The Delegation for Quality, Metrology and Standardization
IFSTTAR has had a quality approach for many years. In 1979, the Institute was one of the five founding members of the National Testing Network (RNE) which is tasked with approving the quality of testing laboratories. The RNE and the National Metrology Bureau (Bureau National de Métrologie) merged to form the French Accreditation Committee (COFRAC) in 1994.
The Delegation for Quality, Metrology and Standardization (DG/DQMN) which answers directly to IFSTTAR’s Managing Director, has the principal function of changing the way the Institute is managed and operates to enable it, first and foremost, to give satisfaction to its direct clients and those who benefit from its research findings.
To carry out this mission, the DG/DQMN has two full-time staff members and a range of resources which are deployed throughout IFSTTAR:
A “metrology” section, managed by a metrology engineer which has two units, in Nantes and Marne-la-Vallée, each with two metrology technicians,
- A set of documents, which constitute the Quality Management System, which can be accessed by all members of staff via the Institute’s Intranet
- A team of internal auditors who are trained to perform audits and who are familiar with the principal references that are in use,
A network of Quality Correspondents, one in each laboratory or department, who transmit the measures that are put in place,
- A software package (OPTIMU) that monitors the measurement facilities, in particular with regard to their metrological linkage.
The DG/DQMN coordinates the standardization activities in which IFSTTAR’s staff take part as members of several standardization bureaux, including that on soils and roads (BNSR). IFSTTAR’s experts thus make an important contribution to French standards (AFNOR), European standards (CEN) and international standards (ISO).
The DG/DQMN plays a part in setting up and monitoring activities for product certification, inspection and related tests (the NF, AFCAB, ACQPA, ASCQUER, ASQPE quality marks, and the CE regulatory mark). IFSTTAR is a notified body for the “Construction products” Directive.
Making use of the specially drafted quality handbook, the DG/DQMN is involved in quality management for the network of regional Public Works Laboratories (LRPC) via the Quality Manager of each site and the meetings of the Network’s Quality Committee.
Finally, the DG/DQMN is responsible for qualifying the products that are produced by research which are intended to be disseminated (equipment, software, test methods), in addition to the research work of the unit that developed them.