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QA in Brief - ISO9001 2015 Update #12

Kevin Stretton - Tuesday, December 15, 2015


The six (6) obligatory procedures

Within the 2008 framework mandating a documented quality management system companies were required to demonstrate how they controlled:-
·   Internal auditing
·   Policy & objectives
·   Quality manual & procedures
·   Preventive action
·   Records

It’s important to note that internal auditing, policy objectives and preventative action are inter-connected with each other and closely linked to continual improvement methods.

With changes to the 2015 version all of these requirements have been removed and so your organisation has a unique opportunity to adapt creatively to those changes while demonstrating control of risk.

Areas to consider are:-


·  Context of the organisation compared with its community and industry sectors

·  Decisions made or based on evidence and facts, not opinions

·  Engagement of people (external to and within the organisation)

•    Evaluating the organisation’s performance

•    Improvement

•    Increased customer focus

•    Leadership (not just management commitment)

•    Managing relationships

•    Operations – how they are structured and controlled

•    Planning

•    Process based controls and thinking (no matter what industry sector you are in)

          •    Support mechanisms




QA in Brief - ISO9001 2015 Update #11

Kevin Stretton - Sunday, November 29, 2015
Preventive Action

In successive versions of ISO9001 the terms ‘corrective and preventive’ action have caused considerable confusion among employees, managers and team leaders. The decision to remove all references to ‘preventive action’ will reduce confusion and should help a company focus attention on analysing the root causes of quality issues.

This will become more important as the three standards (AS/NZS4801, ISO9001 & 14001) are aligned with a core theme based on risk management.

Being able to demonstrate an understanding of your organisation’s root causes, how these are linked with systemic improvement & the size of risk will progressively become an auditor’s focus.

QA in Brief - ISO9001 2015 Update #10

Kevin Stretton - Thursday, November 26, 2015
A Quality Manual

In the ISO9001:2008 version companies were required to have a documented quality management system and most developed a ‘Quality Manual’. Other than this requirement the standard was flexible regarding the interpretation of ‘documented’. It was acceptable to have a quality management system in video format if that is what a company chose.

Without mandating the structure of a quality management system the new 2015 standard has completely removed references to a quality manual.

How does this affect your management system? A company may choose to scrap its documented management system. However, the impact of such a significant change needs serious consideration.

Over the last 15 years most employees, managers & team leaders would have become accustomed to using a documented system especially for those operations which carry higher risk. If the quality manual were scrapped completely how would your organisation adapt to these changes, maintain existing controls as well as continually improve?

One thing is certain. With the removal of references to a ‘Quality Manual’ a company now has even greater flexibility in being able to demonstrate how it controls high risk activities or operations, especially for those in the service sector.

QA in Brief - ISO9001 2015 Update #9

Kevin Stretton - Monday, November 23, 2015

Management Representative


During the update to the ISO9001:2015 version references to ‘management representative’ have been removed.

What does this mean for the future and auditing of your management system?

Theoretically it means that any or all of these references and requirements can be removed from your management system and the system would be compliant with ISO9001:2015.

However, the company needs to consider the impact of such changes in its operations. For example, the new standard will be increasing its focus on the commitment of the whole management team not just a single representative.

Whether documented or not any changes to a company’s management system needs to consider how a management team’s commitment to continual improvement will be demonstrated in practice.

Environment in Brief #5 - Waste to Energy

Shelley Inkster - Monday, November 23, 2015
Sweden is taking waste management to a whole new level, recycling and sorting its waste so efficiently that less than 1% ends up in landfills. Furthermore, the country burns about as much household waste as it recycles – over 2 million tonnes – and converts this to energy.

“When waste sits in landfills, leaking methane gas and other greenhouse gases, it is obviously not good for the environment,” said Anna-Carin Gripwall from Swedish Waste Management. “Waste-to-energy is a smart alternative, with less environmental impact, taking into account both by-products of incineration and emissions from transport. Plus, recovering energy from waste exploits a resource that would otherwise be wasted.”

Additionally, it sells a service to the rest of Europe: importing excess waste (approximately 800,000 tonnes yearly) mainly from Norway, the UK, Ireland and Italy.

WTE provides district heating to 950,000 Swedish households and electricity for 260,000 households. In Helsingborg, in the south of Sweden, about 40% of households get their district heating from garbage incinerated at the new Filborna plant run by Oresundskraft. 

www. sustainabilitymatters - Sweden Importing Garbage for Energy

Environment in Brief #6 - Green Car Loans

Shelley Inkster - Monday, November 23, 2015
In recent years banks and credit unions have offered discounted loan rates to consumers purchasing a vehicle which meets the criteria for ‘green’. Now, under a new tax payer-backed scheme (Firstmac and Clean Energy Finance Corporation), consumers who buy energy-efficient cars may be eligible for a discounted loan.

Passenger vehicles that emit 141 grams or less of carbon dioxide per kilometer are eligible.

Environment in Brief #8 - Solving Global Warming with Nanoporous Materials

Shelley Inkster - Monday, November 23, 2015

Vice Chancellor of the Future Industries Institute, UniSA, Professor Tanya Monro (formerly Director of the Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, and the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing), hails the appointment of “Prof Ajayan Vinu as “A fantastic complement to the Institute, which is focussed on research that will seed future industries and also provide solutions to emerging challenges.”


