By Mike Richman
This regular column in The Auditor is intended to shine a light on the people, standards, and events that mean the most to auditors and registered organizations.
In this segment, we chat with Dr. Arash Niavarani, fellow member at Chartered Institute of Management and Leadership. Dr. Niavarani is offering a presentation titled, “ISO 18404, an International Standard for Lean and Six Sigma Certification” during Exemplar Global’s forthcoming Future of Auditing Expo.
Mike Richman: Arash, from a high level, what is ISO 18404 and what is it intended to do?
Arash Niavarani: ISO 18404 is the first standard about Lean and Six Sigma requirements which is published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) The main purpose of the standard is to clarify the required competencies for personnel and organizations in Lean, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma.
MR: What are the key clauses of the standard, and what types of internal systems do auditors need to review to validate organizational and/or individual conformity?
AN: There are three main clauses in the standard: 4. “Competency of Key Personnel,” which is more relevant to education, training, skills and competency of the team; 5. “Adequacy of the Organization,” which is more about organizational strategy, architecture, and internal processes as the business process improvement framework; and 6. “Resource Management,” which is more about provisioning required software and hardware and maintaining them to support the continual improvement practices.
MR: What do you foresee in the future for this standard specifically, and Lean and Six Sigma in general? Are there specific types of organizations and/or individuals that you believe will gravitate toward ISO 18404 in the years to come?
AN: Regarding individual certification, it is already on the table as an internationally recognized body of knowledge and we, as the first and the only Exemplar Global-certified Training Provider and Examiner Certification Scheme (TPECS) provider for offering examinations according to ISO 18404, are seeing demand increase these days.
Regarding organizational certification, I believe organizations that have a continual improvement DNA will gravitate toward this standard as a best practice and also certify their framework against it. They will also use the ISO 18404 body of knowledge as the standard for training their staff.
Exemplar Global’s Future of Auditing Expo will take place October 14–31. Click here to register.
About the author
Mike Richman is the principal of Richman Business Media Consulting, a marketing and public relations company working with clients in the worlds of manufacturing, consumer products, politics, and education. Richman also hosts the web television program NorCal News Now, which focuses on social, economic, and political issues in California. He is a contributor to (and former publisher of) Quality Digest.