UNOPS implements development projects on behalf a wide range of partners in some of the world’s most challenging environments, ranging from building schools to clearing mines to training teachers.
It received the certification in June 2011, making it the first UN organization to have its global management systems ISO 9001 certified.
UNOPS Executive Director Jan Mattsson said: "Receiving the ISO 9001 certification demonstrates how seriously we take the commitment to quality. We are able to combine this with a focus on efficiency, reducing our administration expenditure even while growing our implementation portfolio, as shown in our
"This commitment to quality helps UNOPS complete its partners' projects on time, within budget and in line with their expectations – to create high-value results that matter for people in need. By implementing projects to these exacting standards UNOPS increases their likelihood of success, for example a road which lasts longer, a hospital which is more accessible, or a national park which is better protected."
The certification is the culmination of several years of work to ensure that UNOPS follows business practices that reflect leading international standards.
During the path to ISO 9001 the organization created an online tool (the Practice and Quality Management System) to document core business processes. It defined 'management practices' to clarify who is responsible for each process, created a space for employees to suggest improvements to existing processes, set up a review committee to prioritize improvements, and launched scorecards to measure how efficiently those improvements were being implemented.
A number of specific online tools were also created to manage high priority processes – for example the Engagement Management Process which ensures UNOPS delivers on its partners needs. This relates to how UNOPS formulates agreements with partners on what the organization is going to deliver on their behalf. It details how UNOPS communicates with partners on progress and the systems in place if plans change.
During the ISO 9001 audits in 2011 UNOPS proved that it consistently follows and refines all of its processes.
UNOPS has also recently received the acclaimed Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Certification in Procurement Policies and Procedures, which includes a new sustainability measure. The certification, considered the most demanding its kind, confirms that UNOPS follows world-class procurement processes that have been verified and monitored by a respected independent body.