ISO 9001 vs API Spec Q1 for the Oil and Gas Industry
As manufacturing industry standards evolve over time, your task as a quality management professional becomes more challenging with every refresh. Once in a while, quality management standards undergo a fundamental shift. Recently, updates to the oil and natural gas industry’s hallmark quality standard API Spec Q1 9th Edition are a great example of such a sea change in quality management. Here are a few key differences between the latest version of API Spec Q1 9th Edition and the ISO 9001 series of standards. Let’s investigate ISO 9001 vs API Spec Q1.
What’s New in the Latest Version of API Spec Q1?
The American Petroleum Institute (API) develops many standards for the oil and natural gas manufacturing industry in the US. In fact, the API is the only such trade association in the US, which is why certification to API Spec Q1 (and API Spec Q2, as well) is so important for business. In some cases, failing an API Spec Q1 audit can be very detrimental to your company’s professional image at the very least. In a worst case scenario, failing an API audit can raise your costs substantially.
The API published its latest version of API Spec Q1 in June 2013, and manufacturers that wish to remain certified to API’s quality standards must be in compliance by June 2014. What makes these changes difficult to manage is the deviation from the “classic” structure of the ISO 9001 series. Since it has been tailored to the oil and natural gas industry, API Spec Q1 9th Edition takes a different approach to quality management by bringing risk assessment and risk management into the fold.
API Spec Q1 9th Edition Adds Risk Management
The most important change to API Spec Q1 you need to know is that the API added risk assessment and risk management to the standard. In the ISO 9001 series there is less emphasis on formally documenting risk; API Spec Q1 integrates risk assessment and risk management throughout the standard. For your company, this change may not pose many problems if you have already included risk assessments in your quality management processes. For companies that have focused less on risk management, API Spec Q1 9th Edition is a note-worthy shift away from the old ways of ISO 9001.
In total, the new version of API Spec Q1 includes five new sections and more than 85 new clauses. A good example of the types of changes you can expect is in section five of API Spec Q1 that adds formal (emphasis added) contingency planning to the quality management puzzle. Certainly, your company already has such contingency procedures, but the difference is that API Spec Q1 mandates including these procedures to gain certification. Finding common ground between QMS and risk assessment
7 Key Differences Between ISO 9001 and API Spec Q1 9th Edition
Risk is absolutely the most business-critical element added to the latest version of API Spec Q1. However, you should pay close attention to other key differences, too. ISO 9001 is the basis for most (if not all) of the industry-specific quality management standards. Structurally, API Spec Q1 deviates from the classic ISO 9001 series, but the end results of a compliant quality management system are still the same.
Some of the key differences you should know between API Spec Q1 9th Edition and ISO 9001 are:
- formalizing employee competency and training of personnel
- reinforcing risk assessment and risk management throughout the standard
- contingency planning
- controlling the supply chain
- preventative maintenance
- validation of designs
- management of change
As you can see, the latest version of API Spec Q1 does in fact deviate from the ISO 9001 approach to quality management. The ISO 9001 series takes a process-focused approach, but API Spec Q1 9th Edition takes a process-and-risk-management approach in one manner of speaking. To state the bottom line bluntly, without formalized risk assessments in your quality planning, your company will not meet the minimum standards to gain API certification. Software for managing your QMS
ISO 9001 touches upon all of the aspects listed above, but the difference is the formal inclusion of these facets to meet the API’s new standards. Developing an API-compliant quality management system may take a top-down, wholesale refresh of how your company approaches quality management. To meet the API’s new requirements, you cannot simply rearrange the wording of your ISO 9001-compliant quality manual and expect success.
Your task as a quality management professional becomes more difficult as quality standards change over the years. Updates to the API’s hallmark quality management standard API Spec Q1 9th Edition represent a fundamental shift away from the process-based approach to quality to a more risk-management-based method of managing quality in the oil and natural gas industry. QMS in the Oil and Gas Industry