QMI Brief Newsletter

OPG Nuclear Supply Division is Certified to ISO 9001

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is one of North America’s largest power generators with a generating capacity of over 22,000 megawatts including nuclear, hydroelectric, fossil and wind generating stations. Committed to health, safety and to enhancing quality of life issues, OPG achieved ISO 9001 quality management system registration of its Nuclear Supply Chain division in November 2006.

Nuclear Supply Chains’ unique management system, established last year, is an innovative integrated model designed using a holistic approach. According to Todd Hall, Senior Process Specialist at OPG, “We stepped outside of the traditional management box and developed a more integrated approach for the whole business.” Says

Wendy Tilford, President of QMI, “OPG’s management system is leading the way towards a more integrated management approach that incorporates the quality, environmental and health and safety management system requirements into the company’s business processes, and is a positive example for other organizations.

A Unique Approach
OPG’s Supply Chain has already seen significant benefits from the implementation of their new integrated management system; achieving an over 90% staff engagement rate. “It is encouraging the new approach has been well-received by our staff,” says Todd. “Further, becoming certified to ISO 9001 provides an independent external confirmation that we have developed a strong and effective system.”

The trend towards integrating the quality, environmental and health & safety management systems has been increasingly apparent in the electrical utilities sector. The approach commonly used has been to develop each management system separately, then integrate them. OPG’s Nuclear Supply Chain, however, chose to develop and implement an integrated management system from the start. They developed a single manual that addresses all requirements including but not limited to quality, environmental and health & safety programs. By using this approach, OPG has achieved significant efficiencies and advantages by having common processes for all systems from the very beginning. This approach brings them considerably closer to being registration-ready and achieving certification to the other standards with minimal additional effort. “To my knowledge, this hasn’t been done quite to this extent before”, says Todd.

Exceeding Objectives
When OPG began development of this management system, they took a structured approach, clearly outlining targets and initial objectives. The holistic approach was geared to meeting needs effectively, managing business priorities, motivating and engaging staff and building relationships with stakeholders. The overriding goal is to become the “best of the best”.

The majority of the objectives Supply Chain established at the outset of the planning process for this integrated management system seem to have been achieved – and in many cases exceeded.

According to Todd, “a critical success factor was getting all of our staff on board. It is important that our employees understand how their roles relate and contribute to the overall success of the organization. Without staff buy-in, implementation of the management system would have been an uphill journey, and achieving registration a challenge. With the staff fully on-board, the implementation process moved forward smoothly and successful registration was virtually assured.”

Over 90% of Supply Chain staff interviewed by an internal audit team and by QMI auditors demonstrated they understood the guiding principles of the integrated management system approach. “Employees clearly comprehend how everything they do contributes to the overall goals of the organization,” says Todd. “It is encouraging that they could see the link between their individual tasks and the overall goals of the management system. This understanding is a key factor to the system’s success – and to achieving ISO 9001 registration.”  

Becoming the Best of the Best
“The percentage of our employees who indicated they understood how their efforts contributed to the overall management goals was the highest I have seen in over 10 years of evaluating management systems,” says Todd..” This factor is a large part of what has made OPG’s integrated management system an overwhelming success.

OPG has worked closely with CSA for many years and as a result has established a long-standing relationship with QMI. Supply Chain plans to continue to work with QMI over the next year to achieve registration to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 using their new integrated management system model. “We hope to build on our current system to make it even better,” says Todd.

Nuclear Supply Chain’s five year goal of becoming the “best of the best” seems well in sight.

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