AQUASIGN completed the smooth transition to the new ISO 9001 quality standard and ISO 14001 environmental standard earlier this month, with no Non Conformance Reports (NCR’s) raised highlighting any issues.
With the previous ISO 9001 standard last revised in 2008, AQUASIGN and many other companies in the Oil and Gas sector now must be audited under the new 2015 standard, and the deadline for this is September 2018.
Under this new 2015 version, Aquasign undertook a few revisions to make sure we are keeping up with the standards and expectations of our customers in the marketplace. As a company we are delighted with our new accreditations and the positive feedback we received, but why are these standards and numbers so important to us?
What are ISO standards?
ISO standards are developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation – a body committed to improving business standards.
The purpose of ISO standards is to establish international best practice for business processes. ISO standards can range from quality to food safety, energy management and information security…to name a few.
In essence, they confirm practices within a company are professional and trust worthy, while ensuring there is commitment to the provision of good standards in a company’s respective areas; such as customer service, energy management or information security.
For some industries like Oil and Gas, ISO standards are essential due to the safety, environmental and quality implications of not following a recognised business process.
This standard sets out the requirements for a quality management system. ISO 9001 helps AQUASIGN be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction through a variety of ways:
- Reviewing the product requirements, design and development and purchasing
- Addressing supply chain management effectively
- Identifying organisational risks and opportunities better
- Realising the importance of competence, awareness and training for human resources
- Management responsibility: ensuring there is a customer focus and commitment
ISO 14001 – The environmental empath
ISO 14000 is related to environmental management and exists to help organizations like AQUASIGN:
- Minimize how their operations and processes negatively affect the environment e.g. CO2 emissions, water usage and pollution
- Comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements
- Continually improve on the above and strive for constant improvements
ISO 14001 is like ISO 9001 in that they both relate to how a product is produced, rather than homing in on the actual product itself.
As our products are environmentally friendly and toxicity tested, the systems and processes used to manufacture our subsea marker products mimic this: our Return to Us scheme allows for old or used Aquasign® markers to be returned to us for recycling.
AQUSIGN achieved both new ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 accreditations with no minor or major NCRs.
With no errors or improvements needed in our quality or environmental processes, AQUASIGN received the following feedback in our audit reports:
The systems in place were very managed, used and understood by all employees
All policies give a commitment to continual improvement and setting of meaningful objectives
There is a very high level of commitment throughout the organisation, not only at senior management level, to ensure that standards of achievement are maintained
Internal audit reports are well presented and show good audit evidence – the overall results show a high degree of compliance
For more information on ISO accreditation or to transition to newer standards, visit the Alcumus website and click on the appropriate ISO standard.