Award is world 'feather in cap'

ALTHOUGH there are many international quality prizes and awards, such as the European Quality Award, ISO 9000 is the only internationally-accepted quality systems standard.

The International Organisation for Standardisation is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies.

The ISO 9000 series consists of three quality assurance models - ISO 9001, 9002 and 9003.

ISO 9000 gives guidance on selecting the appropriate model and advice on tailoring the models to specific contractual situations.

Each ISO model consists of a number of aspects that need to be considered.

For the ISO 9002 model there are 18 such aspects, including management responsibility, document control and quality records.

To achieve ISO certification, a company is required to have documented quality policies, plans and procedures which comply with the appropriate ISO model.

The company must also implement the procedures throughout all its operations.

ISO 9002, the model chosen by New Zealand Insurance, is the one for quality assurance in production and installation, which might seem a strange choice, since the only company products are insurance policies whose quality is difficult to test.

Because the company's business is general insurance, a customer may buy a product which, under ideal circumstances, he will never use by having to make a claim.

New Zealand Insurance's quality policy is total commitment to quality, with the prime objective of providing products and services to the satisfaction of customers on time and without errors.

General manager Mike Hannan had no doubt that New Zealand Insurance provided quality products as well as service.