Mar 22, 2011

Quality Certifications - What Changes Within?

"Enlightenment is not imagining figure of light but making the darkness conscious."
~Carl Jung~

If someone asks, "what changes if we are certified?"

Often the most suitable answer will be, "not much!" With Certification, nothing changes about the way things are done - believing the certification as a badge of competence is being amazingly naive.

Most firms will neither be better or worse off without the long list of ISO certifications that they have. That is why, they are taken for granted -  few would bother to frame them hang them up the wall. Certification is a ritual that you ought to be done with (and a damn expensive one at that). It is as if, ISO created this revenue model to help create and sustain host of auditing firms. It is a hidden factory with no meaningful value addition to majority of its customer firms.

This works like medical care: patients pays for diagnosis which tell whether they are healthy - here customers demand truth. But that is not how ISO certification works. The firms pay external auditors do so to get certified not to be given the bad news of disqualification. The model of certification is hopelessly flawed - brilliant people at International Standards Organization (ISO) miss this silly point altogether, or so they pretend.

The game of certification audit is start with, auditors play tough and then start frowning upon some missing processes and then at the end of the day, certify the firm anyway. Neither auditors can afford to loose their client by telling the truth, nor the client is bothered to take it the hard way. It's a win-win for both and little changes within.

Oh by the way, customer organizations pay for the hotel, boarding and entertainment of their auditors - now, who would bite the hand that pays for kind hospitality!

Can this be fixed? I think so! More about that in the next post.


  1. Nice article soooooooo true

  2. thanks Kuldip. I will be posting some more on this topic tonight - do check back. cheers!