FIG Working Week 2000, 21-26 May, Prague

The Key Issues of Implementation and Certification of ISO 9001 Quality Control System in GEODIS BRNO, spol. s r.o.

by Jiří Novák

Key words: ISO9001, documentation, certification, surveying, photogrammetry, etc.


1. Introduction

"ISO 9001 Certified" - this statement is found on all the commercial materials of GEODIS BRNO company. This statement is a result of a lengthy and complex process signifying that GEODIS BRNO and other companies have quality assurance and management programs that meet the stringent conditions of the internationally accepted ISO 9000 standards. GEODIS BRNO, Ltd. is one of the first private companies which obtained this license to carry out geodetic and photogrammetric services in the former Czech and Slovak Federative Republic. The firm was founded in July 1990 as a Czech-Austrian company. GEODIS BRNO, Ltd. has three departments at this time: Department of Photogrammetry, Department of Geodesy, and Commercial Department. GEODIS BRNO, Ltd. has been implementing quality control system according to ISO 9001 standard since July 1997 and was certified on June 1999 by TÜV Berlin.

This paper contains the following sections:

  • the advantage of obtaining ISO 9000 Certification
  • role of the consulting company in the implementation process of Quality Control System
  • "Key People" - key to successful certification
  • documentation requirements for certification

These sections correspond to the crucial points of implementation and certification process of Quality Control System, identified by GEODIS during implementation process.

2. The Advantages of Obtaining ISO 9000 Certification

The ISO certification process includes an audit of a company's quality systems by a third party. As ISO certification has been once achieved, the process never ends. Auditors return on a regular basis to verify that standards are being upheld. It is important to keep in mind that ISO certifies the process leading to an acquisition of a product or service, not the product or service itself.

The ISO 9000 standards cover all companies of all sizes, both service and manufacturing. The standards comprise three standards:

  • ISO 9001: Quality assurance in design, development, and production
  • ISO 9002: Quality assurance in production and installation
  • ISO 9003: Quality assurance in final inspection and test

Within a company, ISO certification provides many benefits concerning production, manufacturing, contracting with suppliers, and legal requirements. Being registered to an ISO standard, the company's energy focuses on quality and consistency.

In a world economy, where most companies depend increasingly on other companies when providing parts of their products or services, quality standards have become essential. The ISO 9000 standard is rapidly becoming the quality standard throughout the world. More than 80 countries as diverse as England, Colombia, Canada, Germany, Israel, and Turkey have adopted the ISO standards.

The ISO standards is a quality guarantee for the production process and development of a product or service, not the product or service itself. Perhaps the most cogent reason for seeking ISO certification is the marketplace itself: customers are beginning to demand certification.

3. Role of the Consulting Company in the Implementation Process of Quality Control System

In the initial phase of the project implementation GEODIS decided to take an advantage of the services provided by a consulting company. According to the firmly set criteria, a consulting company of MBK Brno, accredited in the PHARE Quality Program, was engaged. Its accreditation ensured us not only about the good choice in the partner searching phase, but also about the financial support provided by the PHARE Fund for the implementation project of Quality Control System. Our previous experience showed that the co-operation with experienced supervisors significantly shortens and improves the preparation for certification. The supervisors increased our confidence by using Certification Company Methodology, by their experience with needed certification standards, and by their ability to prepare us sufficiently for the process.

4. Documentation Requirements for Certification

Documentation control is the critical element of International Standards Organisation (ISO) certification. The greatest reason why companies fail their ISO audit—document control problems—causes twice as many failures as the second most common reason.

Documentation review is usually the second of six steps in the certification process (application, documentation review, pre-assessment, assessment, certification, and surveillance). If an applicant fails the documentation review, the certification process stops right there. The phases include 20 quality-system requirements (sections. Each section contains this statement: "the supplier shall establish and maintain documented procedures."

5. Conclusion: "Key People" - The Key to Successful Certification

One of the key moments of the Quality System Implementation Process is the individual responsibility of management staff and employees for the introduction of different quality elements into the working process. That was why the most experienced employees of the company were involved in this process. Following the methodology of the consulting company, a team of experienced and engaged "Key People" was formed, and it was together with the team of internal auditors trained by the consulting company at the beginning of the implementation process. Thanks to the creative work of these people, we managed to set current and introduce new procedures of Quality Control as required by ISO Standards.

Ing. Jiří Novák
GEODIS BRNO, spol. s r.o.
Lazaretní 11a
61500 Brno
Web site:

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