Tenol Alpha celebrates World Standards Day, October 14, 2016

The annual international celebration of standards and their positive values globally falls on Friday, October 14, 2016 .The World Standards Cooperation (WSC), the members of the IEC, ISO and ITU, celebrates World Standards Day as a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who dedicate their time and expertise to the development of international standards. The theme for World Standards Day 2016 is “Standards Build Trust".

Standards connect us with reliable modes of communication, codes of practice and trusted frameworks for cooperation. Introducing common interpretations on reciprocal sides of a communication or transaction, standards are essential to mutually beneficial trade and resource efficient international commerce. Standards promote trade, make our lives easily and part of our everyday life.

Social interaction relies on common respect for fundamental sets of norms, concepts or meanings – international standards codify these norms to ensure that they are accessible to all. A product or service conforming to an international standard is imbued with a trusted symbol of quality, safety or compatibility. Standards speak to the diversity of our interconnected world, introducing uniformity at the interfaces where we need to be certain that we are speaking on the same terms.

Tenol Alpha as an uncompromising leader in advancement and promotion of the use of standards in developing countries’ especially Africa is more committed to promote standardization, corporate governance, social re-engineering, manpower development and enhancement of good and positive values standards ring our world daily on consistent basis.

Tenol Alpha services in the field of auditing, process and business improvement, business advisory, management systems certification consulting, personnel and corporate certification will continue to enable organizations in all sectors to thrive and to build trust that last and for the benefits of all stakeholders.

ISO 9001:2015 Mandatory Documented Information – Documents (Maintain) and Records (Retain)

Many people have been wondering what documents are mandatory in this new 2015 standard version for ISO 9001 quality management system, and in this case will have to be available to transit a quality management system of an organization based on ISO 9001:2008 to the new requirements.

The new ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System standard requires you to maintain documented information (procedures) and retain documented information (records).

Below are list of documented information that should be maintained and retained for an organization implementing ISO 9001:2015 standard requirements.

Mandatory Documents required by ISO 9001:2015

• Scope of the Quality Management System (4.3)
Scope of the QMS including the products and services covered and the justification of the requirements that cannot be applied to its scope.

• Operation of Processes (4.4.2 a)
Information to support the operations of processes

• Quality Policy (5.2.2)
Quality policy to be available as documented information

• Quality Objectives (6.2.1)
Maintain documented information on the quality objectives

• Control of production and service provision (8.5.1) Information that defines characteristics of products and services, activities to be performed, and the results to be achieved.

Mandatory Records required by ISO 9001:2015

• Operation of Processes (4.4.2 b)
Information necessary to have confidence that processes are being carried out as planned.

• Monitoring and Measurement Resources (7.1.5.1)
Information as evidence of fitness for purpose of monitoring and measurement resources.

• Measurement Traceability (7.1.5.2)
When such standards exist, the basis used for calibration or verification shall be retained as documented information

• Competence (7.2)
Information as evidence of competence.

• Operational Planning and Control (8.1)
Information necessary to have confidence that the processes have been carried out as planned and conform to requirements.

• Requirements Review (8.2.3)
Information describing the results of the review of requirements related to products and services.

Externally Provided Processes, Products and Services-Providers Audit & Certification

Today’s businesses strive to be resilient and manage numerous business risk to remain competitive and grow profit. Multiple strategies and deployments are often executed to achieve vast results. One of such is to outsource services and products to competent parties to manage and deliver consistently.

These providers are key stakeholders in business management, and therefore their relevance in delivering business objectives is critical. Such objectives will include overall business customer satisfaction and profitability. The final outputs –products or services – of the organizations must meet customer, statutory, regulatory, and organization’s own requirements on consistent basis.

The inability of an organization to deliver as a result of failure induced by the vendor or its non-performance or inability of external provider to timely deliver the outsource product or service to requirements cannot be excused when customers apply barometer for service. Customers see the organization as a failure and not the vendor.

Organizations engage the services of external services providers for services such as security, cleaning services, haulage, courier, ATM Support services, cash delivery, transportation, protocol, bandwidth provision, Alert services (SMS /E-mail), card personalization services, raw material supplies etc.

It is imperative therefore for an organization to manage the risk associated with the engagement of these providers by employing methods and approaches that are proven and result yielding.

Best practice approaches will include the following :

• Determine what could go wrong , assess the risk and controls to be applied which will include

i) when a process or part of a process is provided by an external provider
ii) when products and services are provided directly to your customers on your behalf
iii) when products and services from the external providers are intended for incorporation into your own products and services

• Institute a process for determining and setting criteria for selection , evaluation and monitoring of performance of the external providers

• Institute a process for rating, re-evaluation of the external services and products providers. This may include periodic audits

• Assign responsibilities and authorities for the management of these processes and set specific ,measurable objectives for them with appropriate empowerment

• Encourage the external services and products providers to implement best practice or standard such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO 28001 Supply Chain Security Management System (SCSMS).

• Establish a formal and informal communication process, well known to all parties .Share and share with the external services and product providers within your organization’s control.

• Ensure adequacy of requirements for products and services the providers must meet and ensure it is communicated appropriately using defined format and route.

• Institute a verification process that will ensure that externally provided processes , products and services meet requirements

• Maintain and retain documented information on the management of the processes for externally provided services and products

• Engage competent and certified personnel to manage these processes

• Train your staff and where appropriate ,train external products and services providers

• Design metrics to measure these processes and monitor frequently

These approaches above will ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the external services and products providers in the supply chain of the organization. More so, it provides opportunity for process and system improvement, promotes services and products quality, standardization and reduces supply risk.

