After many years of operating with a compliant Quality Management System, we have now committed to regular external audits against the latest standard. This gives our customers and partners further reassurance that when they work with Op-tec they work with a company focused on delivering excellence through continuous improvement.
ISO 9001 was first introduced in 1987 and requires organisations to demonstrate that "they do what they say they do", a QMS ensures consistency and improvement; leading to high levels of performance and customer satisfaction. Certified organisations are committed to continuous improvement and are assessed to ensure progress is maintained.
Before starting to review and update our processes and documentation, we needed to appoint an auditor. Knowing that any certification gained would only be as credible as the certifying body used, we selected the British Assessment Bureau, UKAS accredited to provide QMS certification.
Having the infrastructure and processes in place already meant we weren't starting from scratch and already had more than enough worked examples of our QMS in use. Updating our Quality Manual to better reflect the future needs of our customers, and bring it in line with the 2015 edition of ISO 9001 took the most effort. That said, over the course of 3 months our existing systems were bought up to date and Quality Manual (now a 'Business Management System') refined.
Having prepared thoroughly, the eventual audit passed without drama, although the few days spent waiting for final confirmation of the outcome were still a little nerve-racking!
With our QMS certified for 3 years, we intend to display our certification with pride - although probably never this large again. This doesn't mean we intend to sit back and relax though, we are truly committed to continuous improvement and welcome any feedback from customers, past or present.
The British Assessment Bureau’s reputation was established in 1969 as a specialist in certification scheme management. In 1997, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry approved the use of the word ‘British’ in their title, in recognition of their pre-eminent status.
Today, they certify organisations to recognised standards, including ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management), ISO 27001 (information security management) and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety management). They also design and manage bespoke assessment schemes. Such schemes are based on the establishment of standards, which can be developed to be recognised company-wide, industry-wide, nationally, or internationally.