A1. How can a company obtain a draft of the ISO/TS for preparation?
Currently (October 2016) there is no draft available of the ISO/TS. Any update related to this topic will be communicated through the IRIS Portal (www.iris-rail.org).
A2. When will the ISO/TS be published?
According to the ISO/TC 269 decision in June 2016, the publication of the ISO/TS is foreseen for May 2017 latest.
A3. How can the ISO/TS be accessible for all stakeholders (companies, certification bodies, auditors, …)?
The ISO/TS will be available through ISO, similar to other already existing ISO/TS documents.
A4. When and how can the IRIS Certification™ rules be acquired?
The IRIS Certification™ rules will be published in the same timeframe as the ISO/TS (May 2017). The IRIS Certification™ rules can be acquired through the IRIS Portal.
B1. Can a concession/waiver be provided to companies which do not pass the transition before the deadline in September 2018?
IRIS certified companies have two options, to decide the best way for the transition. The transition phase finishes on September, 14th 2018. All audit cycles started afterwards are considered as certification audits without reduction of time.
B2. Do all remote locations and/or site extensions have to be ready for the transition?
The IRIS certificate is valid for the whole management system of the certified company as defined in the activities and scope. Therefore all related remote locations and/or site extensions shall be ready to be certified with the related certified company. The transition audit includes a readiness review and certification audit.
C1. I have lost or forgotten my password to enter the IRIS Portal, what can I do?
1- Go to the IRIS Portal, click Login, then "forgotten your password".
2- Enter the email address.
3- the IRIS Portal is sending a new password to the email address
C2. How to register on the IRIS Portal?
The registration on the IRIS Portal shall be done by the company and is the first step for starting the IRIS certification process. Once registered, the company shall regularly review the registration information and keep it updated.
The company shall consider that the information given in the registration is:
- used to produce all IRIS official documentation, including the IRIS report and IRIS certificate;
- displayed in the public area of the IRIS Portal, once the IRIS certification is achieved.
To register on the IRIS Portal, the company shall visit this page and fill up the requested information.
C3. What information is needed during the registration phase?
1- COMPANY INFORMATION
Company / Legal Form of Company:
Street and No:
ZIP Code / City:
VAT Identification Number:
Total number of employees in the location:
Number of employees who are dealing specifically with the railway business within the location:
Number of employees who are dealing specifically with the railway business within remote location(s)
Number of employees who are dealing specifically with the railway business within site extension(s):
2- CONTACT PERSON (SUPERVISOR) INFORMATION
Form of Address:
Email Address (User name):
3- EXISTING CERTIFICATIONS INFORMATION
Company already certified for:
4- CERTIFICATION BODY INFORMATION
Choose the Certification Body to be linked with your company for auditing activity.
If you already know which is the Certification Body you would like to be connected to, please choose it in the list:
C4. What does IRIS mean with "total number of employees in the location"?
The total number of employees in the location means the total number of people in headcount related to ALL businesses, plus:
- temporary staff;
- subcontracted staff;
C5. What does IRIS mean with "Number of employees who are dealing specifically with the railway business within the location"?
The total number of employees who are dealing specifically with the railway business within the location means the total number of people in headcount related to the RAIL business, plus:
- temporary staff;
- subcontracted staff;
C6. What does IRIS mean with "Number of employees who are dealing specifically with the railway business within remote location(s)"?
The total number of employees who are dealing specifically with the railway business within remote location(s) means the total number of people in headcount within the remote location(s) related to the RAIL business, plus:
- temporary staff;
- subcontracted staff.
C7. What does IRIS mean with "Number of employees who are dealing specifically with the railway business within the site extension(s)"?
The total number of employees who are dealing specifically with the railway business within site extension(s) means the total number of people in headcount within the site extension(s) related to the RAIL business, plus:
- temporary staff;
- subcontracted staff.
C8. VAT number, what is it?
A common VAT system is compulsory for member states of the European Union.
The EU VAT system is imposed by a series of European Union directives, the most important of which is the Sixth VAT Directive (Directive 77/388/EC).
Nevertheless, some member states have negotiated VAT exemption or variable rates for regions or territories. The Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla (Spain), Gibraltar (UK) and Åland Islands (Finland) are outside the scope of the EU system of VAT, while the Autonomous regions of Portugal (Azores and Madeira) are allowed to levy rates lower than Mainland Portugal.
