Volume 7 · Issue 7 · July 2002
An Interview With the New Chair of ISO/TC 176
Management Leadership Key to QMS, Business Success
In April 2002, the ISO Technical Management Board appointed
Dr. Trevor Smith to a 5-year term as Chairman of ISO Technical
Committee (TC) 176, the TC responsible for the ISO 9000 quality
management and quality assurance standards. Dr. Pierre Caillibot,
who had served as TC 176 Chairman since June 1997, continued
to serve in an advisory role to Dr. Smith until July 1, when
Smith assumed the Chairmanship. Smiths first official
act as Chairman will be to chair the next plenary meeting
of TC 176 in Acapulco, Mexico, in October 2002.
Dr. Smith, who began his Kodak career in England, is presently
Director of Quality for Kodak Canada, Inc., and has held roles
since 1973 in technology development, technical production
and quality assurance management, with some environmental,
health and safety management system responsibilities. He has
also been instrumental in the development of the Kodak Six
Sigma program. He brings two unique qualities to the role
of Chair of TC 176:
- In 1992, a year after becoming Quality Assurance Manager
for Kodak Canada, Manufacturing, Kodak Canada achieve registration
to ISO 9001:1987.
- In 1992, Dr. Smith also joined the Canadian Standards
Associations Technical Committee on Environmental
Management and subsequently became a Canadian delegate to
ISO/TC 207, the TC responsible for ISO 14001 and the other
environmental management system (EMS) standards. He was
then appointed in 1998 as a liaison delegate from ISO/TC
207 to ISO/TC 176 to help strengthen compatibility between
ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.
"I will be continuing in my current role as a Quality
Assurance Manager in an international organization, and my
management is very pleased with my appointment," affirmed
Dr. Smith to THE OUTLOOK. "Management is very supportive
of my new role and is helping facilitate it by making the
time available for my new duties."
Dr. Smith recently granted THE OUTLOOK an interview that
will provide you with both an introduction to the new Chairman
in his own words and his insights on ISO 9001:2000, the ISO
9000 series as a whole and the future of management systems
from both the standards and business points of view.
THE OUTLOOK: Your standards activity background
is primarily with TC 207 and your role as a liaison from TC
207 to TC 176, yet your business experience tends to include
extensive quality management activity as well as some environmental,
health and safety management. What about your experience and
background make you a good choice for Chair of TC 176? Do
you think your lack of experience with TC 176 will be a hindrance
or a benefit to the TC?
Smith: Your question is interesting in that I was
asked a similar one when I became a delegate to ISO/TC 207!
After all, my background had been primarily quality and
I was joining the EMS committee. ISO 9001 was the first
management system standard and, as a business user (my company
was registered in 1992), I brought management system experience
to the field of environmental management. I recall that
at that time half of the standards writers for TC 207 were
environmental specialists and half were quality personnel.
In fact, when asked to represent TC 207 as a liaison delegate
to TC 176 it was like coming full circle.
It has been extremely beneficial to me to be involved in
standards development across the two disciplines of quality
management and environmental management, and I have come
to appreciate the role of ISO 9001 all the more in setting
quality and business management foundations.
THE OUTLOOK: What motivated you to enter the
quality field and then to seek/accept the nomination as Chair
of TC 176?
Smith: I am deeply committed to quality in all that
I do. The ISO standardization process applied to quality
management systems in business and society at large makes
so much sense as our world becomes smaller and more accessible.
The consensus-building process, which is at the core of
ISO, is extremely powerful across cultural, economic and
geographical boundaries. We need a common "language"
to facilitate communication, trade and understanding and
promote business and societal growth/improvement.
I did not actually seek the nomination as Chair of TC 176
but, when approached, felt it was an opportunity I could
not turn down. I trust that I can make a personal contribution
during my tenure.
THE OUTLOOK: What do you view as the role of
Chair of an ISO Technical Committee? Do you plan to play a
different role than Pierre Caillibot and Reginald Shaughnessy
did as Chair of TC 176? If so, what will be different?
Smith: The role of any chair is to ensure that views
are freely shared and that the mandate of the organization
is achieved. To me it is very much a servant and facilitating
role made strong through the rules of the committee process
and ISO directives and the tradition of fine leadership.
From Reg and Pierre going before me, I have much to learn
from them for they have served TC 176 very well. Over the
next weeks and months I will endeavor to build on their
legacy using my experience and insight.
