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All ISO standards are reviewed (at least) every five years to establish whether a revision is required to keep them current and relevant for the marketplace. ISO advises that typically, the process will take two to two-and-a-half years from the working draft (Stage 1) through the publication of the revised international standard (Stage 6).

Following publication of any new international standards, there is a three-year transition period during which old certificates will still be recognized. Organizations may upgrade to the new standards (assuming requirements are met) at a recertification at any point during the transition period.

The ISO 9001:2008 standard will become obsolete on September 14, 2018. If your organization does not have a transition audit prior to the end of the transition period/obsolescence date of ISO 9001:2008, then you will no longer be certified as of the end of the transition period. In order to become certified to ISO 9001:2015, you will need to start over with an initial audit (Stage 1 and Stage 2).

Throughout 2016, the buzz surrounding the ISO 9001:2015 transition has increased. Organizations have started reaching out to us for identifying existing gaps and assisting with getting ready for the final recertification audit.

With the assistance of our lead ISO transition consultant, we want to share a case study to demonstrate a roadmap for transition and a better understanding of the process in general.

--Who needed assistance?--

ISO certification to ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management System) and OHSAS 18001:2015 (Occupational Health & Safety Management System) for a U.S. based master distributor of extrusion and coil sheet metals manufactured in China with warehousing and a client base in the United States.

The Florida based company is a master distributor supplying quality aluminum and stainless products to other metal distributors. By sourcing in Asia, the company is able to provide their customers with quality products at competitive prices. In addition to mill direct delivery, the company stocks millions of pounds of standard aluminum sheets, coils, tread plate and extrusions in strategically located warehouses within the U.S.

The company is dedicated to providing its customers across the globe with the highest quality products and service possible. Achieving the ISO certification is an extension of that commitment, as the owners strive to standardize and continuously improve their global logistics practices.

--Where did we start?--

Pro QC's technical ISO consultant conducted a 100% compliance audit on the existing management system, including a gap assessment on all Occupational Health & Safety practices used in the company. This allowed Pro QC to identify the gaps within ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 18001:2007 standard certification and also identify how much the anticipated work load to fill the gaps might be.

A detailed, cost effective Gap Assessment Report identified improvement opportunities with risk management, supplier management, knowledge and change management requirements. It also revealed new opportunities resulting out of that deficiency, which can lead the company to better and more cost effective management.

--How was the transition process managed?--

After the initial analysis, a detailed project plan for ISO 9001:2015 implementation and ISO 18001:2007 management practices was developed. Approval followed work related to documenting the quality management system to ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Assurance) and ISO 18001:2007 (Occupational Health & Safety).

Work commenced with regular interviews with management scheduled over a period of several weeks. The purpose of these interviews was to record the company's existing processes.
An integrated safety and quality management system was designed within one month of the completion of interviews.

The client was noted as saying, "I enjoyed the whole process, it was a good experience. Working with the ISO consultant has been a pleasure. I was expecting a document the size of the New York phone book, but the contrary, our Quality Manual is only 20 pages and covers all our quality management system."

A final copy of the Quality Manual was prepared and management was trained in the integrated quality and safety management system. The quality and safety management system was implemented over the next few weeks with regular follow-ups.

--What were the results?--

On the day of certification, an auditor from the third-party registrar arrived. Due to the planning and work with the Pro QC ISO consultant, no major or minor corrective actions were noted and the organization met their goal.

Just over several weeks after commencement of the process toward certification, the company was certified to both the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 1800:2007 standards. The scope of both certifications includes all inbound and outbound operations, sales, purchasing, transportation, warehouse occupational health & safety, services for logistics, financial claims management and customer care for all industrial distribution customers within the company facilities.

The awarded ISO certificate has certified that all key aspects of the business have specific quality management control procedures set in place to evaluate and improve the company's key processes, ensuring that the customers continue to receive unparalleled product support and customer service, while keeping pace with the highest safety standards.

--Who are we?--

Pro QC International is a third-party quality assurance and engineering solutions company offering over thirty years of experience and services in over 38 countries. Contact us for more information: info@proqc.com

Learn more about our transition solutions here, and download a free gap analysis:
http://www.proqc.com/iso9001

We also have an informative video posted available:
https://youtu.be/NMCpUo9E0J0