ECES received the official ISO accreditation for its yearlong efforts in implementing the ISO 9001:2015 for the improvement of its quality management system.
It is with great pleasure that we achieved this world renown certification from EQA (European Quality Assurance), which is a testimony to our abidance by the highest international standards for quality management.
What does this mean?
Being ISO 9001 certified means that ECES has successfully implemented a system of continual improvement in all its processes, centred on continually meeting the needs and expectations of donors and beneficiaries. The application of quality management principles to ECES procedures also ensures the accountability and transparency of activities by clearly defining steps taken and responsibilities.
Through certification, ECES is able to demonstrate that its organisation and its operations comply with some of the most comprehensive external and international standards and our commitment to quality. By following well determined processes, we aim to increase effectiveness, minimise errors and ensure consistency between our different projects – and that these are implemented in the best way possible.
Upon receiving the ISO certification 9001:2015, ECES co-founder and Executive Director Fabio Bargiacchi expressed his enthusiasm with this achievement, saying:
“This is a milestone for ECES and I am extremely happy to see our organisation receive this recognition, 10 years after its creation. This is one more step towards further improving the way ECES is managing its activities and projects around the world.
I am very grateful to the entire staff and experts who worked relentlessly to reach this achievement. It would have not been possible without their dedication and constant efforts. A special thanks to Jose Lambiza, Jose Enrique Roman and Julia Onnasch who assisted me and all of us to achieve this goal."
How did we achieve certification?
Our organisation developed comprehensive sets of methodologies to ensure all requirements are consistently addressed, and improvements are identified and implemented– demonstrating our commitment to quality and assurance. To become certified, ECES underwent a thorough independent external evaluation of all processes at ECES HQ, including a review of documentation, a system examination against all clauses of the ISO standard and closure of any of improvement actions.
To achieve certification, ECES notably:
- Redesigned and updated its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
- Internalised a process approach within ECES through a macro process map and second level maps
- Updated and Re-Designed a three-year Strategic Plan
- Updated and Re-Designed a one-year Operational Plan
- Implemented updated tools to identify, address and follow up on improvement opportunities
All our experts and personnel also received training on project proposals, the SOP and capacity development. They also underwent an internal audit and attended a management review meeting.
All processes followed the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle (or Deming cycle), an iterative four-step management method used for the control and continuous improvement of processes and products.
- Supporting the external audits and the process of certification, ECES will conduct a bi-annual internal audit to ensure that its activities are conducted as planned and in line with both internal and external requirements.
- In its strategic plan drafted as part of the ISO certification process, ECES highlights its vision for the subsequent 3 years, centred on the continued implementation of innovative activities and technical assistance in the field of elections based on EURECS and the methodologies detailed in this document. The strategic plan also highlights our continued commitment to organisational development, strengthening of our capacity, and commitment to quality and continual improvement.