A Letter from Europe to a Quality Manager

Article

Asbjorn, Anne   (1992, ASQC)   Norwegian Institute of Technology, Trondheim, Norway, N-7034

Annual Quality Congress, Nashville TN    Vol. 46    No. 0
QICID: 9787    May 1992    pp. 1110-1117
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Article Abstract

This paper discusses the European marketplace in light of American trade needs there.

The author notes that a unified European market is different from a homogenous market. There are twelve national states, each with their own perspective on ISO 9000. In addition, you have to account for the seven nations from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The EC recognizes ISO certification in two ways: a) the majority of European customers will want to see some form of ISO certification, and b) the EC market will only require that certification for certain regulated products.

Quality improvement and ISO are complementary, not necessarily identical. It is possible to meet ISO standards and not have an appropriate (to the EC market) TQM process. It is also possible to become so caught up in certification that actual quality suffers. The author warns against this, also mentioning that education and training of auditors varies widely from nation to nation.

Finally, quality training is being introduced at several different levels of education (from primary school to college), creating a work force that can only become more aware of the necessity of good quality programs.

Keywords

Certification,Europe,ISO 9000,International,Quality,Quality control (QC)


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