done from an CB just contact the sales reps. From my personal experience i know that a lot of things can be accomplished by contacting the sales reps. Most of the times these people have targets and therefor hate losing customers. The will move mountains to get you satisfied.
     

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