Detail Presented on U.S. Disapproval Of ISO 9000:2000 Revisions

As reported in last month's Quality Progress, the United States has disapproved the second committee draft (CD 2) of ISO 9000:2000, while approving the drafts of ISO 9001 and ISO 9004.

The CD 2s are part of the revision process to the ISO 9000 series of international quality management standards. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) had given ISO member bodies until August 1 to submit their ballots and comments.

In the United States, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the U.S. national standards body, is responsible for collecting comments and voting on the drafts. ANSI established the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to Technical Committee (TC) 176 to develop the U.S. position. The TAG is a segment of the U.S. Standards Group for Quality, Environment, Dependability and Statistics (QEDS), under the administration of ASQ.

ISO 9000:2000 CD 2

In voting to disapprove the drafts to ISO 9000:2000, the committee said the following:

* The order in which terms are listed is not designed for easy access and use. The proposed remedy is an alphabetical listing of definitions.

* The model of a quality management system is complicated and hard to understand, even with explanatory text. The proposed remedy is its deletion.

* There are two definitions of quality--one practical and the other technical. The U.S. position is that the two definitions are confusing. The practical definition is not correct, and the technical definition is not clear. The proposed remedy is to provide the following single definition of the word quality: "Extent to which the complete set of realized characteristics of a product or a process satisfies needs and expectations."

* Many of the definitions in the ISO 9000 draft are not consistent with usage in the ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 draft. The proposed remedy is to correct this prior to the release of ISO 9000. If this cannot be corrected in time for concurrent release of ISO 9000 with ISO 9001 and ISO 9004, the most significant terms should be identified, correctly defined and included in ISO 9001:2000.

ISO 9001:2000 CD 2

While approving the ISO 9001:2000 CD 2, the TAG believes the following concerns need to be remedied in order to retain U.S. support:

* CD 2 is not as clear on what procedures need to be documented as is the 1994 document. The proposed remedy is to follow the 1994 practice of identifying documented procedures, thus making it very clear which procedures must be written. As an alternative, a notification of a particular clause would make it clear that procedures so notated must be documented or written. Or, a statement could be provided that where the phrase "documented procedures" is used, the procedure must be written.

* Several clauses are added in the name of compatibility with ISO 14001. The two standards are compatible without those additions. The remedy is to delete the unnecessary clauses.

* One clause includes several national issues that are not applicable across countries and cultures, are subjective in nature and are difficult to audit. The proposed remedy is to change these requirements to a note.

* A clause (8.5.1) related to general requirements is redundant. The proposed solution is to revise the second sentence of the clause to read, "The organization shall use the quality policy, objectives, internal audit results, analysis of data, corrective and preventive action, and management review to facilitate continual improvement."

ISO 9004:2000 CD 2

The U.S. position to approve ISO 9004:2000 CD 2 is accompanied by several comments:

* ISO 9004 should be more complete in describing a higher performance quality management system. The remedy is assurance that the full range of concepts in national quality award criteria describe the concepts that encourage organizations to continue the quality journey.

* To correct a perception of needlessly long and excessively verbose content, the TAG suggests shortening the existing wording.

* To assure that the contents of other ISO 9000 standards are appropriately covered, the TAG suggests continued review of the ISO 9004 family.

* The self assessment process should be included in the annex, with possible consideration of a self-assessment document as a technical specification.

* The subject of society responsibility should remain in the document.

* Care should be taken that ISO 9004 language is consistent with references or other published standards.

* The process model diagram should be retained, with titles and content consistent between it and the diagram in ISO 9001.

Other comments

In addition, the ISO TC 176 asked member bodies to comment on several other issues including translation and compatibility with the ISO 14000 series of environmental management standards. The U.S. positions include the following:

* The drafts of ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 are generally translatable, with a few exceptions of phrases and words, into American English.

* The current versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are highly compatible, and some of the changes in CD 2 in the name of enhanced compatibility actually result in unneeded additions. Deletion of several clauses is recommended.

For information on how to join the U.S. TAG and contribute to the revision process, call Patricia Kopp at 800-248-1946 or e-mail pkopp@asq.org. Additional information can be obtained from the U.S. TAG Web site at http://standardsgroup.asq.org.

ISO 9000 Used in Fight Against Drug Abuse in Sports

The ISO 9000 quality management standard is at the heart of a government sponsored initiative to achieve drug-free sport.

The national standards institutes that make up the International Standards Organization (ISO) are scheduled to vote on whether to accept the International Standard for Doping Control in sport as an ISO publicly available specification. This would be the first stage to its becoming a full fledged ISO standard.

The doping control standard has been developed by the International Anti-Doping Arrangement (IADA), an agreement currently signed by the governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

ISO says the fight to eradicate the misuse of drugs is hampered by a lack of standardized procedures and processes, resulting in the frequent overturning of positive drug tests by sports tribunals or civil courts.

Following positive drug results, athletes and their representatives frequently find substantial procedural problems with the procedures for conducting the collection of the sample; insecure or faulty sample collection equipment; breakdowns in the handling, transport and chain-of-custody from the point of collection of the sample to the laboratory; and fundamental principles of law being ignored or given inadequate attention in the hearings and appeals processes conducted within the sport.

IADA believes that adoption of its standard by ISO will significantly increase worldwide acceptance by governments, sports organizations and athletes. The IADA quality concept includes the use of a quality management system conforming to ISO 9002 for application to the doping control process at the national and organizational levels.

Currently, all the signatories to the IADA are implementing the quality concept in their national programs. In addition, organizations from another eight countries (Austria, China, Denmark, Finland, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States) are involved in implementing the quality concept within their national systems. Many of these implementation programs are being undertaken by the national Olympic committees.

