Showing posts with label ISO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ISO. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ISO 14001 Draft International Standard out!

ISO 14001, Environmental Management Systems, is being revised in accordance to the 5 year review cycle of its publisher, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). For those currently using ISO 14001:2004 and its 2009 Corrigendum, this new revision will present some changes and there will be a three year transition period for current users to recertify in the new standard once it is released. Prior to its release, the revision process encourages input from those with relevant expertise and experience. If you would like to get involved, please contact ANSI regarding ISO 14001 ISO/TC (technical committee) 207/SC (subcommittee) 1. The final version of ISO 14001 is on schedule to be released by the end of 2015.

The key changes in ISO/DIS 14001 are summarized as follows:

  • An increased prioritization on environmental management as part of the organization's overall planning process allows the organization to act earlier and more effectively.
  • Similarly, assigning responsibilities to members of the organization's leadership aligns with the previous change by making sure that somebody is devoting attention to the matter.
  • Proactive initiatives to protect the environment are promoted, further feeding into the first change
  • A shift in emphasis from the improvement of the management system itself to the improvement of environmental performance.
  • Lifecycle consideration becomes an issue, with attention paid to sourcing, use, and end-of-life treatment or disposal.
  • Communication strategy development looks at both internal communication, with reliable information for updates and suggestions to be exchanged, and external communication, to the public or regulatory agencies.
  • Documentation changes address the progress of computer technology and the new options and opportunities allowed.
  • Annex SL is a new common structure shared by other ISO management standards, most notably the under-revision ISO/DIS 9001:2015, that seeks to align them to ease implementation of multiple management standards by a single organization.

ANSI is currently offering the current ISO 14001:2004 standard, the ISO 14001:2004/Cor1:2009 Corrigendum and the ISO/DIS 14001:2015 draft standard for sale in its webstore.

ANSI contact info for contributing to the development of ISO 14001:2015
TC 207/SC 1 -- Environmental management systems
TAG Administrator:
American Society for Quality
Julie Sharp
600 N Plankinton Ave
P O Box 3005
Milwaukee, WI 53201-3005
Phone: (414) 272-8575 X7647
ANSI Staff Contact: Karen Hughes
Phone: (212) 642-4992

Friday, May 2, 2014

ISO 9001:2015 The New Revision

UPDATE: The ANSI Webstore now offers the International Draft Standard, ISO/DIS 9001. See the changes in detail and help contribute to the process!

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is releasing a revision to one of the most popular and widely used standards, ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems, next year in 2015. Currently undergoing the periodic review process that all ISO standards are subject to, ISO 9001:2015 will have several key changes both in itself and in relation to other standards. ISO 9001 is designed to be generic enough to apply to businesses of any size, in any industry, anywhere.

Key among the revisions is the switch to compliance with Annex SL, which molds the content of ISO 9001 and other related management system standards (MSS) with regard to a common structure, terms, and definitions. Essentially, Annex SL serves as a blueprint for MSS so that they can be combined and expanded upon while remaining compatible with each other without confusion.

Next, ISO 9001:2015 brings quality management into the central business outlook by taking advantage of leadership, company focus, senior managers, and complete integration into business practices. If those in charge of the company put quality management as a key priority, then that mentality (and resource allocation) will reverberate through the management hierarchy.

Finally, this revision will serve to bring ISO 9001 up to relevancy with regard to both challenges and opportunities that arise from changing technologies, globalization, and a reinforcement of a risk based approach, as well as structuring the standard to deal with future changes.

For those already familiar with ISO 9001:2008, here are the changes clause by clause:

Clause 4: Context of the Organization. This deals with the context of the organization, with a focus on senior management to understand the relationship between risk, challenges, and management systems.

Clause 4: Process Management. The determination of process risk and the allocation of responsibilities.

Clause 5: Leadership. This aims to align the company's direction with quality management, to look at risk identification, assessment, and management from multiple directions, especially from the senior management.

Clause 6: Product Conformity and Customer Satisfaction. This section shifts from preventive action to a focus on risk and opportunity that relate to product conformity and customer satisfaction.

Clause 7: Efficient Resource Management. Newly included continuous attention to customer needs and satisfaction.

Clause 8: Contingency Planning to improve customer communication. Additionally, assessment of design suitability before operations begin.

Clause 8: Controlling Outsourced Activities. The revision highlights the importance of efficient risk management of outsourced activities.

Clause 9: Stronger Measuring and Monitoring. These requirements flow into effective risk assessment and quality management.

