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Quality assurance - more than just a bureaucratic process
Normally, when referring to our Department, the word Safety quickly comes to mind - it is in the name, and it is certainly an important part of our activity, but I would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of the second leg of our Department: Quality Assurance, intimately linked to safety and one of the key ingredients needed for a successful accomplishment of ITER goals. With the recent incorporation of the new Head of the QA Division, David Sands and the new recruitment going on at the moment, we are starting to have the resources needed to implement a strong quality culture all along the project. Not only is the implementation of a quality programme an essential requirement to achieve licensing for ITER, but educating people in quality culture as normal practice will enhance the project. Quality Assurance should not be seen as a bureaucratic process but an essential and practical aid to achieving the goals of ITER.
The immediate focus of the Quality Division is in developing a process-based management system and training programmes to educate personnel in quality culture. It is important that ITER is seen to be conforming to regulatory requirements, therefore it is essential that the quality system is implemented, audited and continually improved. ITER will need to assess itself internally before being subjected to outside scrutiny.
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