Quality mark development
Five basic rules for developing a successful quality mark
A quality mark is proof that an organization, person, product or process meets certain requirements. It demonstrates positive characteristics such as quality, durability or expertise and thus gives confidence that everything is in order. Are there malpractices in a sector? Has there been a major accident or a scandal? Then people quickly say that a quality mark is needed with which the good professionals, products or organizations can distinguish themselves.
There is more to developing a quality mark than you think. A successful quality mark has well-designed methods for testing of the relevant qualities and also has a great value as a brand mark. It is well known and desired in the marketplace. The following images describe the most important basic rules to ensure a good quality mark with impact.
Support is essential for the credibility of a quality mark. This is determined by who has contributed to the quality mark. With a good stakeholder analysis you get a clear picture of who should be involved. Look as broadly as possible and involve all relevant stakeholders from the start.
Determining the requirements for the quality mark is a trade-off between feasibility and credibility that must be made with all stakeholders. An open and equal process is of great importance to ensure that those involved agree and support the quality mark.
Do not create a museum piece
Quality marks are intended to positively distinguish the quality mark holders. It should enable the holders to sell their products or services better. There must be a demand for products or services with the quality mark.
There is demand for it when it provides clarity and certainty about a characteristic that is considered important by legislators, customers or other stakeholders, such as quality or sustainability. The basis for the development of a quality mark is therefore the demand for it in the market. So get a good idea about this beforehand: Who asks for this quality mark? And how do they value this in their choice of products or services?
Once the requirements for obtaining the quality mark have been established, it is ready for use. The work is done, it seems, but the work has only just begun. Managing a quality mark requires continuous effor for management, it will not run by itself.
Reality is often more complex than anticipated, so issues will arise from the assessments that have not yet been considered, or that are different from what had been anticipated. There should also be supervision of the correct assessment of the requirements. It must also be regularly assessed whether the requirements of the quality mark are still current, otherwise it loses its relevance. Make sure that this work is well organized and that there is a good business case for covering the management costs.
Separation of powers
According to the trias politica ( Montesquieu ), it is necessary that the legislative, executive and judicial power in a country rest with different institutions. For a quality mark it is also important that there is a clear separation between:
(1) determining the requirements,
(2) performing the assessments based on the requirements and
(3) monitoring of this assessment and the use of the quality mark in the marketplace.
This ensures that the system is unambiguous, neutral and fair.
Don't make a masterpiece
Perfect is the enemy of good. The quality mark should not become a masterpiece in the sense that it assumes complete perfection.
The requirements for obtaining the quality mark must be sufficiently demanding to be credible, but feasible enough for quality mark holders to be attainable and to allow the costs of compliance to outweigh the benefits.
Make sure that the requirements for obtaining the quality mark are well thought out, but also assume that improvements still need to be made in practice. That is why the following applies to a quality mark in several respects: good is good enough!