Irstea, the first public scientific and technical research establishment to be AFNOR ISO 9001 certified for its entire management system

Remise officielle le 29 novembre à Irstea de la certification ISO 9001 : 2015 ©Irstea / M.L. Degaudez
Remise officielle le 29 novembre à Irstea de la certification ISO 9001 : 2015 ©Irstea / M.L. Degaudez

On Thursday, November 29, Irstea, the French National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture, was awarded AFNOR ISO 9001: 2015 certification for its quality management system. This award is testament to the investment made by the institute for the continuous improvement of its processes across its research and research support activities.

Irstea designs and runs research projects focusing on social issues by engaging in a process of continuous dialogue with public organizations (local, national and European) and companies (start-ups, SMEs and large groups). From its very beginning, Irstea has provided its expertise to public authorities in order to help clarify their decisions and create strong partnerships with companies to support industrial innovation.

With these commitments in mind, Irstea wanted to enter a new phase by applying for ISO 9001 certification as part of its 2014-2018 government contract. It was awarded the certification in November 2018. The ISO 9001 standard is used to certify quality management systems that focus on continuous improvements, customer satisfaction and the active involvement of both management and employees in a process-based approach.

"This certification is recognition of several years work during which all of Irstea's employees focused on the common goal of demonstrating the capabilities of our research institute and its commitment to providing high-quality services to ensure the satisfaction of its audience," highlights Marc Michel, President and CEO of Irstea.

The certification applies to all the research, expert assessment, testing/analysis, platform availability, research result uses and teaching activities performed by Irstea's three scientific departments (Land Use, Water and Environmental Technologies).

Certification in the context of the Inra-Irstea merger

Awarded by AFNOR, the certification will initially be valid between 2018-2021, up to January 1, 2020, when a future organization resulting from the Inra-Irstea merger will be launched.
For its part, Inra has already started the process of formalizing processes for its strategic HR and finance operations. The certification awarded to Irstea may be useful in creating this new public scientific and technical research establishment and for any future certification goals.

Four laboratories certified since 2005

• the geosynthetics test laboratory (RECOVER) at the Aix-en-Provence Center, certified COFRAC - ISO 17025 version 2005;

• the Cemob technological research platform (TSCF) at the Clermont-Ferrand Center, certified COFRAC - ISO 17025 version 2005;

• the OPAALE unit's PRISM-Equipe IRMFood platform at the Rennes Center, certified ISO 9001 version 201;

• the geomechanical technology research platform (RECOVER) at the Aix-en-Provence Center, reliability certification.

About AFNOR Certification - AFNOR Certification is the certifying body of the AFNOR group, a leader in France due to its certification and assessment services for systems, services, products and skills. A subsidiary of the AFNOR organization, AFNOR Certification is accredited by COFRAC (French accreditation committee) in France. AFNOR Certification runs the NF certification system and offers several trusted brands, such as AFAQ certification, professional Diversity and Equality awards, the "tested and approved by seniors" award and the European Ecolabel.

For more information

*EPST: Public scientific and technical research establishment