ISO and IAF Launch Program To Ease ISO 9000 Transition

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) announced a cooperative program aimed at a smooth transition for business and industry to the ISO 9000:2000 series of quality management standards.

The agreement between the two organizations was reached at a fall meeting, which was also attended by other international groups representing quality system or auditor certification bodies and industry users of ISO 9000.

The following agreements were reached at the meeting:

* Certifications to ISO 9001:2000 will not be granted until its publication as an international standard. Current plans are to circulate a final draft in the third quarter of 2000 and to publish the new standard in the fourth quarter.

* Certification and registration body assessments to the latest draft of the new standard may begin prior to publication. ISO says this will allow organizations to prepare for the revisions, take any necessary actions and minimize costs as part of surveillance or reassessment audits for existing certification or registration. However, certificates should not be issued against draft issues of the standard.

* Certificates issued to the 1994 editions of ISO 9001, 9002 or 9003 will have a maximum validity of three years from the date of publication of ISO 9001:2000.

* ISO 9001:2000 will require auditors and other certification/registration body personnel to demonstrate new competencies. Surveillance will focus on the competence of the certification/registration body auditors and other personnel regarding the aspects of the ISO 9001:2000 draft international standard that are different from those of the existing ISO 9001, 9002 and 9003. These include the eight quality management principles on which the revised standards are based and the requirements, concepts and terminology of the latest draft.

* Certification/registration bodies will need to take particular care in defining the scope of certificates issued to ISO 9001:2000 and the permissible exclusions to its requirements. The draft standard says organizations may only exclude quality management system requirements that neither affect the organization's ability to provide product that meets customer and applicable regulatory requirements nor absolve it from that responsibility.

Technical Advisory Group to TC 69 Seeks Statistician Recruits

The U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO Technical Committee (TC) 69 is recruiting statisticians and other professionals with proficiency in statistics and interest in the development of international standards on statistical issues. TC 69 is the ISO technical committee on statistical methods for quality control.

TC 69 has focus areas in terminology, interpretation of statistical data, acceptance sampling, process control, and measurement methods and results. It is currently refocusing its efforts to produce standards with direct client appeal. The United States is able to support the development of guidance documents for industrial clients on a small scale.

"This is a time when those with interest and knowledge of industrial practice can contribute substantially to the development of a range of statistical applications that will be required for the U.S. technology and service industries of the future," said Carroll Croarkin, vice chair of the TAG.

The TAG meets twice yearly, in the spring and fall in conjunction with the TC, rotating the location among the member nations. Interested parties should e-mail pkopp@asq.org for information on membership or carroll.croarkin@nist.gov for information on the next meeting.

Lab Accreditation Council Revises Food Chemistry Program Requirements

The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) Criteria Council voted to implement a revision of its food chemistry program requirements.

Changes were made to the sections dealing with quality system audit and review, personnel, equipment and reference materials, measurement traceability and calibration, test methods, records, outside support and supplies, and proficiency testing.

A2LA says many of the changes are toward less prescriptive requirements, but additional criteria have been added in a few areas.

Questions can be directed to Teresa C. Adams at 301-644-3202 or tcadams@a2la.org

Two Measurement Agreements Expected To Promote International Trade

Two recent announcements by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are indicative of efforts to strengthen measurement links across national borders, thus promoting international trade.

* Representatives of the United States and 37 other nations agreed to launch a system for assessing the accuracy and reliability of measurements made worldwide.

* NIST and the Commission of European Communities signed an agreement that opens the way for mutual acceptance of product and process related measurements performed on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The global pact calls for "mutual recognition of national measurement standards and of calibration and measurement certificates issued by national metrology institutes (NMI)." It was signed during a meeting of the Conference of Weights and Measures, a 48-member body. NIST expects most of the remaining 10 nations to sign eventually. The first phase of the new system was expected to be operational by the end of 1999.

The agreement establishes a formal system of key measurement comparisons among the chief measurement organizations in the signer nations. The purpose is to determine how closely a particular measurement (of voltage, force or length, for example) performed at one NMI agrees with results of counterpart institutes in other countries.

"Levels of agreement establish the basis for linking measurements across international borders. Measurement traceability is a matter of considerable importance to many exporters and to companies that seek quality system registration," according to NIST.

Through its membership in one of the world's six regional metrology organizations, an NMI can list its measurement capabilities in a portion of an international database system that will be accessible via the Internet at a site hosted by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.

Committees of measurement experts will review how these capabilities are linked to key comparisons and whether the results are sufficient to support the levels of accuracy reported by an NMI for a particular measurement service.

The international comparisons database was developed and pilot tested at NIST, which will maintain and further develop the system.

U.S.­EU agreement

The separate agreement between the United States and the European Union (EU) is a major step toward eliminating redundant product testing and other technical obstacles to free trade, according to NIST.

Called "The Implementing Arrangement for Cooperation in the Fields of Metrology and Measurement Standards," the agreement is expected to lead to a trans-Atlantic system for assessing measurement equivalence and to help regulators in the United States and EU determine whether imported products meet the importing country's requirements without additional testing.

In particular, the new arrangement will lead to a formal system for comparing measurements deemed integral to the free trade goals of the U.S.­European Union Mutual Recognition Agreement, which went into effect in December 1998.

An 18-month study by NIST and European NMIs that preceded the agreement established measurement equivalence and found no differences of practical importance. It concluded that nontechnical issues are responsible for problems in securing regulators' acceptance in export markets on both sides of the Atlantic.

NIST also announced joint efforts with Japan's Agency of Industrial Science and Technology to demonstrate the equivalence of measurement capabilities in both organizations.


by Mark Hagen

Quality Progress highlights quality's voices for the 21st century in this month's issue, but it's important to remember the early leaders who dedicated so much of themselves to the advancement of the profession. The following Web sites offer information on the lives of some of quality's greatest voices.

Deming! An Introduction

This site is dedicated to the life and teachings of W. Edwards Deming. Deming's life and accomplishments are well documented, as are his 14 Principles and what he called the seven deadly sins affecting change. A unique timeline of Deming's life is also featured.

Dr. Juran Biography 

The Juran Institute offers a detailed account of Joseph Juran's life and philosophies. This well organized site begins with Juran's childhood and takes users through the guru's contributions and most recent endeavors.

Meet Walter A. Shewhart

Lucent Technologies pays tribute to one of its most prominent scientists with this informative page. The creation of the Shewhart chart, Shewhart's role in establishing process control and the dedication of the Shewhart Medal are included.

American Society for Quality Origins

ASQ's Web site offers comprehensive biographical accounts of the individuals behind quality's most significant methodologies. Not only does the site present information on the likes of Shewhart, Deming and Juran, but luminaries such as George Edwards, Harold Dodge, Martin Brumbaugh and Mason Wescott are also featured through the site's various links.

Quality Gurus

Leaders such as Philip Crosby, Genichi Taguchi and Armand Feigenbaum are featured on this site from the Murton Group. A short biography of each is followed by explanations of his theories.

The Quality Gurus: What Can They Do For Your Company?

Author Tony Bendell developed this Internet document to identify how the philosophies of quality experts affect United Kingdom manufacturing and service organizations. Bendell offers biographies of everyone from Shigeo Shingo to Tom Peters and Claus Moller.

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