Optimising the quality and safety of products, processes and systems ensures good reputation management, which is a significant benefit for all companies, especially those in the manufacturing sector, says UK-based international testing, inspection and certification companies trade federation International Federation of Inspection Agencies (IFIA).
IFIA deputy director-general Hilary Reid-Evans adds that achieving more realisable prices in developed markets – where customers are willing to acknowledge the value of safety, reliability and quality – is another significant bene- fit of quality control.
She tells Engineering News that IFIA members help to ensure the reliability, economic value, environmental impact and social responsibility of products and services, as IFIA members test, inspect and certify products on behalf of clients by applying their knowledge of the latest rules, regulations and techniques.
Reid-Evans says IFIA members voluntarily agree to abide by the federation’s codes of practice, which distinguishes them from nonmembers: “This has value in terms of IFIA members’ good reputation among industry peers, with the perception being that they are reliable and trustworthy.”
She adds that the IFIA represents more than 50 international companies, providing codes of practice in certain areas and conducting examinations for inspectors to ensure that they reach a satisfactory level of knowledge in the inspection of petroleum and agricultural products.
The IFIA also represents its members collectively on standards-setting bodies such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), Reid-Evans notes.
The IEC is a nonprofit, nongovernmental international standards organisation that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronics and related technologies.
The ILAC is the international organisation for accreditation bodies and is involved in the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies, including calibration laboratories, testing laboratories, medical testing laboratories and inspection bodies.
Reid-Evans says the IFIA has a number of certification programme initiatives currently being considered for roll-out in the near future.
She says one of the programmes currently undergoing trials is the Agricultural Superintendent certification programme for vegetable oils, which was introduced in September last year.