Sylvie Narejos is the head of the continuous improvement department within the steering department. This month, as part of the " Rouages " video series produced by the University of Montpellier, she talks to us about the quality approach and the process used by her team to obtain the famous ISO 9001 certification.

Rouages takes you to the heart of downtown, on the third floor of the Institute of Biology, this month. We meet Sylvie Narejos, a well-known figure at the University, and for good reason: she has been working within its walls for over 25 years. Initially involved in the continuing education department at UM1, she joined the management team in 2010. "At that time, there was a strong desire to get to know the institution better and to commit resources to improving what could be improved," she explains.

ISO 9001 standard

Sylvie Narejos is head of the Quality and Internal Audit Department and currently manages six employees in three offices: Quality, Sustainable Development and Internal Control. Our missions are quite numerous and diversified, so I'm going to focus more specifically today on the quality approach," she says. Of course, we participate in defining the institution's "quality" policy in line with the strategic axes of the multi-year contract. We are also deploying the quality approach to processes that will most often lead to ISO 9001 certification.

ISO 9001 certification. A three-letter, four-digit code that has been synonymous with quality since it was first published by theInternational Organization for Standardization in 1987. " This standard allows us to engage in a dynamic of continuous improvement. It applies to all areas of activity, both in the private and public sectors and to all professions. It allows for greater user satisfaction, greater visibility and confidence for partners, and improved working conditions for employees," explains the head of the department.

A multi-step process

Sylvie Narejos and the quality approach office have developed a three-step program for teams, departments and departments wishing to take part in this improvement process. "First of all, we have to establish an inventory of practices. To do this, we use documentary analysis, observation and, of course, discussions with the agents," she explains. Based on this inventory, they develop a description sheet and a flow chart " that will allow everyone to have an overall vision of the process and highlight the contribution of each person to the realization of the activities.

In a second phase, the quality office will set up the devices allowing to enter in the continuous improvement to comply with the ISO 9001 standard: satisfaction survey, indicators, risk analysis, internal audits compose the toolbox of the quality approach. " We carry out about 16 audits per year. They consist in checking compliance with regulations, the standard and procedures. They do not have a direct impact on obtaining certification, but they allow us to identify areas for improvement and are therefore real levers for progress," continues the head of the department.

A collective and personalized support

Following this work, the first improvement actions can be deployed. It takes an average of two years to obtain certification. Throughout this period, the teams will benefit from a collective support from the quality office. This consists of a 12-module training course on the ISO 9001 standard and the tools available," explains Sylvie Narejos. The process pilots and managers can also benefit from individual and personalized support. Every two months, a quality newsflash is also sent out to inform all the players of the deadlines to be met.

As mentioned above, the ISO 9001 standard applies to all fields of activity, which leads Sylvie Narejos to meet people with very different profiles in the course of her work. " This is one of the reasons why I still enjoy this job so much " she says. Teaching skills, benevolence, listening skills, a taste for teamwork, as well as rigor and the ability to synthesize are all essential skills for the daily practice of this profession, which is sanctioned each year by an external audit carried out by accredited organizations. " This audit always gives rise to a feedback session open to all process pilots and managers. This is an important moment that recognizes the contribution of each individual and the strength of the team," she concludes.