The Far East District has been certified under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 standards since 2003. FED holds the distinction of being the first Corps of Engineers District to be ISO 9001 certified in all areas.
The second ISO 9001 certification renewal took place in 2006 and in 2009 FEDs’ ISO 9001 certification was renewed for a record third time! This record is an achievement FED employees view with pride as it was achieved with the help and corporation of all FED employees.
The International Organization for Standardization is headquartered in Switzerland. ISO has a variety of standards but the ISO 9001 Standard; Quality Management System – Requirements, is recognized worldwide as the standard of quality to which an organization should aspire. ISO 9001 certification recognizes that FEDs’ Quality Management System documentation and FED's execution of work processes and procedures are in line with an internationally recognized standard for quality.
FED can point to our ISO 9001 certification as an example of FED's dedication to quality, customer service, and continual improvement. ISO 9001 continual improvement also means that each office reviews their processes annually to ensure the process is relevant and still reflects current work procedures.
Lloyds Registry of Quality Assurance as external assessor/auditor conducts surveillance and certification renewal audits to validate FEDs’ continual efforts to meet the ISO 9001 standard. The annual surveillance audits are usually conducted in April with the certification renewal audits conducted every three years.
Key points noted by the auditors were:
Attitude toward customer satisfaction appeared sound and genuine throughout the District and was displayed by all levels of personnel. This was evident during interviews with the Commander and personnel, in the QMS documentation (procedures, policy and objectives), meetings with customers, and effective use of the customer surveys. Management’s commitment to and support of the quality management system is strong. This was evident through communications regarding the system and the knowledge level of personnel. It was also clear during interviews that personnel (various levels of management to field inspectors) understood they were held accountable for implementing the system. Management system documentation is clear and concise. Good buy-in from personnel by involving them in developing the procedures for their areas of responsibility. Personnel interviewed were highly skilled in their area of responsibility, professional and respectful of the District’s commitment to implementation of the management system. In general, personnel treated this assessment as an opportunity to learn and improve their way of doing business. As FED moves on with the challenges of the Yongsan Relocation Program in addition to its normal workload, it is inspiring to see the continued commitment to quality service that is reflected in all FED employees. This commitment will ensure FED continues its record ISO certification renewal every three years.