Under the EU system of VAT, where a person carrying on an economic activity supplies goods and services to another person, and the value of the supplies passes financial limits, the supplier is required to register with the local taxation authorities and
charge its customers, and account to the local taxation authority for, VAT (although the price may be inclusive of VAT, so VAT is included as part of the agreed price, or exclusive of VAT, so VAT is payable in addition to the agreed price).
VAT that is charged by a business and paid by its customers is known as output VAT (that is, VAT on its output supplies). VAT that is paid by a business to other
businesses on the supplies that it receives is known as input VAT (that is, VAT
on its input supplies). A business is generally able to recover input VAT to the
extent that the input VAT is attributable to (that is, used to make) its taxable
outputs. Input VAT is recovered by setting it against the output VAT for which the
business is required to account to the government, or, if there is an excess,
by claiming a repayment from the government.
Different rates of VAT apply in different EU member states.
The minimum standard rate of VAT throughout the EU is 15%, although reduced rates of VAT,
as low as 5%, are applied in various states on various sorts of supply (for example,
domestic fuel and power in the UK). The maximum rate in the EU is 25%.
To find out more please go to: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/faqvies.do
C9. DUNS number, what is it?
DUNS Number = Dun & Bradstreet Number
is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for identifying and keeping track of over 92 million businesses worldwide:
- it enhances the credibility of your business in the marketplace
- it enables potential customers, suppliers and lenders to easily identify and learn about your company
for more information about DUNS number please visit the website: http://www.dnb.com/get-a-duns-number.html
D1. How can my company set up and maintain our Business Management System to be prepared for the IRIS evaluation process?
1) the company shall refer to the latest published and released IRIS booklet.
2) the company needs to consider the latest ISO 9001 standard because IRIS is encapsulating all ISO 9001 requirements.
3) the company should use the IRIS audit-tool to perform a self assessment of its current Business Management System.
4) the company should perform a gap analysis between its current Business Management System and the IRIS requirements.
5) the company shall:
a) close all identified gaps in the Business Management System,
b) implement the Business Management System in the daily business and
c) check the effective application before requesting a CB to start the official evaluation process.
D2. Who can give our company consultancy services about setting up and maintaining our Business Management System to be prepared for the IRIS evaluation process?
1.) The IRIS Management Centre can’t recommend any company able to give help, support and consultancy about the IRIS certification.
2.) Currently the market is offering consultancy services. The company should find an effective approach for the implementation but also high technical knowhow in the rail sector by the consultants.
3.) Approved IRIS Certification Body as well as their auditors cannot offer consultancy services to their clients.
D3. How can I buy the IRIS Standard?
The IRIS Standard (IRIS Booklet) can be purchased using the link "SHOP".
D4. How can I buy the IRIS Audit-Tool?
Only companies already registered in the IRIS Portal are allowed to purchase the IRIS Audit-Tool.
The IRIS Audit-Tool can be purchased ONLY from this website, using the link "SHOP".
The current version of the Audit-Tool is 4.1.2.00.
D5. How much past data should the company collect before being audited against IRIS?
At least 6 months of data are required.
E1. Which companies can apply for an IRIS Certificate?
IRIS is only applicable to Rolling Stock and Signalling companies having manufacturing and/or design and/or maintenance activities.
E2. How is the independency of the IRIS scheme guaranteed?
The IRIS scheme is under UNIFE supervision and control. The IRIS Management Centre is responsible for the respect of the rules. For instance, the evaluation process is conducted by independent auditors, coming from IRIS approved certification bodies.
E3. How is IRIS managed as a global scheme?
Operators are members of the IRIS Advisory Board. The objectives of the IRIS Advisory Board are:
- to cooperate with UNIFE Members and to involve operators in the IRIS scheme;
- to work together to establish the IRIS Standard in the Rail Sector as the main recognized and accepted global system for the evaluation of Business Management Systems (standardization of general requirements)
- to work together in order to improve product quality & supply chain efficiency.
E4. Are there any legal concerns (closed market)?
All untitrust issues and market competition issues have been considered during the development phase of the IRIS initiative.
E5. Will the IRIS Standard become an ISO, EN standard?
IRIS General Manager is member of the ISO CASCO STAR group which has a consultative mandate within the industrial sector specific standards.
A common agreement exists between ISO and CEN not to develop standards on the same topics. Currently no decision has been taken in this respect.
Since 2015, IRIS is preparing it's future evolution. The goal is to become an ISO standard by 2018 latest. All related steps and actions are undertaken currently.
E6. Will the TSIs (Technical Specification for Interoperability) consider/refer to IRIS in their requirements?
