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Quality certification

BS 5750, the UK equivalent of the international quality assurance ISO 9000, has now been adopted by more than 28,000 companies. Numerous consultants are employed in helping companies to prepare and maintain their quality certification and more than 320 bodies within the UK are qualified to issue quality certificates. Yet such quality assurance standards have attracted heavy criticism.

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Many companies complain that certification is unnecessary for them. Certain providers of services, example, believe that quality certification was designed for manufacturing firms and is , therefore, relevant to themselves.

Other organisations that they have only adopted quality unwillingly. They feel, for instance, obliged gain a quality assurance standard only avoid being dropped from a list "preferred suppliers". A further criticism is the process of gaining quality assurance can be expensive and bureaucratic. This particularly problematic for SMEs (Small Medium-sized Enterprises).

Possibly the greatest cause concern is that some companies see as an aim in itself rather as a step towards improving quality of the organisation. Companies forget the aim of certification should be demonstrate that the organisation is to meet the needs of their clients - not the demands of the quality assessor.


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