Quality Improvement & Accreditation in the Marine Institute
The provision of excellence in our services to both internal staff members and external customers is the foundation of the Marine Institute values and objectives. This enables us to deliver our strategic objectives while focusing on continuous learning and improvement.
The Marine Institute has a Quality Improvement Plan in place, supporting a suite of quality and accreditation programmes that are currently in operation.
Human Resources - Excellence Through People Accreditation in the Marine Institute
Excellence Through People (ETP) is The National Human Resource Management Scheme, accredited since 2012 by the National Standards Authority of Ireland. It is viewed as a Business Improvement Tool, aiming to “...enhance performance and realise strategies though the management and development of people”. It provides a framework for continuous improvement, employee engagement, enhanced communications and a mechanism for the encouragement of innovation.
The Marine Institute has been involved in the ETP Programme since first being awarded the Standard in 2005 and we view our success in the programme as a reflection of each and every employee’s determination to achieve excellence.
The Excellence Through People 1000:2012 Standard “encourages organisations and employees to work together towards establishing best practice by utilising the skills and attributes of the most important asset, The People”.
The ETP model has helped the Institute to focus on our employees, in particular engagement and recognition and the benefits of lifelong learning. It has facilitated better planning and the importance of showing a clear alignment of our people practises with the goals of the organisation.
To achieve and retain ETP accreditation the Marine Institute has been assessed annually across six core areas including: business planning and continuous improvement; effective communication and people engagement; leadership and people management; planning of learning and development; evaluation of learning and development; human resource systems and employee wellbeing.
ISO 9001 - National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) and IQ-Net
The Marine Institute is the Competent Authority (CA) for the implementation of fish health legislation in Ireland. The CA manages the administrative procedures associated with the implementation of Council Directive 2006/88/EC which was transposed into Irish law by Statutory Instrument No 261 of 2008 (as amended). Organisationally, the Competent Authority function is executed by the Fish Health Unit of the Marine Environment and Food Safety Services Division.
The Competent Authority Office maintains a Quality Management System which was certified in 2014 by the National Standards Authority of Ireland and transitioned to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 which the CA are now certified to. This commitment to quality has enabled the CA Office not only to ensure compliance with EU and national legislative requirements, but also to ensure work practices are independently audited on an annual basis thereby actively pursuing continual improvement in all aspects of our performance in order meet client requirements.
ISO 17025 - Accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB)
Our Marine Environment and Food Safety Services (MEFSS) group carry out a range of tests to support the Irish seafood industry and environmental monitoring programmes, and to fulfil the requirement of specific European legislation. In order to ensure the quality of our results and to meet legislative requirements, we have obtained accreditation from the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) to ISO17025 (International Organisation for Standardisation). The ISO17025 standard outlines all of the requirements that testing laboratories must demonstrate to prove that they are technically competent and that the laboratory generates technically valid results. As part of INAB accreditation, MEFSS quality system and test methods are audited by independent technical experts to ensure compliance with the standard.
We were first awarded INAB accreditation for the chemical screening and confirmation of residues in fish tissue in 2002 (Reg No. 130T). Since then, the scope of accreditation has been extended yearly and we have been successful in obtaining accreditation for over 30 test methods.
The Quality System covers a wide range of disciplines/analyses including virology, bacteriology, parasitology, histology, microbiology, molecular biology, phytoplankton enumeration, biotoxin analysis and a range of analytical chemistry tests for residue and environmental contaminants. We aim to maintain accreditation for our current scope and extend it for key areas both in MEFSS and other services areas of the MI.