The Future Industries Institute brings together the University of South Australia’s research capacity across four key strands: Minerals and resources engineering; Energy and advanced manufacturing; Environmental science and engineering; and Biomaterials engineering and nanomedicine.


Professor Vinu’s research into nanoporous carbon nitride is creating excitement among environmental scientists troubled by the rapid progression to critical global warming.
“This fascinating material is not only helping in reducing CO2 levels by developing an efficient, low-cost photo electrochemical semiconductor device, but also offers a clean fuel source from the conversion of absorbed CO2 molecules.

The Future Industries Institute - UniSA 

Environment in Brief #7 - MSC Celebrating 15 Years of Sustainable Seafood

Shelley Inkster - Monday, November 23, 2015

Unsustainable fishing is a major global challenge. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 29% of global fisheries have been fished beyond sustainable limits and a further 61% are fully exploited.

In 1997 the first Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard, based on the UN FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing (, was launched. With the commencement of assessments taking place in 1999, the Western Australia rock lobster became the first fishery to achieve certification, with the Alaska salmon following shortly after.

Criteria assessed are:

Principle 1: Sustainable fishing stocks

                   The fishing activity must be at a level which ensures it can continue indefinitely

Principle 2: Minimising environmental impact

                   Fishing operations must be managed to maintain the structure, productivity, function and diversity of

                   the ecosystem

Principle 3: Effective management

                   The fishery must comply with the relevant laws and have a management system that is responsive to

                   changing circumstances.

In the 2014-2015 year there are 256 MSC Certified fisheries globally with more fisheries under assessment.

This year, MSC updated their Fisheries Standard to ensure the latest science and Best Management Practices adopted by the world’s leading fisheries.

There are 5 important updates to the Standard: 
               1. Cumulative impacts on bycatch species are addressed
               2. New measures have been introduced to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems
               3. New requirements to review bycatch
               4. Clear policy on forced labour 
               5. Streamlined process (to minimise cost and administrative burden for businesses for the auditing

                   and assessment process).

The MSC Chain of Custody Standard is a traceability and segregation standard that is applicable to the full supply chain from a certified fishery or farm to final sale.

Over 17, 000 products comprising of 108 species and bearing the MSC ecolabel are sold in 97 countries around the world.

In 2014, from a survey of 9,000 regular seafood buyers from 15 countries across Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America 41% were actively looking for seafood from a sustainable source and 33% recognised the MSC ecolabel. The highest percentage recognising the MSC ecolabel were from Germany, correlating with the highest number of products being available for sale there.

MSC are working with a range of partners to raise awareness of sustainable seafood and the results are encouraging, but there’s still a long way to go. 

MSC Fisheries Standard Version 2.0 

MSC Chain of Custody Standard


FAO – Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular 

Implementation of Performance Review Reports by Regional Fishery bodies, 2004-2014 


Environment in Brief #1 - Bird Friendly Wind Turbines

Shelley Inkster - Monday, November 23, 2015

Though there is debate as to the number of bird injuries and deaths due to the presence of wind turbines, there is no doubt it is in the hundreds of thousands each year. Turbine farm operators are ordered to document and report any bird fatalities or evidence thereof to assist in the monitoring of the impact in-situ. We now know the height of the turbines and location is relevant to the species at risk, for example raptors and migratory birds. 

Wind Farms - Bird Death Toll
Bluff Point and Studland Bay Wind Farms - 2014 Annual Environmental Review 
Raymond Green has developed a bird friendly turbine design ( Additionally, the design funnels the wind in a way which generates more energy. 

Full planning permission for the Hywind floating wind farm, to be located near Buchan Deep, Scotland was given on July 16, 2015. Norway’s Statoil has approval to put in place five, 6 mW floating turbines which are anchored to cables but do not have a fixed location on the sea floor allowing them to operate in waters in excess of 100m.

The aim is to demonstrate the plant of multiple floating turbines in a region that has optimum wind conditions to be a low risk and cost effective solution suitable for commercial scale application. 

Hywind - Offshore Renewable Power Production

Environment in Brief #4 - Plastics to Liquid Fuel

Shelley Inkster - Saturday, November 14, 2015


In 1999, in India, Alka Zadgaonkar developed a way to convert plastic waste material into liquid hydrocarbons.

Though pyrolysis is not new, only recent advances in technology have made it scalable, affordable and profitable.

A seasoned entrepreneur, Michael Murray of Cynar decided to try to commercialize pyrolysis. Cynar has now mastered the process of pyrolysis of plastics, from which the condensed vapour can be refined into usable petrochemicals.

20 million dollars and 11 years later, it is Michael Murray’s hope to bring this technology to developing nations with huge landfills and large energy deficits.

Plastic Energy is building a sister to the Almeria, Spain plant in Seville in 2015.

“I watch this crap going in, smelly, stinky stuff, and get out usable fuel,” says Michael. 


The minds behind the new energy revolution 


Alka Zadgaonkar