Welcome and Foreword
It is my utmost pleasure to welcome you to the IRIS 15: Facts and Figures website.
Since its founding 15 years ago, IRIS Certification has aimed at enhancing the quality of the whole rail sector by establishing a transparent and objective certification system that compiles best practices identified by the rail sector’s champions. Quality is of crucial importance for the rail sector as it seeks to improve its competitiveness, attractiveness, efficiency and resilience. As rail is the only means of mass transportation ready to meet the challenges of climate change and growing traffic volumes, the sector’s ability to perform optimally is even more important than ever before.
In only a decade and a half, IRIS Certification has grown from a European initiative to a worldwide certification system. It is evident that it continues to grow as many new companies become certified and numerous others continue to register on the IRIS Portal, indicating sustained interest in the scheme. IRIS Certification has been awarded to more than 2100 companies, across more than 50 countries and all continents. We have also moved from a private standard to an international one governed by the International Organisation of Standardisation. IRIS Certification is relies on ISO/TS 22163:2017, which is expected to become a full ISO standard in the coming years.
The best practices and ideas emerge from cooperation. This scheme is the result of sector-wide effort and acceptance on said best practices. Through quality cooperation, IRIS Certification has built trust within the sector between numerous companies who usually act as competitors on the global market. This cooperation was taken a step further in 2018 with the foundation of the International Rail Quality Board (IRQB) – a global consortium including rail operators, system integrators and equipment manufacturers. IRQB aims to foster an international culture of quality across the whole rail sector, notably by promoting the use of the IRIS Certification system worldwide to ensure high product quality.
IRIS 15 comes at a troubled time in the world. The global pandemic and resulting restrictions have affected heavily our lives and businesses. We are glad to see that the rail sector was able to work together during this exceptional period and find solutions allowing to ensure business continuity throughout the global pandemic. We set up the remote auditing procedure allowing to conduct IRIS Certification audits when travelling and physical meetings are not permitted and set up the remote auditor training programme that will be carried on until the restrictions on travelling and physical meetings are lifted. This once again shows the sector’s resilience, ability to adapt and a wish to work together for higher quality objectives.
IRIS 15: Facts and Figures is a publication celebrating our successful 15 years of enhancing the global culture of quality in rail. This publication will bring you a large variety of data on IRIS Certified companies, audit scores, corrective actions and auditors and certification bodies, contributing once again to the transparency of our certification scheme. I also invite you to share this publication with your colleagues to spread the word on the importance of quality in allowing our society to move towards more sustainable means of transportation.
Bernard Kaufmann, IRIS General Manager