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ISO 9001:2000 - Quality Management Standard

Background

ISO 9001:2000 is an International Standard for Business Management with the focus on Quality and defines key principles for effective operational and business management.

It does not define how to operate the business but lists common sense management principles which can, and should, be integrated within all aspects of business activities.

Companies are required to evaluate the effectiveness of their operating and management systems against the requirements of the Standard then to document those systems in the form of a company PROCEDURES MANUAL which describes the disciplines necessary to enable the business to function. This Manual is then supplemented by the company Business or Quality Manual which briefly describes the company, its management organisation and policies together with a matrix of the business activities relating to the Standard.

Once this stage is complete the company may then apply for assessment and certification by an independent third party organisation who is accredited to carry out such work. Certification should be seen as a public declaration that the company has implemented the Standard and may, therefore, be considered a significant marketing tool for the business.

Many customers of distribution services have themselves achieved certification and see it as a natural progression for their suppliers and, therefore, an integral part of the customer/supplier relationship.

However simply stated, the effort necessary to achieve certification is considerable. Many companies traditionally engage the services of a consultant to prepare and document their manuals but then need to find a registrar who is licensed to carry out the assessment, all of which imposes a considerable burden on the company to select the most appropriate organisations.

The ROAD HAULAGE ASSOCIATION of the UK has recognised the problems and pitfalls of attaining certification and has developed a totally unique programme for the Transport and Distribution industry. This programme provides a total package of consultancy, training, assessment and certification within a low cost, fixed price scheme which eliminates many of the problems and difficulties already experienced by other companies who selected alternative options to attain certification.