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Oak Ridge Associated Universities' (ORAU) approach to managing quality is quite simple. Our employees make it a priority to validate that project deliverables are completed in a manner than meets or exceeds our customers’ expectations.

Quality requires constant attention. At ORAU, quality is about continuous improvement (identifying best practices and ways ORAU can do even better) and conducting assessments.

Central to ORAU’s commitment to ensuring the highest level of product and service quality is the pursuit of continuous improvement of work processes, products, and services, and employee engagement in exploring and suggesting improvements.

ORAU's commitment to quality is supported by its quality management system (QMS) that complies with the ISO 9001:2015 standard. ORAU has been registered to the ISO 9001 quality standard since 2013 and was an early adopter of the 2015 version of the standard, transitioning to the new version in 2016 despite it not being mandatory until 2018. ISO 9001:2015 identifies the criteria for a company’s quality management system, including a strong customer focus, involvement of top management, and processes for risk management and continuous improvement. To maintain the registration, ORAU undergoes annual audits to validate continued adherence to established quality standards and processes for fulfilling customer requirements.

ISO 9001 helps:

  • Enhance communication throughout the organization.
  • Enhance ORAU’s ability to perform well consistently.
  • Ensure that ORAU understands and continues to consistently meet customer requirements.

Impact Areas

ORAU achieves ISO 9001:2015 registration for quality management systems

ORAU earned the ISO 9001:2015 registration from the International Organization for Standardization for validating quality management systems. Attaining ISO 9001:2015 involved a two-year self-evaluation during which ORAU fully assessed its quality systems and procedures. The assessment was then validated through an audit conducted by an external, accredited organization. 

African female in warehouse

How to rock your virtual ISO 9001 audit: A conversation with Kristy Kistner

Around here, Kristy Kistner is ORAU's quality queen. As the director of performance excellence, she, among other duties, oversees maintenance of ORAU’s ISO 9001:2015 registration, compliance with the U.S. Department of Energy quality assurance requirements, and conduct of assessments and process improvement initiatives. She spoke during the American Quality Institute's ISO 9000 and Audits World Conference, where she discussed "Practical Tips to Rock Your Virtual Audit" based on her experience leading ORAU through virtual audits during the pandemic. No surprise, we rocked it!

Listen to the podcast Transcript (.DOCX)

Kristy Kistner, Director, Performance Excellence