Quality Assurance is a means of ensuring that goods of a specified quality are provided in a satisfactory condition against any agreed order and/or specification. It also provides an assurance that records are kept for a suitable period of time for all goods manufactured under the quality assurance scheme should any problems occur at a later date.
The present scheme was initiated by a previous organization, the Lighting Column Manufacturers Association (LCMA), who for several years investigated and evaluated various systems and quality assessment schemes. Talks with the British Standards Institution, Quality Assurance (BSI QA) and Lloyds Register Quality Assurance Ltd. (LRQA) followed, which produced a scheme felt to cover the requirements for lighting columns. All major user bodies, including the then Department of Transport, were brought into the discussions and a Working Party established. The Quality Assurance Scheme for Lighting Columns was launched at Lightex' 87 in Blackpool in October 1987. In 2003 the National Quality Association (NQA) were included as assessors for the scheme in the UK. During all these proceedings the Department of Trade and Industry provided invaluable advice and assistance.
In late 1996 it was suggested that it would be beneficial to become part of the National Highways Sector Schemes which would be used by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) as part of its assessment for certification bodies wishing to be accredited in the lighting column field. The overseeing committee acts as advisor to UKAS who are now responsible for issuing scheme documents.
To gain registration a manufacturer is required to produce a documented quality manual which complies with BS ENISO 9000 and meets the additional relevant requirements given in Scheme No. 6 (Formerly known as 5020) "Sector Scheme Document for the Manufacture and Verification of Lighting Columns" of the Sector Schemes for Quality Management in Highway Works. The selected certification body checks the firms quality management system, personnel, training, procedures, materials, equipment and documentation; and on the methods it intends to use to ensure that the required standards are achieved and maintained. It will also check that the quality manual details how each stage in the manufacturing and finishing process are monitored and checked against specification. Only when the certification body is satisfied that the manufacturer has demonstrated that products achieve the requirements of the product specification, and those of the customer, is a certificate issued.
Thereafter the certification body makes regular visits to audit and check that all systems, checks, tests, etc., are being continuously followed and recorded. Checks will include the recording and distribution of customers' orders and specifications, and will follow these through to finished items and final inspection for dispatch.
The Scheme also incorporates the design of products and the verification of those deigns to the loading criteria and verification requirements laid down in BS EN 40, or any other agreed specification. The certification body checks that these designs have been properly carried out, and verification made, in accordance with the Scheme No. 6.
The government acknowledges the value of quality assurance and this lighting column scheme was introduced with the support of the Department of Trade and Industry. Many quality schemes exist but it is in the purchaser's interest to only obtain lighting columns made by manufacturers registered against Scheme No. 6 and whose licenses incorporate a reference to the Scheme document or the preceding scheme document known as 5020.
Quality Assurance Certification
The certification status of the Members is regularly reviewed by the Secretary to ensure compliance.
To down load the current status please click QA SUMMARY.
To see a particular current QA Certificate please click the member list below.
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