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Supplies and Logistics

Quality Assurance - Non-pharmaceutical

© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-0708/Asselin

Supply Division’s Quality Assurance Centre includes a team of QA specialists which ensures the quality of all non-pharmaceuticals procured by the Division. This includes undertaking inspections and evaluations for relevant goods and services procured by the Division, as well as ensuring that our suppliers consistently apply and maintain their certified Quality Management Systems (QMS). (For example a QMS certified to ISO 9001:2008 or ISO 13485:2003 for medical devices. This is achieved by conducting selective quality assurance reviews of suppliers’ QMS, testing of goods worldwide and supplier on-site inspections.

A variety of inspections and tests are also undertaken at different stages of the procurement cycle. The results from all of these activities feed into a scoring system in an Evaluation of Supplier Performance database.

Site inspections
Where thought advisable, our QA staff undertake inspections of manufacturing sites - to make sure a working QMS is being applied to the products supplied to UNICEF. Feedback and guidance can be offered to manufacturers to ensure they are aware of UNICEF requirements. Factory inspections are generally carried out by UNICEF staff but can be outsourced if required.

Goods receipt inspection
UNICEF also quality controls the goods we receive from suppliers. Inspection is carried out at our warehouse in Copenhagen and at other locations worldwide. Goods received are sampled and checked for, amongst other things, compliance to specifications, packaging, documentation, quality of workmanship, shelf life, etc.

Pre Delivery Inspection and Supervision of Loading
Where a delivery is being made directly from a supplier to its destination point, suppliers inform us when a shipment is ready and we contract third party agents who conduct an inspection on our behalf at the supplier’s premises. Out quality team then makes a decision on the disposition of the goods inspected based on the contents of the Inspection Agency’s report. Sampling plans are utilised as directed by ISO 2859-1, and Acceptable Quality Levels (AQLs) are set according to the historical performance of suppliers.

Sample Evaluations
At the procurement bidding stage all potential suppliers submit samples for evaluation. Our quality team evaluates these samples to ensure that they are technically compliant and that they meet all the contract specifications and appropriate international standards. An internal laboratory is used to conduct basic mechanical testing and inspection of products. (For example, checking of certain textile material tensile strength, bursting strength and dimensional stability can be carried out.) For more detailed analysis of products we may engage the services of an external laboratory.

Further information can be obtained from Quality Assurance Specialist: Stuart Turner: sturner@unicef.org




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