Quality of service certification

UPU quality management certification system

Introduction/Background

The UPU quality management certification system was developed in line with Beijing Congress resolution C 20/1999. It was launched worldwide in 2003, on the basis of a methodology and two questionnaires. The original goal was to raise designated operators' awareness of quality management issues in order to improve postal services. The methodology was revised in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2014.

With traditional postal mail declining, e-commerce volumes on the rise, and heavy competition in the postal market, designated operators face new demands and need to achieve ever better performance. It therefore became essential to revise the UPU quality of service certification methodology, taking it from an initial phase aimed primarily at raising awareness to a more rigorous certification phase, based on industry and market needs.

New certification system

The new certification system, focusing on the management of international service quality, aims to provide a level playing field for evaluating designated operators, irrespective of the level of development of the country concerned. The system is based on the following elements:

  • Two audit questionnaires, one on the system of organization used by the designated operator to manage quality of service, the other on operational procedures and relations with customers and partners (customs authorities, air transport companies and security)
  • A special document summarizing the designated operator's performance in the quality of service field, based on data gathered by the tracking and measurement tools put in place by the International Bureau, other recognized international postal organizations or restricted unions
  • A consultant's mission in the field

Certification procedure

The certification procedure can only take place if the designated operator applying for certification meets the new methodology's prerequisites and reaches the third level of the process, which includes a field audit mission by a consultant to determine whether the requirements of the quality management system have been satisfied. The audit findings are designed to assess the effectiveness of the quality management system and identify opportunities for improvement.

Certification levels

The new certification system has three levels: gold (level A), silver (level B) and bronze (level C), with a three-year period of validity to be confirmed each year on the basis of performance achieved during quality of service testing.

Benefits

Certification is a way of continually improving quality of service, and can be communicated through the media to customers and the public, so as to raise awareness of designated operators' efforts. When a designated operator receives certification, this shows that it has a good system for quality of service management, and is capable of taking steps to improve quality of service in both the short and long term.