THE OUTLOOK: At present, the two most well-known
standards for which TC 176 is responsibleISO 9001 and
ISO 9004are in a dormant state as far as drafting and
revisions activity is concerned. Thus, what standard or area
of activity do you plan to lend your support and attention
to at this point? Why?
Smith: With the publication of the ISO 9000:2000
standards, we have strong standards and guidelines for driving
toward business excellence. I see the next few years as
a time of promoting the application and understanding of
these products to a wide variety of users and organizations
from very small to very large. Furthermore, in addition
to the products it develops (the standards), the Technical
Committeeincluding its constituent committees and
working groupsneeds to examine itself to continually
improve process effectiveness. TC 176 has very strong international
leaders and I look forward to working together so that our
users and members will see value in all that we do.
THE OUTLOOK: An indicator of the success of
the ISO 9000 series is the widespread use of ISO 9001/2/3
as conformance standards, with more than 400,000 organizations
worldwide holding certificates of registration. However, the
transition to ISO 9001:2000 has been slow and there is concern
that many organizations either believe they can wait until
the last minute to transition or are not planning to continue
their certified/registered status. Are you concerned about
this situation? If so, what do you plan to do as Chair, and
what would you like to see TC 176 do? If not, how do you view
Smith: We are now receiving preliminary data on
the progress of transition from the old standards to the
new one. Although it is slow in some areas, we do know that
certification bodies/registrars are working very hard with
their clients and helping the process. Often this is a phased-in
process, so the number of ISO 9001:2000 registrations to
date does not necessarily reflect the true progress towards
the December 2003 deadline.
THE OUTLOOK: Based on your personal experience
at Kodak and in observing how other organizations manage their
operations, do you consider most organizations using ISO 9000
to be benefiting from this usage? If so, in what ways, and
could they be getting a lot more from the standards? If they
are not benefiting, can they, and what should the organizations
do to correct the misuse or poor use of the standards?
Smith: The name Kodak has always been associated
with quality, but my feeling is that our worldwide journey
to quality excellence and customer delight has been greatly
enhanced by ISO 9000 standards applications. The ISO 9000
series consists of best practice standards for quality management.
If organizations fully embrace them for what they are, then
they will have great impact. My own experience is that pursuit
of ISO 9001 simply for the "plaque on the wall"
will only lead to internal conflict and wasted effort. The
key to success is management leadership. The quality management
system cannot and should not be driven from the quality
THE OUTLOOK: You became Quality Assurance Manager
for Manufacturing at Kodak Canada a year before it achieved
registration to ISO 9001:1987. What were your impressions
of ISO 9001:1987 during the QMS implementation process in
1991 and 1992 and what impact did implement-ation and registration
of a conforming QMS have on Kodak Canadas operations?
What was the subsequent reaction of top management and line
employees to the 1994 and 2000 editions and how easy/difficult
were/are the transitions?
Smith: The importance of the customer has always
been central to ISO 9000 and it has been a management-driven
standard from the start, with top management having key
responsibility for the system and customer satisfaction.
This was a key learning for us at Kodak. The 1987 standard
was an excellent guide to best practices in helping functional
approaches become more process focused across our organizational
boundaries. The 1994 version clarified further some elements
but the overall structure of the ISO 9001 standard maintained
a checklist rather than systems process focus. With transition
to ISO 9001:2000 we are finding that the framework greatly
facilitates a mindset of business process quality improvement
and pursuit of excellence.
THE OUTLOOK: You are the first Chairman of
TC 176 to have not only been at an organization during ISO
9001 implementation, but during the establishment of a Six
Sigma program. What do you see as the relationship between
ISO 9001:2000 and Six Sigma and how would you like to see
the business community use the two together, and why?
Smith: While some quality experts view Six Sigma
as an innovative approach that "leaves ISO 9001 behind",
I and others view Six Sigma as a QMS methodology that complements
ISO 9001:2000, with each supporting and enhancing elements
of the other. It is a complementary program, while an ISO
9001-based QMS serves as the foundation for quality. Six
Sigma, lean manufacturing and other initiatives are excellent
approaches with specific goals, but they rely on that ISO
THE OUTLOOK: TC 176 has little control over
how the standards it develops are used. What advice do you
have for organizations that are interested in using the standards
to gain maximum advantage from them?
Smith: What I said about management leadership above
applies here as well. Networking with other organizations
through industry groups and networks also can be of great
help. Try to find linkages at all levels of the organization
in which to benchmark and share.
