The independent certifying body Tüv Nord Cert assesses and certifies the fulfillment of International quality and environment standards within all industrial and commercial segments. Quality of company practice, environmental impact and working environment are areas that generally are required or at least desired to be certified in accordance with international and widely accepted standards.
International standards for management systems applied in the assurance of quality and good environmental practice are incorporated in the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 suites. There are other certifications that ensure the same thing and used in different industries. In addition, there are separate standardization systems to ensure a healthy working environment as well as independent certifications applied in certain areas of expertise such as welding, for example.
“The certification system is often perceived as a jungle of information and data can be hard to grasp. As standards and legal requirements are continuously updated it may seem impossible to keep up-to-date with it all. However, by certifying the quality of company processes a lot can be gained as customers generally view a certified supplier as reliable and committed”, says Christos Skodras, General Manager at Tüv Nord Cert in Gothenburg.
Need to find balance
Tüv Nord Cert is a global certifying body with over 10 000 employees. International standards are certified by Tüv Nord Cert’s local organisations. The subsidiaries have different areas of expertise depending on the local industry. In Gothenburg, Sweden, there is a strong focus on the automotive industry as many of the world’s leading suppliers within this field were born in the region.
“We have a strong global position that is of utmost importance to us as we strive to build up strong partnerships here in the Gothenburg region. There is a significant and important heritage in automotive in this region, at the same time we must broaden our horizons and strengthen our position in other segments. We need to find a balance as when one part of the industry is affected by recession another one thrives. In order to create a strong company structure we are now looking to expand in more than one industry”, Christos Skodras reveals.
Proof of conduct
The ISO 9001 certification is one of the most widely accepted standard for quality assurance in the world today. It usually goes hand in hand with the ISO 14001 certification for good environmental practice which requires a clearly formulated environmental policy that the company must strive to fulfill at all times and in all its operations.
“Certifying processes using for example the ISO standards is to be regarded as proof of conduct. We create security by certifying that companies can fulfill their goals for quality and environmental impact. An important part of both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 is continuous improvement. This means that the certified company is committed to subsequently improve its processes to ensure high quality and good environmental practice”, Christos Skodras explains.
The public sector has not yet entirely embraced the possibilities with certifying processes. “This is an interesting challenge for the future”, as Christos Skodras expresses it.