“every inch a quality product”- that has been the PAPUREX slogan for a long time. That this is not a phrase becomes obvious, if one keeps the effort in mind that gets made to secure quality. Our last article describes what quality management means as a term. This one is about the criteria underlying a quality management system certification
What does the certification of a QM system according to DIN EN ISO 9001 even mean?
For more than 26 years (first time in 1996),the PAPUREX QM-system is DIN EN ISO 9001 certified. To fulfill the requirements of this norm, there are quite a few points to keep in check. The criteria for certification are defined as follows:
- Controlled processes
- Planning and documentation of quality management
- Execution of internal audits
- QM-policy with compelling goals
These bullet points are easily written. However, what comes with them is not clear at first glance:
According to the DIN EN ISO 9001 norm a process is “controlled” if all demands to provide a final product are defined precisely. Hence, every process that contributes to service production, must be considered and described. Thereby, the following points are of importance:
- Materials and devices which are necessary for the process
- Work steps of the process
- Responsible people
- Quality requirements for the process
At PAPUREX, hundreds of these processes are fixed. Thus, it can be secured that the outcome of a work step does meet the quality requirements. Furthermore, deviations can be detected and resolved easily. Therefore, our processes are controlled in the sense of the norm.
Planning and documentation of the quality management
The planning of QM according to DIN EN ISO 9001 contains the commitment of the management to comply with the fixed QM goals. Moreover, the documentation of a plan for internal and external audits, as well as the frequency of coordinating QM measures, is mandatory.
Internal audits as a requirement for DIN EN ISO 9001
An audit is an investigation process, which documents compliance with standards and rules. That is a further reason why the control of processes is of particular importance. Without clearly defined requirements, such an audit simply would not be possible.
An internal audit is consequently executed of the company’s own QM department. At PAPUREX, dozens of these audits take place every year.
QM-policy with compelling goals
Striving for constant improvement is one of the main focuses of DIN EN ISO 9001. Therefore, it is necessary to define performance indicators for every relevant sector and to record specific targets for these. These targets must be compliant with the company’s vision to ensure they are contributing to long-term success.
How is compliance with these requirements verified?
If a company meets the standards of DIN EN ISO 9001 is checked by an independent external institution. In case of PAPUREX, this is the TÜV Rheinland. If a company is certified, it has to pass yearly supervision audits by an independent institution. Every third-year complete recertification is necessary. That means that the company has to prove from scratch that it still is compliant with the norm.