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ISO 13485 certification for suppliers

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Guest user Created:   May 21, 2020 Last commented:   May 22, 2020

ISO 13485 certification for suppliers

I am confused, please advise. We are manufacturing medical devices. In our products, we are using a lot of components from other suppliers. We are implementing ISO 13485. 1. Does it mean that all our suppliers also have to have been certified with this standard? 2. How the notified body will decide whether to audit the supplier or not?
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ISO 13485 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

ISO 13485 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

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Kristina Zvonar Brkić May 22, 2020
1. Does it mean that all our suppliers also have to have been certified with this standard?

No, not all of your suppliers need to be certified. Two requirements from ISO 13485:2016 are covering this topic. First, in 4.1.5 is stated that when an organization chooses to outsource any process that affects the quality of the product, it must monitor and have control over that process. It means that organizations need to decide which control measures are necessary and are enough to control the outsourced process. Then, in requirement 7.4.1 manufacturer needs to describe what are product specifications, requirements for the acceptance of the purchased products, what are qualifications of the supplier, and what are quality management system requirements. It means that manufacturers that manufacturer decide which are the criteria to prove their suppliers. Of course, this approving system is in close relationship with the risk that supplied goods have on the final medical device.     

2. How the notified body will decide whether to audit the supplier or not?

The notified body will first ask you who are your critical suppliers and how you control them, what kind of control do you have over them.   Then, you will provide evidence about your control over the supplier, which can be: ISO 13485 certificates of the supplier, records of suppliers audit that you have performed, frequency of the supplier's audits, complaints that you have to the supplier and how you handle them, what kind of verification of supplied goods you perform (and records about it, of course). On the basis of all this data, the Notified body will see do you have control over critical suppliers and then decide is it necessary to perform a supplier audit or not.

For more details, please read the following article:

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