In our constantly changing and growing team, challenges started to arise with working in a uniform and efficient way, especially for large guideline projects to which several researchers contributed. In addition, our type of clients broadened from purely internal clients (Red Cross operational services in need for a specific guideline or systematic review) to external clients (e.g. larger organisations or funding agencies commissioning systematic reviews), so there was a growing need for additional procedures and processes. As our centre is part of a larger organization, the Belgian Red Cross, constantly looking for quality improvement, and several other departments (Blood Service and supporting departments) of the Belgian Red Cross already went through an ISO 9001 certification process, we decided to also implement the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS).
We are proud that since June 2020, we are ISO9001:2015 certified for the development of evidence summaries and systematic reviews.
In the past year we worked hard to maintain and improve our quality management system (QMS). In addition to the yearly external audit by Vinçotte, we held two internal audits. Furthermore, several improvement projects were undertaken. For example, we implemented new guidance to develop scoping reviews, and we developed a flow to determine whether evidence summaries need to be further updated in the future. In addition, several improvements were made to our QMS.
The process of implementing a quality management system in our centre was written in a manuscript which can be consulted here (preprint only).