Continuous improvement helps Standards New Zealand to create value through standardisation


14 October 2011

Standards New Zealand has recently been recertified as compliant to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems – Requirements, the global benchmark for quality management. We talked to Standards New Zealand staff and the Telarc assessor about how continuous improvement and risk management is embedded into how the organisation operates and creates value through standardisation.

'As the national Standards body it's important for us to 'walk the talk' and we first set up a quality management system (QMS) in 2001,' says Michelle Wessing, Standards New Zealand's General Manager Corporate Services. 'We're committed to operating efficiently and promoting opportunities for Standards development in a wide range of sectors. Our QMS ensures we use clear processes and a consistent approach to how we interact with our customers, committee members and their nominating organisations, and stakeholders.

'From day 1, we talk to new staff at their induction about quality principles, how we embrace continuous improvement and new ideas, and how the QMS requires ongoing commitment from management and staff.'

The QMS processes guide the organisation and provide the framework that is used to deliver Standards solutions. Telarc's assessor Richard Saul says 'Standards New Zealand is one of the better examples of effective application of AS/NZS ISO 9001 to their own business environment. The organisation has achieved a continued increase in surpluses and this is just one example of the link between effective use of their QMS and successful outcomes.'

Standards New Zealand maintains a robust, internationally recognised, and proven process for Standards development. Telarc observed the design and development of SNZ HB 4102:2011 Safety in the home and the use of Standard New Zealand's 'Development project tracking form'. Saul says, 'The development process has been in use for many years and operates effectively. It is arguably one of the best managed design and development processes that has been observed in New Zealand.'

Read the full story in our October 2011 Touchstone.

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About Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand is the operating arm of the Standards Council, and part of New Zealand's standards and conformance infrastructure. Standards New Zealand is an autonomous Crown entity responsible for managing the development and distribution of Standards across a range of sectors nationally.

Standards New Zealand is a self-funded, not-for-profit organisation, relying on revenue primarily from contracts with sponsors to develop Standards, and from sales of Standards publications. Our independence helps us facilitate a cross section of stakeholders' contributions to the development of Standards, and ensure that each Standard meets the needs of end users.

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The question is not what you gain from standardisation, it's what you lose without it.