Why we operate a quality management system?
The “DIN EN ISO 9001:2008” is a worldwide recognized standard for quality improvement and quality assurance. Large and medium-sized companies are increasingly demanding ISO certification from consultants, suppliers, but also experts and appraisers. This is particularly motivated by the fact that customer satisfaction and quality assurance should be of above-average importance.
This underlines the fact that the quality of services and products, as well as reliability and customer orientation, are a central concern. It is therefore a question of the trust of business partners and customers, as well as competitiveness in the market.
Quality management in the company pursues the goal of ensuring quality standards, identifying weak points and eliminating sources of error. Many companies report that after the introduction of a quality management system, both customer satisfaction improves and the processes in the company are handled more professionally and efficiently. This means more efficiency in the use of existing resources and thus cost savings and the avoidance of errors. The basis for this is the awareness of all employees that the “learning organization” and personally the “lifelong learning” are concepts of the present.
Quality management - DIN EN ISO 9001 certification
The “DIN EN ISO 9001:2008” is the central standard for a quality management system, with worldwide recognition. This standard is the basis for all industrial and service companies of all sizes.
Pursuant to Section 91 II of the German Stock Corporation Act, there is an obligation to operate a risk management system, and not only for stock corporations. Due to the “radiant effect”, this also applies accordingly to the management of other forms of companies, for example a limited liability company. The KonTraG has been in force since May 1998. This law requires:
a) a monitoring system for the early detection of developments that could threaten the company’s continued existence, i.e. the identification and analysis of risks, and
b) the creation of appropriate communication structures that ensure early identification of risks by decision-makers so that suitable countermeasures can be initiated. The Transparency and Disclosure Act has been in force since the beginning of 2003.
A quality management system underlines the potential of a “learning organisation”, has a signal effect and is recommended by the German Association of Tax Consultants (www.dstv.de), for example. More detailed information on implementation is provided, for example, by Klaus Seiler, Master of science in Quality management, http://www.erfolgsdorf.de
What is a certified company?
In the “certified company”, processes and workflows are based on a management system. An external “auditor” checks, on behalf of an accredited certifier, whether the management system complies with the applicable standards, i.e. the conformity to the standard. The certifier checks the auditor within the scope of the so-called monitoring, and after examination by the auditor issues a certificate for the audited company.
A company whose quality management fulfils the ISO 9001 standard may call itself “certified”. The company, but not its products and services, is thus certified. Different management systems exist depending on the task at hand.
Customers already gain a special trust in the company’s working methods through the existence of a quality management system. For example, such a company will always investigate and improve customer satisfaction. Therefore, customers can also expect to be taken seriously and receive assistance in case of problems or complaints.
In the quality standard (DIN EN ISO 9001:2008) it is stipulated that management systems are reviewed internally at regular intervals. This is necessary to ensure that all employees comply with the processes and that the management system is adapted in case of changes. The external test / audit is the certification with regular surveillance audits.
What are quality standards and requirements?
A standard is a standardized set of rules and regulations that contains a catalog of requirements. Such requirements can relate to both products and processes. Standards create comparability. Examples:
- national standards, e.g. DIN (German Institute for Standardization). European standards, such as the EN standards in the European Union.
- international standards such as the IEC and ISO standards, which are recognized by a large number of nations around the world.
- Each standard has a scope, depending on the environment or purpose of use. In this respect, products and services are generally subject to several standards. This ensures comparability and forms the basis for audits by the auditor.
Such standards can have different protective purposes, for example protection against personal injury and damage to property, or ensuring independent, discreet, responsible and conscientious professional practice.
Examples of quality standards for management systems:
- Quality management based on the ISO family of standards 9001 and 9001:2008
- Safety management according to BS 7799-2
- Environmental management according to ISO 14001
- Occupational health and safety management according to OHSAS 18001
- Management of social working conditions on the basis of the “Ethical Standard” SA 8000
- Requirements for quality assurance in auditing practice (VO 1/2006)
Legal information on certification:
Notice in accordance with the judgement of 10 December 1998 of the Munich Higher Regional Court, Az. 29 U 3988/98: “It is misleading to refer to the certification of a quality management system on a price list for products, because the incorrect impression is created that the certification also refers to the products themselves, unless the reference is made solely in connection with the company name.
Notice according to judgement 14.September 1999 of the regional court Detmold: “This law firm is certified according to DIN 150 9001 for legal service and law firm management”. The purely legal services provided by lawyers are therefore not considered certified. “By improving the management of the law firm, it can certainly also be achieved that mistakes in the purely legal work are avoided.