Does a Quality Certification improve Quality?

ISO 9001 is the most famous quality certification in the World. And that it’s because this certification is accepted and sometimes required by suppliers or customers. Moreover ISO 9001 certification is subsidized by the government through a tax credit scheme offered by Malta Enterprise.

Having said that does having an ISO certification in Malta actually help a company improve in the quality of its product or service?

The short answer is “No”.

And even though that’s a surprising answer I do standby it. Even though there are clear benefits to ISO Certification. I know that through this certification company leaders will first and foremost get better knowledge about the quality of their service. It is up to them to decide whether they actually take action to improve on their quality.

Recently there have been talks going on in Malta about mishaps within the construction industry. It had been said that some construction sites structurally sound, because the concrete used wasn’t of the quality as required by the architect. Having an increased level of traceability when exchanging products with other companies is critical.

Right now we are at the stage where the developers are blaming the contractors and vice versa. Had there been a simple document that would have been used by workers to evaluate the performance of the concrete as soon as it was delivered from the contractor to the developer this issue wouldn’t be relevant.

Low-quality concrete would have been detected immediately and replaced with better quality concrete. This means that an ISO 9001 quality certification does not implicitly improve your quality. Rather, it provides the framework on which to build a company whereby the potential flaws of each of it’s processes can be noted and reasonable actions can be taken to mitigate such risks.

ISO 9001 does not impose anything on the running of the business. It can’t. The ISO 9001 clauses are generic to all industries, and all company sizes. And therefore it can’t tactically give advice on how to improve your business.

The most important factors that helps companies who get ISO 9001 certification to improve, is the fact that there is a foundation for continual improvement.

Perhaps you’ve heard the famous saying:

If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Improve It.

Peter Drucker

Management thinker Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Drucker means that you can’t know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked.

Ultimately it is the drive and dedication to continuous improvement by leadership that tangibly improves the quality of a business. If they take the quality objectives at heart and make a real effort to achieve those objectives then the company will improve. If these leaders take note of all complaints they received from customers and suppliers, and take action on such complaints, they are bound to improve in the future. It’s leadership listens to customer and employee feedback on how the products and services of a company can improve and find real ways of implementing such ideas, then the quality will improve.

Buying a book won’t make you smarter. Reading it will. simply paying someone to help you getting ISO 9001 certified doesn’t mean that your business will improve.

Luke Desira

On the other hand, getting someone on-board who is as committed as you are to the success of your organization with help you have a mindset of continual improvement.

Get in touch with me now so together we strive to achieve tangible improvements within your organisation.

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