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Helping NGO, Terre de Hommes, help children globally.

Certification to ISO 9001:2015 redesigns the NGO’s operating structure


Client challenge

Founded in 1960, Terre des Hommes comprises ten national, member organisations, collectively known as Terre des Hommes International Federation (TDHIF). The Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) has a network of offices across Europe and the US. A hundred permanent employees are supported by 2,000 volunteers. In 2014, our client worked on 870 development and humanitarian aid projects, spanning 68 countries.

Irvin Wekking, Financial Director at the NGO, was given the task of achieving certification to the updated ISO 9001:2015 standard. The implementation of a brand new international management system standard is a daunting task for many organisations and Terre des Hommes was no exception. The NGO turned to us for help, as a world-leading professional assurance services organisation. A main challenge was the NGO’s reach and make-up. Irvin Wekking explained why: “Our organisation consisted of silos in different countries, each with their own structure and ICT environment focused on local implementation. To make sure we could complete the ISO 9001:2015 transition effectively, we had to adjust our processes, organisation structure and ICT infrastructure. Without this, it would have been an almost impossible task.” 

How we helped

Our training and assessment services supported the team at Terre des Hommes in gaining ISO 9001:2015 certification. The transition journey was an opportunity for the NGO to undertake a complete overhaul of its operating structure. Irvin Wekking shared his thoughts on the progress the NGO has made: “We have spent so much time defining our organisational context and strategy and the related risks which have led to some searching questions about the way our world will look in three to five years, our role and ambitions and our stakeholder expectations. The implementation of ISO 9001:2015 has undoubtedly helped and allowed us to answer those questions as we put our plan in place.”

During the transition process, our client was also supported by management systems consultant, Gerben Bekooy. 

“The employees at Terre des Hommes have been very engaged with the transition process and it was clear that securing buy-in wasn’t going to be a problem for the team ”
Management Systems Consultant, Terre des Hommes Gerben Bekooy

Insight & Client comment

Innovative technologies helped the team at Terre des Hommes achieve their goals of ISO 9001:2015 certification. Our client, Irvin Wekking, explained: “Terre des Hommes has now a matrix structure, where employees are increasingly operating in project teams, regardless of their location. The IT environment has therefore changed dramatically. We are working entirely in the cloud on a platform, where we share knowledge and communicate with each other and our stakeholders.”

Client comment 

“Working with LRQA was a natural fit for Terre des Hommes. We share the same organisational values and pragmatic approach. Our audit was very positive and the knowledge of our assessor, Hans Franken, was excellent. It was really great to work with him throughout our transition journey.

“The employees are very involved, they are more risk aware and act accordingly. We don’t have a quality team or manager, we have over two thousand! All our staff and volunteers contribute. In this way, we naturally and effectively meet the requirements of ISO 9001:2015.”

Irvin Wekking

Financial Director, Terre des Hommes

Business benefits

Following successful ISO 9001:2015 certification, Terre de Hommes is managing its risks more effectively, with enhanced operations and a clear path forward. The NGO feels it is more future orientated and purposeful than ever. This will help Terre de Hommes continue its important work globally. 

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