THE OUTLOOK: In April 2002, UKAS suspended
use of its accreditation mark on certificates of conformity
to ISO 9000 issued in countries where an accredited registrar
had not been active previously while investigating complaints
about registrars operating in China. Were you informed of
this action? Do you think that conformity assessment bodies
are doing a good job in establishing an environment in which
companies can effectively implement, register and maintain
QMSs? If not, what changes would you like to see, whether
from the registrar/certification body or client perspective?
Smith: As I transition to my new role, I am being
briefed with issues of concern to conformity assessment
and accreditation bodies and the use of the standards in
general. These bodies have developed guidelines and TC 176
will continue to work with them. We have a clear, mutual
need to ensure integrity of the standards and their application.
THE OUTLOOK: During the revision to ISO 9001
and ISO 9004, TC 207 provided Working Group 18 with comments
relating to the compatibility of the QMS drafts with the EMS
standards. As a former Canadian delegate to TC 207, what role
do you think TC 176 should play in support of the working
groups that are revising ISO 14001 and ISO 14004? Do you think
TC 207 would welcome such support? Do you think TC 176 is
prepared to provide such support, or has it already been doing
a good job of supporting the EMS revision process?
Smith: Dialogue does in fact continue between the
two TCs. There exist liaison memberships in both directions
between TC 207 and TC 176 as well as other joint task groups.
I think it is essential that this partnership continue and
I will do my best to promote it.
THE OUTLOOK: Do you think ISO 9001:2000 went
far enough in increasing compatibility with ISO 14001? If
so, do you think ISO 14001 needs to be revised to increase
its compatibility with ISO 9001:2000 and where? If not, do
you think Subcommittee 2 of TC 176 will make additional changes
during the next revision of ISO 9001 to increase compatibility
and, if so, where?
Smith: The existing standards are quite well-aligned,
but of course there is always room for improvement as we
move forward. The overlapping revision cycles for ISO 14001
and ISO 9001 tend to seed ideas from one to the other, and
I will continue to encourage dialogue so that compatibility
becomes a given
THE OUTLOOK: What advice do you have to offer
organizations that want to use a QMS effectively? That want
to use ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 together?
Smith: Both standards share many elements and a
focus that are common and many organizations are already
seeing true value in aligning business processes for quality
and environmental management.
THE OUTLOOK: TC 210 has reached the DIS stage
in its revisions of ISO 13485, which is the application of
ISO 9001:1994 to medical device manufacturers at present.
However, the DIS does not provide for the full alignment of
ISO 13485 with ISO 9001:2000. What is your reaction to this
development and what, if anything, should TC 176 do to address
Smith: TC 176 is working with various sectors to
understand alignment issues and the use of ISO 9000:2000
text incorporated in other standards and guidelines.
THE OUTLOOK: What do you see as the greatest
challenge facing TC 176 in the next 3 years?
Smith: Full application of the 2000 version of ISO
9001 will be key, together with full understanding of different
user needs. The ISO 9001:2000 standard does address the
total management structure in greater measure than the 1994
version and as such the transition for some organizations
may give some difficulty. Earlier, I mentioned that TC 176
structures and processes need to constantly be in sync with
the needs of users and so this too will be a focus over
the next few years.
THE OUTLOOK: What do you see as the greatest challenge
facing you as Chair of TC 176 in the next 3 years?
Smith: It is hard for me to say right now what the
greatest challenge will be. Clearly I have a learning curve
to navigate! I want to serve all the member and liaison
bodies of TC 176 to the best of my ability.
THE OUTLOOK: What do you expect to see as a
trend in management systems usage in organizations around
the world and what role, if any, should TC 176 play in response
to that trend?
Smith: There is growing interest is generic management
systems models. Whether this leads to a need for a new standard
or guideline I am not sure. There will probably be more
interest in use of the standards as best practices for self-assessment.
Also, I believe application to small and medium-sized enterprises,
new sectors and developing countries will grow but only
as fast as we are able to meet their needs.
THE OUTLOOK: Do you have any addi- tional advice
that you would like to offer?
Smith: My last word is the need for continued communication
and dialogue. We need to remember the strength of ISO relies
greatly on the principle of consensus building.
THE OUTLOOK congratulates Dr. Trevor Smith on his
appointment and extends best wishes for a productive and quality-driven
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