Clause 10: Continual Improvement Internal Audits get a more structured approach.

Taken together, the changes to ISO 9001 for the 2015 edition bring it up to date with the modern world and give it and businesses the tools necessary to anticipate and deal with future changes from a risk-based perspective.

Monday, November 11, 2013

ANSI Smart and Sustainable Cities Workshop

With growing opportunities for smart and sustainable city development brought about by both improved technology and an increased awareness of the benefits of such development, several international standards organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have turned their attention to the issue.

ANSI, as the official U.S. representative to ISO and, via the U.S. National Committee, to IEC, supports these efforts and serves its role in facilitating domestic coordination. Having held the ANSI Joint Member Forum in April with experts on standard development, and members of industry, government, and academia, and drawing from insights gained there, ANSI is holding a Smart and Sustainable Cities Workshop in Washington D.C. on November 21st. From the event page, "Attendees will consider the need for coordinated U.S. participation in international smart cities initiatives, the priority areas for standardization, and who needs to be involved. Ultimately, the goal is to develop a set of recommendations for action that will be captured in a workshop report." Registration ends soon!

Smart cities combine innovations and new technologies from a range of different fields, such as urban informatics and smart grid, to drive improvements in infrastructure with the goal of reducing waste, improving reliability, sustainability, and quality of life. All of these aspects come together to build the city of tomorrow. Such integration can be guided by standardization, and the wide range of technologies and ideas involved needs the input of experts from many fields.

See the Smart and Sustainable Cities Workshop event page for venue and other information, or directly register here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Release of ISO/TR 31004:2013 - Implementation of Risk Management

ISO's new release of ISO/TR 31004:2013 provides guidance for organizations on effectively managing risk through the implementation of ISO 31000:2009, a widely used international standard for providing principles and general guidelines on risk management.

Intended for and written to be used by any public, private, or community enterprise, association, group, or individual, ISO 31000 is wide reaching and not specific to any industry or sector. Joining ISO 31000:2009 and the new ISO/TR 31004:2013 into a discounted package, ANSI presents a cost-effective solution for those looking for the tools and strategies to manage their risk in a thorough, standardized manner.

Also associated with ISO 31000 are ISO Guide 73, Risk Management Vocabulary, and ISO/IEC 31010, Risk Assessment Techniques, bundled together with ISO 31000 at a discount.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Industrial Automation Standards

Industrial Automation is what makes the world run. Industrial Automation Standards are what make industrial automation run. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published many standards detailing industrial automation systems and integration, testing, management, and interfaces. Touting amongst its advantages phenomenal efficiency, decreased prices, and significantly improved reliability with respect to both output quantity and quality, industrial automation depends on proper design and implementation in order to continue delivering on its track record.

Industrial Automation Standards serve to provide guidelines from which interoperable systems can be designed and implemented. Interoperability extends to manufacturing software capability profiling; the service interface, such as for testing applications; data management and modeling; and, most tangibly, the physical parts that are used by and comprise the machines involved in the actual manufacturing. As ISO standards are organized by ICS (International Classification for Standards), ISO ICS 25, Manufacturing Engineering, serves as a collection of standards for both industrial automation and the machine tools that are associated with it.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published a series of standards addressing industrial automation as well, focusing more on the network communications aspect of the system. Delving into industrial communication network profiles and fieldbus specifications, IEC industrial automation standards serve a powerful role in standardizing their rather complicated field.

Together, these standards guide the industry and promote efficiency, ease of management, and reliability, for those doing everything from building these systems, to using, testing, and maintaining these systems. And, as a result, the benefit is carried over to those who use the products that come about as the result of the improvement to these systems.

Recently, the Electronic Commerce Code Management Association (ECCMA) administrated U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO TC 184, Automation systems and integration, is seeking industry, government, and other interested experts to work on a variety of automation-related standards.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Food Safety Testing Standards

Food safety testing standards from ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, address the general foundations for a wide range of tests as well as standards dealing with the specific methods used in individual tests. Given how important reliably safe food is to us, food safety testing becomes a top priority. Furthermore, food safety testing itself must be analyzed for accuracy and precision so that consumers, distributors, and producers have confidence in the reliability of the results provided, and thus have confidence in the food being tested, whether they are selling it and have to maintain their reputation and adhere to regulations, or if they are eating the food and their continued health relies upon it.

