by John Knappenberger
The transition process for ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 has started!
For everyone, ready or not, the race has started. The two Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) documents are out. If all goes according to plan, ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 will be published in late September. If so, that means all current certificates must be transitioned by September 2018. Three years seems like such a long time away – but it isn’t!
Given this, what has the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) done and what will it do as its part of the process for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001? What are ANAB’s plans? And how is ANAB contributing to everyone achieving the transition by September 2018?
ANAB has done a lot of planning!
For almost two years, we have been planning for these two standards to be revised. Change of this type isn’t new for ANAB. Every year, standards undergo change that requires ANAB to project-manage the transitions from the old versions to the new ones. Some transitions involve simple changes but others are very complex and require a significant amount of attention.
The standard that prompted a change to our then-current process was ISO/IEC 17021:2006. Neither ANAB nor many of our accredited certification bodies (CBs) – also known as registrars – were prepared for implementation. Many of us struggled. Many of us worked long hours to get through the transition process successfully. Some CBs did not make the transition.
As a result, ANAB studied what went wrong and what went right with an eye to improving the transition process. The outcome was a set of steps to ensure we had the best method to help CBs get through the transition to revised standards. In the years since, ANAB has refined that process.
For the past two years, we have been thinking long and hard about how we are going to manage the transition process for ISO 9001:2015 (with its companion definition standard ISO 9000:2015) and ISO 14001:2015 within the same three-year timeframe. Again, ANAB looked back at what went wrong and what went right. ANAB worked with the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) on developing an international plan for transition.
Then, in keeping with the IAF resolutions, ANAB developed its transition plans, internal and external. The initial communication about that plan was on April 16, 2015, by means of a “Heads Up,” a regular means of communication with our accredited CBs.
ANAB has done much to get ready
Beginning in 2014, ANAB has provided updates and conducted training on the revised standards for employees, contract assessors, and members of our Accreditation Council and board of directors. ANAB has analyzed the revised standards with regard to key areas on which assessors need to focus when assessing CBs. Further, ANAB has worked with the Independent Association of Accredited Registrars (IAAR) – the North American CB trade association – on accepting IAAR’s training for knowledge of the revised standards. ANAB will review each CB’s methods and the outcomes of their competency process for key personnel.
ANAB employees revised the Accreditation Rules (ARs) for our ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accreditation programs with input from various others. These ARs contain requirements that govern the accreditation and transition processes for each standard.
ANAB has imposed several checks along the way
The revised ARs were submitted to ANAB’s Accreditation Council for approval to circulate them for public review. Following council approval, ANAB provided the public – in particular, focused stakeholders such as CBs – a 30-day opportunity to submit comments. Our process is to review any comments received and further revise the draft AR as appropriate. Next, the ARs were again submitted to the Accreditation Council for approval to implement.
ANAB has acted on all its planning
The revised Accreditation Rules 20 and 21 were published July 22, 2015. Each includes a timeline indicating when CBs need to complete required actions.
|Critical Date||CB Required Action||Consequences of Failure|
|3 months after publication||Apply for transition||Suspension|
|6 months after publication||Achieve transition||Recommend suspension|
|9 months after publication||Achieve transition||Recommend withdrawal|
|Before or at the end of 3-year transition||All ISO 9001:2008 certificates expire.
All ISO 14001:2004 certificates expire.
ANAB successfully advocated for publication of IAF Informative Documents 9 and 10, which indicate CBs can use the FDIS versions of the standards to begin the transition process transition process for ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015. One note for everyone to remember is that no CB can grant or date an accredited certification to the new standards before the date on which the CB transitions its accreditation.
Throughout the entire process to date, ANAB has sought feedback from many parties, including our accreditation assessors, our accredited CBs, and other interested parties. ANAB will modify its plans as needed along the way.
Based on its experience, ANAB believes its ARs will provide a positive support for everyone to manage the transition process for ISO 9001:2015 (with its companion definition standard ISO 9000:2015) and ISO 14001:2015.