30 September 2003
Suppliers to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) should update to the ISO 9001:2000 quality management standard by 15 December 2003 to be considered "appropriate" under its Appropriate Certification policy, says BSI Management Systems today. After the deadline those companies who reply to MoD invitations to tender without ISO 9001:2000 will be disadvantaged when compared to those who have transferred.
Because the MoD's specifications draw substantially from the ISO 9001:2000 standard, companies already certified to this standard will find it more straightforward to achieve the MoD's stringent requirements than those who are not.
Errol Taylor of BSI says: "ISO 9001:2000 provides confidence between companies and their customers both domestically and internationally. It helps to facilitate trade, improves competitiveness and protects consumers.
"Suppliers can help themselves by adopting this quality assurance standard because, ultimately, it enables the MoD to work smarter. It can also help prevent cost and time over-runs of primary contractors, and improve the security and quality of the supply chain sub contractors. This leads to more traceability, lower risk implications and compliments the MoD's SMART Acquisition principles."
Not only is the MoD supporting the standard, but Government Ministers are also lending support to ISO 9001:2000. Patricia Hewitt MP, Secretary of State for Trade & Industry, said in response to Parliamentary Questions tabled by Tom Watson MP:
"We hope that businesses will use the new standard to improve their productivity and competitiveness and that as many as possible will transfer to the new standard."
Companies that fail to transfer before the December 2003 deadline may miss out on the clear benefits of ISO 9001:2000 including the potential cost savings and reduction in red tape that the standard brings.
The International Organisation for Standards (ISO) regularly updates all standards. ISO 9001:2000 was created after feedback from UK business illustrated the shortcomings of the old standard, introduced in 1994. ISO 9001:2000 has three distinct new benefits:
less red tape - companies will find it easier to show that they meet the requirements of the updated standard
focus on customer satisfaction - the updated standard helps companies ensure that customer satisfaction is central to their operation, making them more competitive
more flexible - the updated standard is more flexible, enabling companies to run quality management systems the way that is most relevant to them
Companies requiring further information should contact BSI Management Systems Helpdesk on 020 8996 7720 or visit http://emea.bsi-global.com/Quality
For more information please contact:
Wilma Tulloch on +44 (0)20 8996 6330 OR
Marc Edney on +44 (0)20 8996 6330