A quality certificate communicates responsibility
According to Product Manager and Lead Auditor Reija Poikonen of Kiwa Inspecta, the ISO 9001 quality management system is a voluntary but useful management and development tool for companies. The harmonisation of practices and adherence to the principles of the quality management system make daily work easier.
“The ISO 9001 quality management system has been constantly growing in popularity in pharmacies and hospitals. When the end customer is someone in need of treatment, patient and user safety are especially important in quality management processes”, Poikonen says.
A quality certificate communicates responsibility and improves cost-efficiency as risk management reduces errors.
“Without a doubt, following a quality management system broadcasts a certain corporate image. It helps to meet customer expectations, improve competitiveness and ensure the continuous improvement of practices”, says Poikonen, listing the benefits of quality management.
Quality management certificates are granted by independent certification bodies. Kiwa Inspecta is an international certification body that evaluates and audits corporate management systems and business operations and certifies them if they meet the requirements. Kiwa Inspecta audited NewIcon in the spring of 2018, when the company updated its quality management system from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015.
“The certification of a quality management system can sound like a daunting project, but help and support is available. A certification project has two phases. The first phase consists of a review of the requirements for the quality system and the company’s current status, with the actual audit conducted in the second phase. The level of quality management in companies that apply for the certificate can vary quite a bit”, Poikonen says.
The audit examines the company’s management system and the related materials, such as indicators, risks and opportunities, and changes in operations. The auditor reviews the company’s processes, tours the premises and observes day-to-day activities, and interviews personnel. At the closing meeting, the auditor give the company a written report on his or her findings.
“A quality management certificate indicates that a company is quality-conscious and responsible and strives for continuous improvement. Quality is measured by the ability to fulfil customer and stakeholder needs and minimise variation in products and services”, Poikonen concludes.
Improving quality – tips from the expert
Did you know this about quality management systems?