Audits conducted at the end of 2020 ensures the maintenance of the ISO 9001 certificate, and reinforces the Center’s commitment to the continuous improvement of its processes
By Sérgio Siscaro
Obtaining quality management certificates is an important step for any company or institution that intends to improve its internal procedures and the level of excellence of its products and services – but it is not enough by itself. For the achievement of this seal to become a factor of continuous improvement, periodic and regular maintenance of the certification is necessary. After obtaining the NBR ISO 9001:2015 recertification in 2019, CAM-CCBC concluded at the end of 2020 the seal maintenance process – which is valid until the beginning of 2023.
Since 2004, CAM-CCBC is the only Brazilian institution that manages alternative methods for dispute resolution (ADRs), and that operates with certification granted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), attesting to the efficiency of the quality management system. Maintaining CAM-CCBC’s quality seal involved two audits: one, internal, at the end of October, with the consulting firm Key Associates; and the other, external, at the beginning of November, with the Swiss company Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS). In addition, a 2020 innovationwas the inclusion of mediation procedures in the scope of audits – previously, only procedures involving arbitration were considered.
CAM-CCBC’s administrative coordinator , Regina Alves, highlights the importance of the seal for the institution. “On the one hand, it ensures additional security for customers who come to the Center. On the other hand, it is a great way to have a clear planning, known by all the people who work in the organization. Our process gets better, the information is standardized, so that the improvement process is much more structured and easier”, she says. This point of view is shared by the coordinator of the CAM-CCBC General Secretariat, Silvia Salatino: “The fact of following defined rules is a great differential for CAM-CCBC and shows how serious the organization is. For us, ISO 9001 is something alive, always present on our day-to-day”.
The process of maintaining the quality seal included mapping all areas that support the Center’s activities, such as the administrative and financial areas, and the General Secretariat. “Although everyone ends up being involved” Alves says. She also states that other areas of CAM-CCBC, such as Institutional Development and Administrative Support, should be included for this year.
Due to the restrictions brought by the new coronavirus pandemic, the audit process carried out in 2020 was, for the first time, completely online. This format allowed representatives from different areas to attend the audit procedures – which enriched their knowledge of how the CAM-CCBC works and the interrelation of its various activities.
“In addition, the new format demystified the auditing process, which always tends to be perceived as extremely difficult. People could see that it is something simple: to report how the work is done and where the information, on which the activities are based, is obtained”, says the coordinator of CAM-CCBC’s General Secretariat, Cristiane Gertel. “Because it was fully virtual, we also had the benefit of incorporating the new contractors of the Center to the auditing process – which helps to open their perspective on the functioning of the institution”.
Salatino highlights the fact that mediation processes were included in the 2020 audit: “Several people who don’t deal with the method made sure to attend and that was quite positive. Another important aspect is that this follow-up gives people an overview of CAM-CCBC’s processes and their interconnection, forming a logical reasoning. And this also helps in our team training activities”.
The administrative coordinator emphasizes that the certifier has not issued any observations or notes on the CAM-CCBC management method in the last three years – which demonstrates the degree of maturity achieved. “This fact encourages us to always seek improvements,” she says. On her turn, Gertel considers that there is a permanent analysis of the system, in a process that is not exhausted by obtaining the certification. “Everyone is committed to this continuous improvement – including the top management of the Center”, she concludes.