State of Quality System Certification in the United States

Article

Peach, Robert W.   (1991, ASQC)   Robert Peach and Associates, LaGrange Park, IL

Annual Quality Congress, Milwaukee WI    Vol. 45    No. 0
QICID: 9728    May 1991    pp. 708-711
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Article Abstract

This paper discusses the significance of the 1992 date established by the European community (EC) as the deadline for certification to the ISO 9000 standard and the potential impact on U.S. industry.

The first time a set of generic standards was adopted universally by the industrialized world was in 1987, when the International Standards Organization (ISO) issued the ISO 9000 Series, which was adopted in the U.S. as the ANSI/ASQC Q90 Series. This standard called for broader understanding of the requirements for quality management and quality assurance; it also led to the development of a plan for quality system registration, which would allow American companies to sell products in the European market.

The ASQC has developed a quality systems certification process; it is compatible with the E.C. process, and it provides assurance that the quality of production meets the requirements of the design, including safety and performance. The ASQC's Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB) grants or denies accreditation. The RAB's Technology Council recommends accreditation criteria to be followed, develops checklists used in assessment, establishes criteria for qualification of assessors, approves individual assessors, and interprets accreditation criteria. The ASQC's Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) requirements call for a written test, proof of experience in conducting audits, and the successful completion of a substantive training program on ISO 9000 auditing procedures.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the U.S. Department of Commerce also play vital roles in assuring that U.S. product certification procedures are technically sound, well administered, and in compliance with international demands.

Keywords

Accreditation,American Society for Quality Control (ASQC),European Community (EC),International Standards Organization (ISO),Quality assurance (QA),Quality management (QM)


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