The changing understanding of Quality - AnsaCall Telecoms Blog
The German Institute for Standardization (DIN) is the gateway to global standardization. DIN’s goal is to develop standards that have validity worldwide. These help remove technical barriers to trade and add to the exporting strength of German industry. DIN represents German national interests in Europe and throughout the world. Participation in standards work at DIN gives German experts access to decision-making processes in supranational standards committees. DIN is also founding shareholder of DQS. On occasion of the 30th anniversary of DQS, the DQS editorial staff asked Dr. Torsten Bahke (Ph.D, Eng.), Chairman of the Board of DIN and former Chairman of the DQS Shareholders Committee, a few questions.
DQS: Why did DIN support the founding of DQS in 1985?
Dr. Bahke: The original purpose of founding DQS in 1985 was to promote the German economy. In order to export goods internationally, it required particular focus on the subject of Quality Assurance (QA). ISO, the International Organization for Standardization published their very first standard for Quality Assurance ISO 9001
in 1987. But much work had been done in this field in the years before already. In 1979 in Great Britain the standard BS 5750 was published, which is considered the forerunner of ISO 9001. In Switzerland and Great Britain, to mention just a few, organizations already existed that issued certificates about the quality assurance systems of companies. The changing understanding of Quality DQS was founded as the first certification body for management systems in Germany by DIN and the German Association for Quality (DGQ), along with two large industry associations, with the objective of ensuring independent confirmation of the fulfillment of quality
assurance standards irrespective of business sector.
DIN contributed their know-how of standardization, while DGQ added their training expertise to the new company,
which was originally intended to be a self-governing institution of the German economy. A certified „Quality Assurance System“ increased the confidence of customer both domestic and international into the quality ability of German companies. At the same time, it ensured further dissemination of the idea of standardization and promoted their application. Today, the ISO 9000 series is one of the most popular series of standards in the
world. In 2014, a total of 1 138 155 certificates have been issued worldwide.
DQS: What does DQS stand for today, 30 years after its founding?
Dr. Bahke: The understanding of quality has changed, not only in Germany but all over the world. There is a need for holistic quality management systems that guarantee reliable performance in international supply chains. That is why DQS is active and recognized as a global player these days, one of the ten largest certification bodies for management systems.
While in 1985, DQS was totally focused on the subject of quality, 30 years later DQS also conducts audits and certifies comprehensive management systems for environmental protection, occupational health and safety, and information security. To do this, DQS operates offices in 60 countries, employs 2,500 competent auditors worldwide, and has certified more than 57,000 sites.
DQS: What relationships do you see EDITORIAL between standardization and certification?
Dr. Bahke: Standardization and certification are closely connected; standards are the approved evaluation basis for a certification.
They are created in a transparent and moderated process that involves stakeholders from such areas as business, science, public administration, consumers and testing institutes. Those expert circles that will be using the standard later, determine its contents themselves. That is why standards serve as tools of deregulation.
Laws and regulations only provide the legal framework, while the design is handled by the users themselves – moderated by standardization bodies such as DIN.
DQS is also involved in national and international standardization councils, in order to contribute their experience with management systems back into the standardization processes.
DQS: What is your wish for the future development of DQS?
Dr. Bahke: It is my wish that DQS continues to support the German and international economy through quality on
the highest level, and to keep their sights on new and innovative areas.
DQS South Africa