Landslip branch shows the way
The Landslip Preventive Measures (LPM) branch last June became the first in the Civil Engineering Department to receive ISO 9001 certification for its quality assurance (QA) system.
The branch was created in 1995 to manage the five-year Accelerated LPM Project which meant rapid expansion in staffing and activities.
'With high targets set for expenditure and output we were concerned that the quality of our products and services would be sacrificed in the rush to reach these goals,' Lorne Woodrow, quality manager, LPM, said.
The implementation of a quality management system at the branch was an essential component of its strategy to achieve these targets while improving quality.
One of the criteria for ISO 9001 certification is to show continuous improvement in delivery of services. This is achieved by documenting systems and procedures and conducting internal audits.
'A misconception commonly held by engineers about QA is that it simply equals good practice and that our ability to document this is sufficient evidence of QA. While this is important, the ISO 9001's main aim is to provide a rigorous and structured approach to business improvements,' he said.
Mr Woodrow said introspective analysis of activities increased awareness of quality issues and improved internal communication among LPM's staff.
Once original systems were reviewed and improved, they provided the foundation on which to develop business processes.