Starting with standards as broad in their subject matter as ISO 7218:2007, General requirements and guidance for microbiological examinations, and ISO 17604:2003, Carcass sampling for microbiological analysis, those involved in testing food intended for human consumption or the feeding of animals can conduct their testing in accordance with internationally agreed upon testing foundations. Going further, we also find standards much narrower in scope, such as ISO 4833:2003, Horizontal method for the enumeration of microorganisms – Colony-count technique at 30 degrees C, published to carefully guide specific procedures designed for specific testing scenarios. These specifications seek to assure meaningful and precise, reproducible results across laboratories and testing groups and, as a result, become increasingly important the more specialized the test becomes.

Mirroring the great diversity in both foods and the possible microbiological threats posed, ISO has published a great many standards on the topic under the heading of “Microbiology of food and animal feeding stuffs.” Similarly, several national standards bodies have adopted these ISO standards. The importance of food safety and the testing necessary to assure it is undeniable and a justifiably major undertaking, with these standards and the efforts of food testers everywhere serving as our safeguard.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fire Protection Systems

Fire protection systems are desirable in all structures where fires can occur and where such fires are not wanted—which is to say virtually all of them. Past the obvious need for a fire protection system is the need to choose the proper type of system, the answer to which depends on the design of structure being protected, the nature of the materials comprising the structure and of those found within, its surroundings, and all applicable laws, regulations, codes, and policies.

As fire is quick to spread and becomes increasingly complicated to handle after it does, the prevention of that spread is a vital key point in many approaches to fire protection. This forces the myriad of existing methods and technologies to be used as component parts of a unified comprehensive system rather than independently installed units. That, in turn, requires the individual elements of fire protection systems to be predictable in their design, manufacture, inspection procedures, functioning, and usage, so that they may all be intertwined in a reliable way.

The most recognizable element of a modern fire protection system is the ubiquitous sprinkler: mounted on the ceiling and triggered by the presence of fire, it releases water to either control or suppress flames in its vicinity. While the presence of a sprinkler system is fairly standard, the type of sprinkler system that is appropriate for a particular environment varies widely. ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, has published a 12-part series addressing the varying requirements and test methods for sprinkler systems and associated components. Among a wealth of other standards dealing with fire protection, NFPA, the National Fire Protection Association, has recently published two standards focusing on residential sprinkler systems, the first focusing on one- and two-family dwellings and manufactured homes, and the second dealing with larger residential occupancies, up to and including four stories in height.

Sprinklers, however, are only a single part of a complete fire protection system. Everything from the selection and installation of fire extinguishers and their inspection and maintenance procedures, to comprehensive requirements for high challenge fire walls and fire barrier walls is standardized in the ongoing effort to improve fire protection systems.

Altogether, well planned out fire protection systems use all sorts of materials, methods, and devices to contain the spread of fire and put it out, protecting both lives and property.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Greenhouse Gas Standards

Greenhouse gases (GHG) are a group of gases that, when in the atmosphere, reflect sunlight back towards the planet, heating it up as a result. Carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone are the primary gases that carry this property, varying drastically from gas to gas with respect to the magnitude of their contribution and its duration. Cumulatively, this process, known as the greenhouse effect, plays a major role in determining the surface temperature of Earth.

As a result of concerns raised over the magnitude and significance of the human role in atmospheric GHG levels, GHG reduction efforts have blossomed, ranging in scale from personal initiatives to international laws and agreements that operate on a truly global level. In the past, GHG levels were restrained to some degree by laws aimed at increasing air quality by reducing pollution. Today, initiatives take aim at the reduction of GHG emissions specifically. These initiatives, alongside standards published through a consensus process, laws and agreements enacted at all levels of authority, and the creation of organizations and processes designed to hold others accountable, together function to address concerns over atmospheric GHG levels.

Standards, designed by open consensus-based processes, are voluntary guidelines and procedures that represent industry-wide views on the proper way to go about a specific activity, promoting fair competition, interoperability, reliability, and consistency. Regarding GHG, standards exist to guide basic assessment and measurement of GHG, quantification, monitoring, and reporting of GHG reductions or removals at a project or organizational level, as well as more specific standards, such as one detailing a specific test method for measurement of particulate emissions and heating efficiency of outdoor solid fuel-fired hydronic heating appliances.

Laws and agreements that affect GHG emissions take many forms. Chief among these are enforced mandatory caps or carbon taxes. Additionally, others voluntarily promise to reduce their GHG emissions. In either case, those involved in GHG reduction make assertions about their efforts. In those cases where the amount of GHG emitted is tied to a financial or legal system of incentives and/or repercussions, assertions of GHG emission quantities must be validated/verified by an impartial third-party. GHG emitters must, for example, make assertions based upon GHG emission measurement methods that have been shown to be both accurate and precise, as well as comply with many other prerequisites for trustable and actionable GHG assertions.

