Definition – the activity of managing an organisation’s systems and processes to make sure that every part of the company works to a high standard. It is standard practice for an organisation’s quality management systems to be verified through an independent audit, leading to certification.
Quality management has evolved throughout the last decades from simple inspections, quality control and quality assurance to modern, comprehensive philosophies and approaches such as TQM (Total Quality Management), ISO 9000 (International Organisation for Standardization), EMAS (European Eco Management and Audit Scheme) and EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) / CAF (Common Assessment Framework – Europe). Today, quality is seen from an integral, organisational and consumer-oriented perspective: quality is a dynamic state associated with products, services, people, processes and environments that meets or exceeds expectations.
Quality is achieved through a systematic set of activities followed by the organisation in all its facets, aimed at maximising customer satisfaction. For example, a TQM-oriented organisation is characterised by a strong consumer-oriented approach, a commitment to the elimination of errors and steps that do not add value to products and services, a firm focus on prevention, long-term planning, teamwork, fact-based decision making, a continuous pursuit of improvement, horizontal and decentralised organisational structures and external partnering arrangements.
Originally developed to improve processes, various approaches have now been developed in order to support the public sector. Most of the tools used in the public sector today stem from instruments used in private organisations that have been adjusted for the specific characteristics of the public context.
Relevance to SUMP – Quality management schemes enable local authorities to assess their own SUMP development and implementation performance, demonstrate the quality of a SUMP to European funding institutions and compare practices with those of other cities.
The EC Transport White Paper (EC, 2011) included the initiative that regional development and cohesion funds should be linked to cities and regions that have submitted a current, independently validated Urban Mobility Performance and Sustainability Audit Certificate. Additionally, the SUMP Annex to the Urban Mobility Package (EC, 2013) states that Local Planning Authorities should have mechanisms to ensure the quality and validate compliance of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan with the requirements of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan concept. These policy statements have led to the development of auditing and certification schemes that relate specifically to the development and implementation of Sustainability Urban Mobility Plans including the following:
- ADVANCE Audit tool
- EcoMobility SHIFT Assessment and Audit scheme
- ENDURANCE Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)
- QUEST Quality Management method
- SUMP Impact Evaluation Guidance (prepared by the CiViTAS DYN@MO project)
- SUMP Self-Assessment Scheme (developed by Rupprecht Consult and disseminated through the CH4LLENGE project)
Further quality management schemes in the transport sector which have been adjusted to the needs of policy processes are, for example, BYPAD (Bicycle Policy Audit) and MaxQ (Quality Management System for Mobility Management). These schemes are similar in that they are all inspired by the general TQM tools ISO, EMAS and EFQM. These approaches describe actual situations and audit the working process in the relevant entity. All these tools aim to support progress by giving organisations tools for continuous improvement, based on the „Plan-Do-Check-Act‟ principle.
Source: QUEST 2012