As a research institution, research service organisation, and producer of geological information, GTK has set the following general quality targets:
- GTK operates as an unbiased party, and communicates to its staff the principles related to the operations of an unbiased expert organisation.
- The collection, processing and storage of geological information is carried out in accordance with the jointly defined working methods and adequate quality assurance procedures. Information collection processes are further refined with a user-oriented approach.
- GTK conducts high-quality research and innovation activities following the good scientific practice and continually improves the effectiveness its scientific research.
- The needs of GTK’s customers are responded to, customer projects are carried out with adequate quality assurance procedures, and the needs of different customer groups are systematically monitored in order to improve the quality of the services provided by GTK.
- The collection of information, research and support services required by customer projects will be conducted as needed and cost-efficiently.
The structure of the quality system
Basic structure and documentation
GTK’s quality system is a collection of the responsibilities and procedures according to which tasks assigned to the research institution and separately ordered products and services are implemented. In addition to the quality manual and standard operating procedures, the permanent regulations, permanent instructions and safety instructions issued by the administration also govern GTK’s operations. The permanent regulations and permanent instructions documents govern the institution’s organizational structure, financial policy, archiving policy, internal audits and all procedures related to procurement and making agreements. The content of these documents is not repeated in the quality system documents. Instead, the connections to these documents are marked with references.
These documents are the quality system’s key reference material. The quality system documentation provides a comprehensive description of how GTK handles both quality assurance and environmental and occupational safety issues.
GTK’s quality system consists of the following elements:
- GTK’s quality manual
- Standard operating procedures
- Appendices and reference material
The ISO 9001 2015 quality system standard is applied in all production-related activities, such as mapping and measuring, and the mineral technology laboratory’s research and process operations, among others. The quality system describes the flow of GTK’s processes so that everything related to customer service, the reliability and efficiency of operations, and environmental protection is defined to meet the requirements of the standard.
Quality system documents
GTK’s quality manual
The quality system’s main document is GTK’s quality manual, which defines the core quality assurance elements that all the institution’s units are obliged to follow. The quality manual describes the structure of GTK’s quality system as well as the role of the documentation connected to it within the system, and the procedures associated with the quality system. Quality assurance is based on the quality and environmental policy drawn up by GTK’s senior management.
Standard operating procedures
The standard operating procedures describe GTK’s operating processes and their management in accordance with their definitions in the previously mentioned standards and quality manual. Standard operating procedures cover GTK’s framework processes and core support processes.
Framework processes are those operating processes that result in key products or research results regarding GTK’s mission statement. Support processes are implemented on the basis of either an internal order for framework processes or an external customer order.
The targets set in the standard operating procedures must be in accordance with GTK’s quality policy. Together, the standard operating procedures and quality manual form a comprehensive description of the quality assurance for each operating process.
The appendices consist of the forms, guidelines, models and other appendices mentioned in the quality manual and standard operating procedures.
The quality system’s core reference material is categorized as follows:
- Laws, statutes and regulations with direct relevance to GTK’s operations
- Permanent Regulations and Instructions
- GTK’s manuals
- Other reference material
GTK’s manuals contain the general procedures and guidelines associated with GTK’s operations. Procedures for developing manuals and keeping them up to date are described within each manual.
Publication and use of quality documentation
GTK’s quality manual and standard operating procedures are public documents. However, on the proposal of the quality director and the quality coordinator, the director who approved the standard operating procedures may decide to define sections with major significance for GTK’s business (procedure descriptions, for example) as internal documents. The quality manual and standard operating procedures have primarily been drawn up for internal use. However, this documentation also aims to provide stakeholders and customers with information on the operating methods to which GTK is committed.
Evaluation and development of operations
GTK’s key quality assurance evaluation and development procedures are as follows:
- Internal and external audits
- Reviews of divisions
- Management’s quality system review
- Risk estimation and self-evaluation activities
Self-evaluation quality award criteria
Self-evaluation covers both operating methods (procedures and their appropriate application) and results (key figures and the results they indicate). GTK’s self-evaluations play a major role in identifying areas for development. Self-evaluation also aims to provide insight on the effectiveness of GTK’s operations.
Self-evaluation activities cover both evaluations of internal monitoring and the appropriateness of risk management.
Environmental policy and objectives
GTK’s vision – creating solutions for more sustainable growth – is the bedrock of its environmental policy. GTK takes environmental issues into consideration in steering its data collection and research activities and developing its operating practices.
GTK is an impartial expert in geoinformation and the processes that shape ground and bedrock. GTK takes a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary approach to the evaluation of environmental perspectives, ensuring that enough contact is maintained with different stakeholders.
In its own operations, GTK seeks to achieve its environmental objectives and implement environmentally sound operating practices. GTK ensures that environmental perspectives are considered in personnel training and other development efforts. It also makes sure that employees have access to environmental laws, other statutes and instructions that have a bearing on its operations. The implementation of the environmental policy and related operating procedures is monitored. GTK requires its subcontractors to know its environmental policy and objectives, and encourages them to comply with the same principles in the provision of services for GTK
GTK’s environmental goals are:
- Increasing and maintaining the environmental awareness of all employees with a view to integrating environmental considerations into operational and financial planning
- Prioritising purchasing services from suppliers that make a commitment to operating procedures that are in line with GTK’s environmental policy
- Complying with the general environmental objectives set by the Finnish government
- Purposeful and continuous reduction of the environmental load caused by GTK’s operations, for example by:
- Minimising the adverse effects of field operations
- Increasing the efficiency of material use and recycling
- Taking energy efficiency into consideration in GTK’s operations