Running from 7th-11th November 2022, World Quality Week offers the chance to celebrate and highlight the vital role that quality plays in all aspects of our daily lives. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Quality Conscience’; something which either gaining accreditation or using accredited services both indicates and helps to develop.
Working in tandem with standards and measurement, UKAS accreditation is one of the pillars that the UK’s national quality infrastructure is built upon. Accreditation involves the independent and robust assessment, against internationally recognised standards, of the competence and impartiality of conformity assessment bodies (those that provide services such as certification, inspection, testing and calibration). Based on an ethos of quality, integrity and continual improvement, accreditation delivers trust and confidence in the goods and services that we all rely upon every day.
Many organisations are already well aware of the wide-ranging benefits of implementing a quality-centric approach into their processes and systems; from increased efficiency and reliability to improved customer relations and reputation. A growing number of organisations are choosing accreditation as part of their quality regime because it assures the validity and efficiency of processes, creates confidence around innovation, demonstrates technical competence and proves impartiality. Together these can help organisations gain recognition and a competitive advantage, as well as lower barriers to trade by increasing the acceptance of goods and services in international markets.
Having a quality conscience requires organisations to act with integrity and to consider the needs of staff, partners, suppliers, customers, as well as the interests of wider society and the planet. There is increasing pressure from regulators, customers and wider society for organisations to act in the interests of the greater good, to “do the right thing”.
Accreditation shows that an organisation is concerned about utilising best practices and improving the quality of its goods and services. And beyond the internal benefits, either becoming accredited or using accredited services can be both a demonstration and building block of developing an all-encompassing quality conscience. For example, accreditation is often viewed as a badge of honour amongst conformity assessment professionals and achieving accreditation can help raise staff skill levels and morale. In addition, accredited certification helps increase the security of supply chains, benefitting customers, suppliers and the economy as a whole. Further, by providing confidence that the requirements of environmental standards are delivered in practice, accreditation helps control our impact on the planet, and contributes towards nations reaching sustainable development goals and net zero targets. There are numerous environment-focused schemes that can be accredited; from environmental management and emissions monitoring to compost certification and renewable energy generation.
We encourage all our stakeholders and customers to explore this important area further and find out how they can participate by visiting the CQI’s website here: https://www.quality.org/WQW22