Q&A - Miscellaneous


The Contact Us function at the top of every page on the tl9000.org and questforum.org websites is the preferred means for asking questions and receiving answers from the subject matter experts of the QuEST Forum. Over the last few years many questions have been answered through this means. The number of each question is the ticket number in the Contact Us tracking system.

These questions did not clearly fit in one of the other categories.

Question 21291 — Can you please indicate where there is a requirement that anytime there is any type of measurement that is wrong the CB auditor must issue a major non conformance to the organization? An AB auditor indicated that any error no matter whether a typo or one number off on one calculation requires a major NCR? I do not believe I ever heard this nor read this in the MHB or training materials. I would like to know where this is coming from if you can help me with it.

Answer — There appears to have been a misunderstanding here. It is correct to state that a failure to follow a rule in the Measurements Handbook is a major non-conformance. This is true if the rule only applies once and therefore is only not followed once. It is also correct to say the any error in a data submission is a non-conformance. It is not correct to say the any error in a data submission is a major non-conformance. If the organization is following the rules and has a typo in the data entry once, this is a minor non-conformance. If the organizations applied the rule correctly in several instances, but incorrectly once, this would be a minor non-conformance. The intent is that the rules in the Measurement Handbook be treated the exact same as the clauses and added requirements in the Requirements Handbook because they are all requirements that must be met. So the definition of major and minor non-conformances apply the same to either Handbook. A complete failure to follow a requirement or numerous minor issues with a requirement is a major. A single lapse is a minor. The definition of major and minor are detailed in the Code of Practice for TL 9000 Certification Bodies document available on the tl9000.org web site.

Question 11739 — I was wondering if you have conducted any studies or benchmarking on EF&I service rates (average market hourly installation labor rates for telecom equipment), etc. Any information that you can provide or direction that you can provide would be helpful.

Answer — The QuEST Forum has conducted several benchmark studies about product quality but none of these studies involve costs or pricing. In fact, the QuEST Forum operates under an antitrust agreement that prohibits it from conducting any studies that involve cost or pricing.

Question 9097 — A client has informed us that they have switched certification bodies. Their TL registration is still on the system with our certificate number. What is the appropriate action for us to take in this situation relative to updating the registration on Quest Forum portal?

Answer — You can send them a message to ask them to ‘Edit Registration Profile’ and enter the new certification body in their private profile. That will disassociate them with you and associate them with the new CB. You will not be able to access their records after this event.

You can also Decertify them. That action will remove their public profile from public view.

You can also remove them as a client. Log in and after selecting their registration, click the button that reads ‘Remove this Registration from our List of Clients’ to set their certification body to ‘None’. After that you will no longer be able to access their registration records.

Note that their public registration profile will remain visible with your name until you decertify them or they are re-certified by their new certification body or until 60 days after their registration expires.

Question 12381 — Are you looking into the problem of counterfeit (old and reused) parts within SWBDs and RTRs? If so, it there a publication currently within the TL 9000 or is it a future release? We are trying to find a standard that will keep us all uniform.

Answer — The TL 9000 Quality Management System Requirements do not directly address the issue of counterfeit parts. While preventing counterfeit material from entering the telecom supply chain along with the identification and removal of such parts that do are all clearly part of ensuring product quality, there are no requirements that specifically address this issue within the TL 9000 system.

The following may be of interest to you. Due to the nature of the relationships between the large global telecom OEM’s and their Contract Manufacturers, there have been no big problems with counterfeit parts. The manufacturers do not want to risk the loss of a major contract if there was an issue with counterfeit parts. A much bigger problem within the telecom industry is counterfeit board level assemblies. It is estimated that 10% of the router equipment in the market is counterfeit. Several QuEST Forum member companies routinely share with each other their techniques for identifying counterfeit boards.