ISO says the international standard for doping control in sport is being initially processed as a publicly available specification (PAS) rather than as a full-fledged international standard because it represents a new area of activity for ISO. ISO members are being asked to vote on whether to accept the IADA standard as a PAS, with any comment to be sent to IADA to redevelop the document for possible fast-track processing into a full international standard.

Study Suggests Customers Prefer Familiarity Over Quality

A recent study on customer loyalty sheds new light on purchasing decisions where familiarity vs. quality is concerned. The results of the study, What You Don't Know About Customer-Perceived Quality, indicate that brand loyal customers are less likely to switch to a different brand even if it promises better quality.

Marketing Science magazine, (Vol. 18, No. 1) reports that operations research techniques related to decision making and uncertainty helped determine that experience with a brand makes knowledge of the brand's quality more complete. Even if customers are not satisfied with this quality, the fact that they feel an overall knowledge of the product lends it greater preference over an unfamiliar brand.

The study concludes that when making a decision between brands customers may rationally choose the familiar brand with worse expected quality, even if all nonquality attributes are equal between the two items.

The authors of the study, Roland Rust, J. Jeffrey Inman, Jianmin Jia and Anthony Zahorik, suggest that management pay more attention to new, presumably less loyal customers because quality differences will have the greatest impact on them. They also recommend that companies invest less in marketing new products and spend more effort on giving potential customers the opportunity to try the product via coupons and trial offers.

The study was the product of a joint venture between the University of Wisconsin, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the AC Nielson Burke Institute. The results were obtained and published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, an international scientific society.

ISO Series Explains 9000:2000 Revisions

ISO has released several documents that provide answers to the most common questions being asked about the ongoing ISO 9000 revisions, scheduled for publication in the fourth quarter of the year 2000.

The following documents have recently been posted on ISO Online at www.iso.ch

* A concise executive abstract that provides top management with the essentials of the ISO 9000 revisions.

* A more complete summary that provides the background of the revisions, details (including timetable) of the revision process; the essential changes to the series; an explanation of what ISO means when it refers to its vision of the revised ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 as a consistent pair; and a more detailed description of these two standards, including their aims and mission, main features and the changes being introduced.

* Answers to frequently asked questions on the revisions.

A list of all documents relating to the revisions is available through the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 location on ISO's Web site. This page also contains links to the Web sites of ISO Technical Committee 176 and its subcommittee 2, which is responsible for revising ISO 9001 and ISO 9004.

Access to the list is via a page containing a cautionary note regarding the fact that the revision process is a dynamic one, with constant modification up until final publication. Updates are being posted regularly. 


Hewlett-Packard's high tech measurement spin-off has been named Agilent Technologies. The new company includes testing and measuring, chemical analysis and medical components with about $7 billion in annual revenue. It will have its own publicly traded stock. The computer and imaging operation with about $40 billion in revenue will retain the HP name.

Acollaborative effort between two National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) groups--the Electromagnetic Properties of Materials Group and the Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit Program--and SEMATECH, has developed microstrip test structures that thoroughly assess the dielectric properties of candidate low-K thin films and the conductivities of accompanying metals over a range of 50 mH to 40 gH. SEMATECH is a research consortium of nine U.S. and five international companies.

With restructuring of the electric power industry looming nationwide, NIST has initiated efforts to anticipate needs for measuring services and other technical support that may arise. NIST recently commissioned the Research Triangle Institute to study technology trends in the generation, transmission and distribution sectors, along with assessing measurement and standards needs identified by power industry experts.

A new patent pending process has been introduced to accelerate the rate of scientific discoveries. The process was introduced by Extreme Innovation (EI) Labs, a nonprofit think tank, in partnership with Know-ledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), a nonprofit society of researchers, executives, managers and scientists addressing organizational knowledge management. The process involves having teams of scientists study and experiment with research environments to find ways to speed up the discovery process. Visit EI Labs at www.eilabs.com or KMCI at www.km.org

ASQ Ansi award ANSI Names Leadership, Service Award Winners

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system, announced recipients of its 1999 leadership and service awards:

* Ronald H. Reimer, program director of industry standards and product regulations at Rockwell Automation--Astin-Polk International Standards Medal.

* Charles L. Berestecky, a telecommunications consultant working with Lucent Technologies--Finegan Standards Medal.

* Brian D. Unter, director of corporate external standards at Hewlett-Packard Co.--Howard Coonley Medal.

* H. Glenn Ziegenfuss, executive director of the Standards Engineering Society--George S. Wham Leadership Medal.

* Stephen P. Oksala, director of standards management at Unisys Corp--Edward Lohse Information Technology Medal.

Six executives were selected for the Meritorious Service Award. They are Reinhold J. Nelissen, manager of product compliance and standards at the John Deere Construction Equipment Co.; Milton E. Cox, director of international standards at Underwriters Laboratories Inc.; George C. Nichols, a consultant on product safety and standards; George J. Ockuly, retired vice president of technical marketing and services from the Bussmann Division of Cooper Industries; Walter Smittle III, state fire marshal of West Virginia; and Richard Weiland, a consultant to the intelligent transportation systems and information technology industries.

Standards Outlook

If you or your company has a standards story to tell, consider sharing it with the readers of Quality Progress.

Standards Outlook is a new monthly QP column featuring commentary on the development and use of standards.

We are particularly looking for case-history accounts regarding the implementation of standards. Opinion pieces on various standards will also be considered.

Submit questions or your typewritten, double-spaced article of no more than 1,500 words to:

Susan Daniels, Associate Editor
ASQ/Quality Progress
P.O. Box 3005
Milwaukee, WI 53201-3005
800-248-1946 or (414) 272-8575
E-mail: sdaniels@asq.org

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