Promoted, owned and managed by UNIFE – the European Rail Industry Association – IRIS was first issued in 2006, when certification to IRIS was initially taken up by rail system integrators and equipment manufacturers. Since then IRIS has evolved and gradually extended across the rail sector. Supported in particular by four big names in rail systems manufacturing, the flow of IRIS throughout the supply chain benefits the entire rail industry, resulting in enhanced safety and reliability.
The rail industry is a challenging and competitive market place, governed by legislation, regulations, codes, restrictions and significant expectations. In a safety critical environment, railway operators cannot take the risk of compromising on quality. The purpose of IRIS is to evaluate a business’s management system and provide evidence of best practice.
The Key Benefits Of IRIS
- Winning business - suppliers with IRIS certification can provide clear evidence of their credentials and offer a high level of confidence to their rail customers. As IRIS wins increasing international recognition, across Europe and worldwide, IRIS certified suppliers are likely to win more business as IRIS becomes a fully integrated part of the rail industry.
- Increased efficiency through integration of management procedures – as IRIS is complementary to ISO 9001:2008, businesses will already be familiar with the concept of implementing and maintaining a quality management system. Certain processes required for ISO 9001 and IRIS can be integrated so that there is only the need for one audit process, increasing efficiency and reducing cost and duplication of effort. Please see below for further details about integration of procedures.
- Listing on the UNIFE database – businesses with IRIS certification are listed by UNIFE and their details can be viewed by railway industry customers around the world.
- Marketing and reputation - IRIS can provide significant marketing and publicity opportunities as a RAIL business announces its success in achieving certification and has a great story to tell. This, in turn, provides evidence of an organisation’s determination and commitment to delivering reliable, high quality services and products, enhancing its reputation.
- Improved performance and efficiency and reduced risk - IRIS procedures offer improved performance, efficiency and management control for a business and can help avoid lapses in procedures, leading to reduced costs and increased profits.
- Managing the supply chain – IRIS certified businesses throughout the supply chain offer consistency and assurance to customers, while improving safety and reliability overall.
- A new culture - achieving IRIS is an exciting process that will gain the support of employees of any business and create a new, dynamic culture, safeguarding the future of the organisation.
Achieving IRIS Certification
An organisation seeking to achieve certification may need help as IRIS creates a considerable extension to ISO 9001:2008, with particular focus on a range of additional areas, including:
- Analysis of data.
- Customer waiver.
- Obsolescence management.
- Reliability, availability and maintainability (RAMS).
- Commissioning and customer service.
- First article inspection; configuration management.
- Project management.
- Control of monitoring and measuring devices.
- Design and development.
- Tender management.
- Planning of production realisation.
- Work environment.
- Contingency plan.
- Human resources.
- Management of multisite projects.
- Knowledge management, and
In Brief, IRIS Can Be Achieved By:
- Reviewing the organisation.
- Carrying out a gap analysis.
- Designing and documenting new policies and procedures.
- Delivering awareness training.
- Embedding the new system into the organisation.
An assessor from an independent, accredited organisation can then officially audit the new management system and, provided it meets the requirements of IRIS, recommend certification. The concept will be familiar for businesses that are already certified to ISO 9001:2008.
Integration Of IRIS And ISO 9001:2008 Procedures
It makes sense to simplify matters, wherever possible, and reduce duplication of effort, by combining new management processes with an organisation’s existing procedures or by designing a streamlined set of combined management processes from the outset.
The integration of management procedures to the requirements of two or more standards can help organisations in a range of ways by:
- Reducing duplication and saving time.
- Optimizing resources and improving efficiency and performance.
- Reducing confusion, contradictions and conflict.
- Reducing the cost of implementing and maintaining management procedures.
- Providing a comprehensive view of management aims and objectives.
- Creating consistent practices that make sense to everyone.
- Enabling people to cooperate and communicate more effectively.
Certain routine management activities can also be extended to cover the requirements of more than one standard. For example, a risk assessment can be designed to accommodate and include the identification of potential risks on a wider range of topics, enabling it to include the relevant issues under all the standards that govern an organisation’s integrated management system.
Under an integrated management system, many management processes can be combined within a common framework, enabling them to be carried out in similar ways at the same time. However, certification to the individual standards can still be achieved and maintained.
How Touchstone Renard Can Help Rail Industry Businesses
Since 1987, Touchstone Renard has become known as a leading international consultancy to the rail and metro industry, consistently demonstrating unique support to clients by:
- Bringing clarity out of management complexity or uncertainty.
- Carrying out innovative reviews and studies.
- Devising and implementing change programmes in partnership with clients.
- Achieving improvements for clients, their departments, teams and individuals.
- Defining, managing and delivering projects.
- Identifying and achieving cost savings and benefits for clients.
We offer our clients uncompromising expertise and professionalism with a down to earth, customer-friendly approach. Our consultancy delivers a wide and flexible range of support, provided by a large, strong, structured and experienced team of specialists, each of whom is highly skilled, with a proven track record.
We aim to work in partnership with our clients to produce the right result. Communication is essential and we always listen to our clients to discover their needs and objectives. The intention is to bring clarity and certainty and provide clients with confidence that the project will be tailored and delivered to meet all their requirements.
We Offer Support in Various Areas of Expertise, Including:
- Mandatory concerns — such as safety, assurance, quality, compliance, standards, sustainability, business continuity and risk management.
- Performance-driven matters, for example productivity, sourcing, ‘six sigma’ lean programmes, balanced scorecard, organisation design and change realisation.
Our people work in a variety of ways: providing advice and facilitation; carrying out reviews or studies; planning programmes; working hands on, delivering and implementing programmes, often as part of the client’s in-house team. When our clients invite us to remove the burden of project implementation and management systems-related work, they are able to focus on other important issues.
Touchstone Renard also has a wealth of experience in rail outside the UK and, as a key member of the Independent Management Consultancies Network (IMCN), we are able to call on an extensive and diverse range of international expertise.
Touchstone Renard holds external certification to the requirements of ISO 9001 and is accredited by Link-Up (the rail industry accreditation body) in 28 areas of competence, some examples as follows:
- Management Consultancy.
- Supplier Qualification.
- Environmental Consultancy.
- Business Management.
- Financial Services.
- IT Consultancy.
- Development/Review of IT Standards.
- Operational Planning.
- Strategic Business Studies.
- Project Management.
- Programme Management.
- Quality Audit.
- Quality Management Systems.
- Business / Strategic Risk.
- Railway Safety Consultancy.
- Development & Review of safety Standards.
- Safety Management.
- Systems Review.
- Safety Audit.
- Competence management.
- Management & Leadership Skills.
- Project Management Training.
- Business Skills Education Programme.
- Health safety & Environment Training.
Phil Austin, Managing Director of Touchstone Renard, Says:
"Having served the rail industry for over 20 years, we believe in going the extra mile to deliver a high quality service to help our clients succeed and secure the future of their business.
"We would anticipate that IRIS will soon be an essential element for rail industry suppliers and will be viewed as a top priority."
Please Contact Us for Help With IRIS or Other Solutions
If you would like to receive further details or you would welcome a discussion on how Touchstone Renard can assist with achieving IRIS certification or other solutions for your business, please contact Phil Austin:
- Tel: +44 (0)207 101 0788. Mobile: +44(0) 7768 366 744.