- Why is Quality so important to IACS?
The entry into force of the IMO Member State Audit Scheme in January 2016 (SOLAS Chapter XIII, MSC.366(93)), adoption of the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code, A.1070(28)) and the Code for Recognized Organizations (RO Code, MSC.349(92)) clearly demonstrate how critically important the shipping industry as a whole, views Quality in realising high standards for safety, pollution prevention and operational aspects of ships.
What is IACS Quality System Certification Scheme (QSCS)?
IACS QSCS is the audit and certification scheme developed and adopted by IACS in 1991. It comprises a set of IACS requirements based on the latest versions of internationally recognised quality standards (i.e. ISO 9001 and ISO-IEC 17020), IMO Resolution MSC.349(92) (RO Code) and IACS Technical Resolutions. The first IACS QSCS certificates were issued to IACS Member classification societies in 1993. The Scheme remains a cornerstone of IACS membership.
- How does IACS maintain its lead in quality management for the industry?
The development, maintenance and continuous improvement of QSCS during the previous 25 years, represents a significant effort by IACS and its members. QSCS embraces the entire ‘class cycle’ of rule development, design approval, survey during construction, survey during service, research and development and feedback gained from experience in the practical implementation of rules and regulations as well as industry feedback.
QSCS, the industry ‘Gold Standard’, remains a powerful and relevant tool – and IACS remains committed to ensuring that it meets the needs of its members and interested parties.
- How is IACS Member compliance with IACS QSCS assured?
Each IACS Member is subject to annual audits against the requirements of ISO 9001 and IACS QSCS by an independent Accredited Certification Body (ACB)*. Provided the result of the audits are satisfactory, the ACB issues or endorses the Member’s ISO 9001 certificate. In addition, the ACB furnishes each IACS member annually with a Statement of Compliance, demonstrating the requirements of IACS QSCS (and consequently the IMO RO Code) have been satisfied.
*An ACB is an organisation, wholly independent of IACS and IACS members, accredited to comply with ISO/IEC 17021 standard by an accreditation body who is signatory to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Multinational Recognition Agreement (MLA). Auditors used by ACBs for IACS member audits to IACS QSCS are competent in the work of classification societies and knowledgeable of the maritime sector in general.
What does IACS Operations Centre do?
IACS Operations Centre (OC) oversees the effective administration and operation of the QSCS, ensuring the continued robustness, consistency and integrity of the scheme, with a uniformly high quality standard within IACS.
Each year OC observes a selection of the ACB audits, and provides refresher training for ACB auditors to maintain and update their knowledge regarding class and statutory requirements and other relevant industry initiatives.
- How does the IMO oversee IACS QSCS and its implementation?
Since QSCS was established in the early 90’s IMO has had an observer dedicated to the scheme to oversee and report annually on its evolution and development to the IMO Maritime Safety Committee. That arrangement continues to this day, whereby the observer selects several audits he will attend every year, in addition to holding regular meetings with IACS Quality Secretary and attendance at IACS Quality Committee and Advisory Committee meetings.
Where can I find out more information about IACS QSCS?
If you would like more information about IACS QSCS email us at email@example.com