As a ISO certification body we don’t manufacture products. Instead our products are the reports we send to clients on completion of a project. You might think ISO 9001 certification is not quite as critical for us as it is to a company making physical products. However, as I will explain here, it’s just as important.
Establishing a Quality Management System:
Very shortly after the creation of Innoval in 2003 we decided to establish a Quality Management System (QMS). We designed the scheme to reflect the way we already worked. However, we also made it compliant with the requirements of ISO 9001 certification. We call our system the IBMs, or Innoval Business Management system.
Back in 2003 everyone at Innoval used to work at Alcan’s excellent research center in Banbury. Therefore, we were already familiar with the ‘formal report writing followed by review and approval’ way of working. Making the transition to a formalized ISO 9001 system really wasn’t such a big step.
How we use ISO 9001 certification?
We use ISO 9001 certification to control the processes we use to make our products. In our case, that’s our reports. I suppose that is where the biggest misconception about quality management systems arises. A QMS is not specifically about putting a ‘badge’ on a product. In fact, this is not permitted. 9001 is about the system that produces the product; how is it managed and controlled? How is it reviewed and improved?