So that's how you fulfil ISO

Written by
Eline van Osch
Published on
18 December 2018
Category
Blog

Recording processes accurately and systematically, conducting checks and training parties and colleagues involved to be prepared for audits. Often colleagues find this difficult. It's nice when they realise that it generates lots of possibilities to learn, grow and improve. That 'aha moment'.....

The quality systems of a PPP project must fulfil ISO standards. What does this involve and how does it benefit the parties involved? Consultant Monitoring Eline van Osch guides you through ISO land.

What is an ISO standard? Simple: a package of requirements. It forces us to make clear, measurable agreements about the working method of a service provider. Even apparently simple things like collecting rubbish are translated via ISO into crystal-clear process descriptions. Who does what, how, when and how often? Who is responsible? I chart this all as clearly as possible and ensure that the results fulfil the most general ISO requirement: that they can be demonstrated. My role as a consultant is to ensure that all the quality systems of a project fulfil the required standards. I then help a company obtain and retain the ISO certificates.
The helicopter view
Different companies together form a consortium for a PPP project. If they are awarded the project, they start building. Afterwards they take responsibility for (parts of) the facility services in the long term. That might include technical management and maintenance, such as maintenance of buildings and installations, green services, waste processing, cleaning, etc. The promises made by the consortium in that respect are recorded in a contract with the client. Often the consortium must fulfil one or more ISO standards. Sounds easy, but it's not. These processes are long and complex and certification bodies like DEKTRA, TÜV and KIWA are very demanding. I manage that whole process, involve and support the right people in the organisation and help keep a helicopter view.

Not copy&paste, but custom work
To fulfil an ISO standard, vision, strategy and policy must be clearly described and supported by the whole organisation. All the work required to make the promised services possible is described in well-defined processes. So employees always follow the same processes and achieve the same results as far as possible. Knowledge of the standard and how you translate it to a quality system is indispensable. Getting a building project to fulfil ISO is not a matter of copy&paste. In terms of substance, no two projects are the same. It's always custom work.

What does ISO offer clients? Above all, certainty. Services are described in a quality system and are tested to check whether they fulfil the ISO standards. Client and contractor thus have an extra check, provided by the consortium and the independent certification body. The bottom line is that everyone has more guarantees that the basics are good. This makes it possible to work at a very different level: constructively and purely focused on the content. That's very valuable.
A significant Knoop
From Strukton Worksphere, I'm the ISO consultant for PPP projects like the Kromhoutkazerne, DUO² and the Ministry of Finance. The most current process I'm working on is the new government office De Knoop in Utrecht. A huge job, because three ISO processes are running simultaneously. For those in the know: a 9001, 14001 and a 27001. Within a year of obtaining the application certificate, the ISO certificates mentioned must have been obtained. For each ISO standard, I develop a quality manual containing policy, vision and processes. I also guide the organisation through an internal audit, in preparation for the audit by the certification body. Those audits have now been performed and for all three standards we received a positive recommendation from the certification body.

The aha moment
Recording processes accurately and systematically, conducting checks and training the parties and colleagues involved to be prepared for audits: in the start-up phase of a quality management system, colleagues often find this difficult, something which gets in the way of their other priorities. It really becomes fun when they realise how many possibilities to learn, grow and improve this generates. That 'aha moment' usually comes when everything has been worked out.
Eline van Osch blog

What does ISO offer clients? Above all, certainty. The bottom line is that everyone has more guarantees that the basics are good.

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