The implementation of the quality management system at AQU Catalunya reflects the will to implement a mechanism that will allow the organisation to be managed in a way that is systematic and visible both for the management team and the agency's personnel.
The quality management system that has been implemented is coherent with:
- The mission, vision and strategy of the management.
- The quality and security policy approved by the Board of Directors.
- The rules of law that are applicable to AQU Catalunya.
- The requirements of international standard ISO 9001:2008.
The goal is for the operation of the quality management system to help create a feeling of trust among those who work for AQU Catalunya and for the users of its services.
Principles of the system
Principles of the system
On 1 April 1998, the Standing Committee of the Board of Directors of AQU Catalunya approved, at the proposal of the management, the implementation of an internal quality system within the organisation. This quality system was based on standard ISO 9002:1994 and its implementation culminated with the process of certification by a duly accredited external body.
On 5 June 2000, AQU Catalunya was was certified for the first time under standard ISO 9002:1994. It was the first European agency of its type to achieve this distinction. Six years later, on 22 May 2006, AQU Catalunya has been certified under standard ISO 9001:2000. On May 2008, AQU Catalunya renews this certification under standard ISO 9001:2008.
Standard ISO 9001:2000 introduces some basic principles of quality management that all personnel of AQU Catalunya should know, assimilate and use in their daily work:
- User approach. All organisations depend on their users and AQU Catalunya is no exception. Roughly speaking, the Public Administration and the Catalan Universities are the most direct users with respect to providing the services that AQU Catalunya is entrusted with offering. It is important to satisfy the requirements of the users in the jobs that are demanded of AQU Catalunya and, if possible, AQU Catalunya should try to exceed their expectations.
- Leadership. The management of AQU Catalunya shall see that all the personnel can become totally involved in achieving the organisation's goals.
- Participation of personnel. The personnel are considered the essence of the organisation and their commitment enables their skills to be used to the benefit of the whole organisation.
- Process-based approach. All the activities that are carried out at AQU Catalunya shall be managed and viewed as processes. The personnel of AQU Catalunya shall act in accordance with the established process, making sure that all the pertinent phases are contemplated.
- System approach for management. The personnel of AQU Catalunya shall understand the activities that are carried out as parts of inter-related processes that contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation and to the achievement of its goals. It is necessary to achieve maximum efficiency in the unfolding of each person's own tasks in order to make things easier for the rest of the personnel who continue the process of which all the personnel form part.
- Continual improvement. In addition to the mechanisms established for reviewing the quality of the actions unfolded, the personnel of AQU Catalunya shall work with continual improvement in mind. Communication must be fluent in all directions within the organisation, encouraging the processes of continual improvement and adaptation to changing needs.
- Fact-based approach to decision-making. Decisions that are made shall not be based on opinions, but rather on analyses of data and information.
- Mutually beneficial relations with providers. It is important for the personnel of AQU Catalunya to establish mutually beneficial relations with service providers, especially with the providers that are entrusted with carrying out functions on behalf of AQU Catalunya.
Results of the system
The quality management system of AQU Catalunya has:
- Identified the processes necessary for the quality management system and its application across the organisation.
- Determined the sequence of, and interaction between, these processes.
- Determined the necessary criteria and methods to assure that both the operation and control of these processes is effective.
- Assured the availability of the necessary resources and information to support the operation and monitoring of these processes.
- Assured the monitoring, measurement and analysis of these processes, and Implemented the necessary actions to achieve the planned results and the continual improvement of these processes.