Supplier Certification Program 

Organizations whose critical processes are outsourced may need to implement supplier certification program which comprises of prescribed requirements, standards, checklist, communication process that will facilitate the review of supplier deliveries and services .There are gains for both parties and helps sustain relationship for the benefits of all.

A sound supplier certification program offers many benefits. The receiving organization can expect benefits from:

Improved working relationships with suppliers and vendors. 

Improved quality of received goods and services. 

Shared research, development, and training. 

Reduced variation. 

Reduced inventory. 

Reduced need for storage. 

Reduced inspection staff. 

Reduced waste. 

Faster arrival at final destination. 

Reduced prices. 

Increased business and profits. 

The supplier benefits because of increased business and long-term commitments that improve its competitive position. In addition, the supplier also benefits from: 

Improved working relationships with the organization. 

Shared research, development, and training. 

Continued and increased business. 

Improved competitive position. 

Increased profits. 

Adequate process controls and management 

Opportunity to proof that products and services are consistently fit and assurance can be provided through a conscious effort 

The objective of certification is to reduce the total cost of purchased goods and services by improving the supply chain in time, money, and quality. Further, it addresses supply chain risk and provides basic information for continuous improvement.

Supplier Certification Program

Organizations whose critical processes are outsourced may need to implement supplier certification program which comprises of prescribed requirements, standards, checklist, communication process that will facilitate the review of supplier deliveries and services .There are gains for both parties and helps sustain relationship for the benefits of all.

A sound supplier certification program offers many benefits. The receiving organization can expect benefits from:

  • Improved working relationships with suppliers and vendors.
  • Improved quality of received goods and services.
  • Shared research, development, and training.
  • Reduced variation.
  • Reduced inventory.
  • Reduced need for storage.
  • Reduced inspection staff.
  • Reduced waste.
  • Faster arrival at final destination.
  • Reduced prices.
  • Increased business and profits.

The supplier benefits because of increased business and long-term commitments that improve its competitive position. In addition, the supplier also benefits from:

  • Improved working relationships with the organization.
  • Shared research, development, and training.
  • Continued and increased business.
  • Improved competitive position.
  • Increased profits.
  • Adequate process controls and management
  • Opportunity to proof that products and services are consistently fit and assurance can be provided through a conscious effort

The objective of certification is to reduce the total cost of purchased goods and services by improving the supply chain in time, money, and quality. Further, it addresses supply chain risk and provides basic information for continuous improvement.

GUIDE TO HASSLE FREE TRANSITION: ISO 14001:2004 TO ISO 14001:2015

The new version of ISO 14001 has been published, and organizations which are previously certified to ISO 14001:2004 will have to implement new requirements based on ISO 14001:2015. The standard follows Annex SL high level structure, identical core texts and terminologies.

Certified firms have up to September 2018 to transit their systems. However, stated below are some steps that you may take to fully conform to new requirements and record a successful transition audit.

STEPS TO HASSLE FREE TRANSITION

These, in my opinion, are the steps to be taken, and their order, for a successful transition to the 2015 version of the ISO 14001 Standard:

1) Define context of the organization: This is a new requirement, and it should be thoroughly considered because it represents the foundation of your new EMS (Environmental Management System).

2) List all interested parties: You should list all your stakeholders (the persons and companies that can influence your EMS or can be influenced by it), and their requirements. If you already listed all the statutory, regulatory, and contractual requirements according to the old clause 4.3.2, then you have already done half of your job.

3) Review the scope of the EMS: The credibility of your EMS depends on the choice of organizational boundaries. The transition is a great opportunity to reconsider the scope of your system and to define its boundaries more precisely.

4) Review the Environmental Policy: The requirements regarding the policy are still the same, although there is now a greater emphasis on incorporation of the EMS into the strategic direction of the company.

5) Align EMS objectives with the company’s strategy: The 2015 version requires you to determine whether the environmental objectives are compatible with the strategic direction of the company.

6) Assess risks and opportunities. This is a new requirement, and it refers to the risks and opportunities related to the EMS. It concerns not only environmental aspects, but also other parts of the system such as context of the organization and compliance obligations. After the assessment of risks and opportunities, there should also be some plans for addressing them.

7) Identify and evaluate environmental aspects. The transition is a great chance to re- evaluate your environmental aspects. The new version also requires you to consider foreseeable emergency situations and a lifecycle perspective of your products and services during the identification and evaluation of environmental aspects.

8) Determine the compliance obligations. A requirement for complying with statutory and regulatory requirements existed in the previous version, but now there are also interested parties and their needs and expectations to be observed as compliance obligations.

9) Control documented information. Documented information is the new term, and it refers to both procedures and records. You are required to align your old procedures with the new clause numbers, you should also consider improving your existing documentation. The requirements for preventive actions do not exist anymore (preventive actions has been added to the risk assessment process).

10) Operational control. The new version requires better control of the processes, including operating criteria and implementing controls of processes according to the criteria.

11) Environmental performance. There is now a greater emphasis on establishing environmental performance measuring and monitoring. If done properly, this will give you a total picture of your system and shows you what needs to be improved.

12) Measurement and reporting. Requirements became stricter in the 2015 version, with regards to environmental performance, but also the internal audit and the management review need to be aligned with the new version of the standard. The changes in this requirements are related to the input elements of the management review and requirements to be audited during the internal audit.

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