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ISO principles forever - Dr. Vladimir FILIAC, The president of CQS

20.5.2011

Management systems certification is a technical service on the business to business market in the area of conformity assessment. The service is conveyed by highly skilled staff using specific expertise and methods and technical and legal standards by means of very close and specific communication with customers.

The ISO 9001 standard is an excellent standard for management systems development in our companies. New standard´s editions enabled it to grow up from the static stage of quality assurance to the dynamic concept of management system continuous improvement.

Looking back we can say the standard significantly assisted to the development of management in companies working in all sectors.  

The ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and other standards extended the management systems approach to the environment, occupational safety, automotive, medical and other sectors lead to the integration of additional specific areas of the management systems subsequently.

 

The standard ISO 9001 was really a breakthrough when it appeared. May be that is why it became overestimated at a certain point of time. The standard was misunderstood as a universal tool that could solve all problems both in the management systems and products provided by the manufacturers or service providers. But any system is able to produce only what it is set up to produce.

Medical and automotive sectors, where the quality of production is extremely important, realized it very soon and that is why the ISO 9001 standard was completed by collateral standards setting up further sector specific requirements.

The ISO 9001 standard became very popular and respected in the last decade of the 20-th century. The companies that truly comprehended its philosophy and duly incorporated it to their management systems profited from higher effectiveness of their production and from their customer´s satisfaction.

 

On the other hand the ISO standards popularity was misused by doubtful certification bodies delivering cheap certificates without any added value. And the recent crisis increased demand for formal certificates at the market.

 

Looking to the statistical numbers it looks the golden age of ISO 9001 seems to be over. The reasons are known, so it is a challenge to keep customers satisfied now.

 

Does this mean the standard is overcome? Absolutely no!

What are the arguments for the optimistic statement?

Besides others it is standard requirement for continuous improvement and PDCA cycle as a tool for that.

 

The PDCA cycle recalls famous Hegel development spiral. It is vitally important for the development to move to the new quality. In the case the cycle moves in the right direction we profit from the resulting improvements. On the other hand the cycle can move in opposite direction and we talk about degeneration in the unfortunate case.

 

When talking about philosophy I would like to recall one dialectic law we used to study in former totalitarian times – the law of transformation of quantity to quality. It says the big number of events of the same or similar quality can give birth to a new quality.

The law was misused in our country as a basic law for support of official ideology in our communist period. But it seems to be a universal law which stands good irrespective of present political environment.

 

Standards require what to do, but they do not prescribe how to make it. And this our freedom to tend the Hegel development PDCA cycle in the right direction.

The right direction is based on our wishes and needs. The tools we use depend on us only. Of course, the management systems community deals with relevant tools development.

 

Modern technical tools for use for management systems development are as follows:

  • processes reengineering
  • benchmarking
  • management systems integration
  • statistical methods
  • risk analysis and management
  • continuity management
  • many others

Each of them was in fashion in its time and each of them assisted us to move the management systems development ahead.

The IQNet certificates maintain a very high reputation in the Czech Republic. There are several reasons for the success. The Czech economy is an open economy that means a big product and services exchange between companies in different countries. The IQNet certificates delivered by CQS – Czech association for quality systems certification are respected as a reliable proof of management system of the company compliance to respected standards.

IQNet is a market leader from the point of view innovative services offered to the market and CQS takes the advantage in the Czech Republic.

 

As defined above the management system certification is a service to companies.

The service requires excellent knowledge of legislation, standards, management techniques, the sector specifics and it must be provided in the objective, impartial and highly professional manner. The key word in the service is proper communication on the audit subject.

The communication during audits is focused mainly to the assessment of the management, so there is no space for discussion on other related matters.

Our experience says the customers´ days are a very suitable forum for communication on all subjects of our interest. We can learn from each other, we can receive feedback from each other and we can inspire each other. Similar but less festival tools are specialized seminars and trainings we organize for our customers. We believe the tools can strengthen and enhance cooperation between CQS and its customers.

 

When talking about service, we have to talk about its price as well.

CQS is a small association of six certification bodies, which are competitors in some extent.

The CQS members present the IQNet brand above their own brands. The services are sold to the customers by CQS´ members and they carry out audits as well, while the certification and education of clients is ensured by CQS itself. Each of them offers to customer its approach and customer give them immediate feedback on the market.

The association arrangement enables to CQS to be impartial and internationally respected certification body. It brings CQS very close to the non-for profit organization that is according our perception ideal legal form for the company providing conformity assessment service.

It is natural there were discussion about the character of CQS, but as a result of the discussions we keep on this character.

 

Let us go back to ISO management systems standards. It is always difficult to predict future. We believe the quantitative impact of intensive use of PDCA cycle used with the standards and supported by various instruments will lead to the new quality we are looking for. And we are sure the standard basic stones like system, context, evolution and improvement will remain management corner stones even in the case, when the standards stays the same as they are now.

 

The management system development looks like a puzzle assembling. We develop it after each PDCA cycle. The problem is the shapes of new puzzle elements are always different. They differ by customers’ needs. While we are able to assist our customers to build their puzzles we have a good chance to be their management systems certification bodies. The tool that will be presented on the CQS 2011 customer´s day is risk analysis and management.

This is a great issue nowadays that is capable to influence positively the puzzle game of management systems development.

 

Dr. Vladimir FILIAC, The president of CQS

Author: Lenka Adamčíková   |   Section: News   |   Print   |   Send article to friend


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