The impartial third-parties that validate/verify GHG assertions are known as GHG Validation/Verification Bodies (V/VB). The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the national standards organization of the United States of America and its representative internationally, offers accreditation services for V/VBs through the ANSI Accreditation Program for Greenhouse Gas Validation/Verification Bodies. The program essentially does for V/VBs what V/VBs do for those making GHG assertions; it looks for consistency and reliability in the operating procedures of V/VBs, inspiring confidence in the claims they make.

Cap and Trade Programs

Cap and Trade programs, one of the more popular approaches to GHG reduction, seek to reduce GHG emissions by utilizing the free market instead of working against it, consisting of two predictably named parts, an initial cap and subsequent trading. The cap is a mandatory reduction in the total amount of emissions. Trading then serves to incentivize the reduction of GHG emissions by offering a competitive financial motive.

Essentially, everyone involved receives a certain number of allowances (either for free or by auction), translating to an absolute volume of GHG they can each legally emit. If an entity does not utilize all of their allowances, the remainder can be either kept for use at a later date or auctioned off. Conversely, an entity emitting more GHG than they have in allowances would purchase additional allowances at auction. In this manner, the auction price is dictated by supply and demand. As a whole, Cap and Trade programs are cost-effective with respect to their goal of reducing GHG emissions.

The effectiveness of Cap and Trade programs hinges directly upon the accuracy of GHG emissions and reductions data, coupled with rigorous enforcement for instances of fraud or noncompliance. This accuracy is necessary for both the accomplishment of the program’s environmental goals, as well as promoting trust among the companies involved and therefore the market as a whole. ANSI-accredited V/VBs fill this niche, serving as an impartial check upon GHG emitters and assuring that programs like Cap and Trade are achieving their desired goals.

Carbon Tax

A tax on GHG emissions is another method of financially incentivizing GHG reduction efforts. Simple in its workings, a carbon tax appends a cost to every unit of emitted GHG. Lower emissions translate directly to less carbon taxes being paid. However, while carbon taxes do encourage reductions in GHG emissions, they do not put a mandatory limit on GHG emissions, allowing for some to simply pay the tax if doing so is more profitable than reducing emissions or, alternatively, passing the cost directly to the consumer or end-user. Comparing carbon taxes to Cap and Trade programs, both options have their relative advantages and disadvantages and care must be taken to select the appropriate GHG reduction strategy.

Here, as in Cap and Trade programs, accurate GHG assertions are vitally important, creating the same need for V/VBs and the ANSI accreditation process behind them. 

Validation/Verification and Accreditation

Validation/Verification, as explained earlier, is crucial to any GHG reduction program. However, while V/VBs look at GHG assertions, V/VBs must themselves be tested for competency, impartiality, and consistency. Filling this role, the ANSI Accreditation Program for Greenhouse Gas Validation/Verification Bodies accredits GHG V/VBs based upon their adherence to the requirements set out in ISO 14065:2007, including, for example, the requirement “that validation bodies and verification bodies establish and maintain a procedure to manage the competence of its personnel,” among others. Another relevant standard is ISO 14064-3:2006, offering “guidance for the validation and verification of greenhouse gas assertions.” Additionally, a relatively recently published standard, ISO 14066:2011, will be introduced into the process in the near future as well.

In this way, ANSI accreditation serves to assure other entities of a V/VB’s competency and adherence to international and widely agreed upon standards. The ANSI GHG V/VB accreditation procedure is itself thorough, lending additional credibility to those organizations that successfully complete the process, earn accreditation, and go on to retain it after ongoing ANSI surveillance and reassessment.

The Entire Process

The entire process, with GHG assertions validated/verified by V/VBs and ANSI accrediting those V/VBs, is an integral part of the foundation of any GHG reduction program. Essentially, the influence of ANSI-accredited V/VBs is always preferable. For some emission reduction programs, such as The Climate Registry, a collaboration spanning across Canada, The United States, and Mexico, validation/verification by an ANSI-accredited V/VB is not only preferable but a prerequisite for participation. As today’s world is increasingly concerned with the level of GHG in the atmosphere and the processes that affect it, this system of validation/verification and accreditation is a critically important fixture.

For further information, consult, alongside others, the following sources:
What are Greenhouse Gases? From the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Cap and Trade. Both are from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Frequently Asked Questions section of the ANSI Accreditation Program for Greenhouse Gas Validation/Verification Bodies website.