The last revision of the quality Modules of Chapter 6 (2009) requires the acceptance by the NoBos of all certified quality management systems.
E7. What is the difference between Outsourcing and transfer of processes?
ISO 9001 uses very frequently the term outsourcing, especially
in the clause 4.1, and this meaning is not appropriate in respect
to the rail sector.
Within the ISO 9001 framework, it can be understood as purchasing,
sub-contracting, transfer, procuring,… each having different ways
of implementation within an organization.
Within the IRIS requirements, we prefer using terms which are
clearly linked to the rail understanding.
For this reason, TRANSFER (as defined in the Annex 5 of the IRIS
Standard Rev02) is meant for processes where the ownership
(responsibility) is handed over to another internal or external
A typical example is transfer of the painting process (temporarily
The aim is to keep all process parameters in order to ensure the
same results (products, times, tools,…), only the manpower changes
and need to be trained. As a difference for a purchased painting process,
the supplier would have the choice of the painting products, tools, ….
but shall anyhow achieve the same requirements in terms of gloss,
thickness,….. Therefore he needs to validate the new parameters of
his process to ensure the capability of his new process compared to
the previous one done in another location.
E8. WHAT ARE THE RULES ABOUT MULTI SITE CERTIFICATION WITHIN THE IRIS SCHEME ?
The IRIS certification Process follows a single site certification approach, therefore a multi site certification approach does not apply for the IRIS certification process, regarding:
- remote functions, refer to IRIS standard chapter 1 clause 4.3.
- site extension, refer to advisory 04 rev2 issued on 1rst, July 2010
- definition of “site”, refer to Annex 5 of the standard.
F1. Are Operators involved in IRIS?
Operators are members of the IRIS Advisory Board. The objectives of the IRIS Advisory Board are to:
- cooperate with UNIFE Members and to involve operators in the IRIS scheme;
- work together to establish the IRIS Standard in the Rail Sector as the main recognized and accepted global system for the evaluation of Business Management Systems (standardization of general requirements)
- work together in order to improve product quality & supply chain efficiency.
F2. Does IRIS include Operators Requirements?
Operator representatives have been involved in the IRIS Joint Working Group where their requirements have been identified and included in the IRIS Rev. 02.
G1. Will "notified bodies" automatically be IRIS approved or do they need to go to the IRIS approval process as well?
All 3rd party organizations, which will conducted IRIS audits need to follow the IRIS approval process with the pre-condition to be ISO 9001 accredited.
"Notified bodies" => product certification
"certification bodies" => process certification
G2. How to become an IRIS Auditor?
To become an IRIS auditor, one shall be an ISO 9001 third party qualified auditor and active for the CB who is presenting the candidature to the IMC.
The Auditor Approval Form (available through the CB) shall be filled by the candidate, validated by CB and submitted to IMC.
Main features requested to the candidate are:
• Compliance with ISO 19011,
• Qualified for ISO 9001 for the CB who is presenting the candidature,
• Auditing Experience (min. 4 certification audits or 20 audit days for ISO 9001 within the last 4 years), and
• 3 years work experience in the Rail Sector or similar industry (automotive, aerospace etc.) during the last 10 years, and
• English language knowledge.
IMC reviews and validates admission for training course.
IRIS process scope will be assigned to the auditor by IMC after positive result of the written and oral examination and will be based on the knowledge of the IRIS scopes of certification (1st level) listed in Annex 1 of the IRIS booklet.
IRIS auditor status is valid for three years and subjected to the positive result of the YCS (Yearly Case Study).
Extension for 3 more years is subjected to the positive result of the RCS (Renewal Case Study).
G3. What are the requirements to become an IRIS approved Certification Body?
The following table summarizes the requirements a Certification Body shall fulfill in order to apply for the IRIS approval of the IRIS Group.
In case of interest, please contact IMC to request the Framework Agreement template.
Accreditation with ISO/IEC 17021 at least three years prior to submitting an application for an International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) approval.
At least 10000 ISO 9001 certificates and 100 certificates with railway branch specific scope
Global presence: as a minimum a representation of experienced auditors with an adequate cultural and linguistic background shall be required in the following continents:
- Europe: 7 Countries
- America: 2 Countries
- Asia-Pacific: 2 Countries
Global IRIS business case X
Geographical area business plan
Internally validated targets in terms of forecasted IRIS certificates for the three next years.
Plan to cover all the IRIS scopes by auditors
Capability and experience in the Railway sector: at least one member of the CB