Quality Management

AGES quality management is the basis of all activities and management tasks designed to ensure the continuous improvement and optimisation of our processes. AGES Divisions and Institutes are certified according to a variety of standards and/or accredited as conformity assessment bodies.

All AGES conformity assessment bodies are embedded in the company structure to achieve the prime objective of AGES-wide, standardised quality management. The accreditation issued by the Austrian accreditation body (Akkreditierung Austria) at the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs is the recognition that these conformity assessment bodies meet the technological, professional and quality-ensuring requirements expected. This guarantees stakeholders in industry and consumers that tests, inspections and certifications are carried out reliably and competently by the conformity assessment body.

The conformity assessment bodies’ accreditation services are published at https://akkreditierung-austria.gv.at/

Services outside the accreditation spectrum are also provided in addition.

AGES Quality Policies

The quality policies comprise the basic principles guiding all AGES staff in their work. The aim is to improve quality levels continuously.

AGES stands for protecting the health of humans, animals and soil, as well as securing and ensuring the safety of our nutrition.

As one of Europe’s leading expert and knowledge-based service providers in the fields of food and pharmaceutical safety, animal health, public health, radiation protection and food security, our staff work actively on minimising existing risks, in awareness of their great responsibility.
Competent and motivated employees are the foundation of our company’s competitiveness and ensure that consumers can rely on the quality of their food, medication etc. Our expertise is the basis for our services and is governed by the latest scientific findings, current legal, scientific and technical specifications, as well as the respective customer needs. A customer-oriented, all-round service provider, our clients from the public and private sectors hold us in high regard.

We keep developing our services and methods on an ongoing basis,  increasing our ability to find innovations and ensuring that we carry out our services as efficiently as possible. The secret of our success is the diversity and interplay between scientific competence and everyday experience that comes from having many different specialisations under one roof. Our staff members share their knowledge and experience constantly. Our structure enables and promotes interdisciplinary cooperation and the interdepartmental exchange of resources within the organisation ensures efficiency and helps provide services to our customers.

Additionally, our structure ensures the performance of any official and private services in line with our compliance guidelines and provides the appropriate spatial, organisational and workforce-related separation that ensures our autonomy. The objectivity of AGES activities is ensured by our staff members’ commitment to objectivity and integrity. All our staff members are familiar with the relevant quality documentation, which is conducted following specified processes and customer requirements.

AGES works with a process-oriented quality management system and is committed to fulfilling and adhering to the appropriate requirements defined in the listed standards, legal requirements, customer needs, good professional practice and to adhering to ISTA rules in regards to the issuing of ISTA certificates. The AGES QM system uses the specifications listed in ISO 9001 and where applicable EN ISO/IEC 17025, EN ISO/IEC 17020 and EN ISO/IEC 17065 for accreditation purposes. Furthermore, a range of our service providing processes follow other requirements, such as Quality Assurance Guidelines of the OMCL-networks, Quality Systems Framework for GMP Inspectorates, ISTA Accreditation Standard, GVP Module I Pharmacovigilance systems and their quality systems and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 520/2012 for the pharmacovigilance system.

Our processes (process organisation) ensure a uniform, overall orientation of the organisation and allow division-specific differentiation at the same time. Our processes are subject to ongoing improvement. This continuous improvement is ensured using performance indicators. We practice a clear management, competence and responsibility system to meet our company’s quality objectives. AGES commits itself to the continuous improvement of the efficiency of its management system and keeps it up to date so that planning and management of our impact, services, processes and resources at strategic and operational levels remain target-oriented.

EN ISO 9001

The Support Units (ABS), Staff Units (SST) and Specialty Units (FAB) operate a QM system that is geared towards EN ISO 9001. The Specialty Unit Risk Communications (COM) and the Department AGES Quality Management and Audit-Services-Unit OCR (AQA) of the Staff Unit Integrated Management System (IMS), as well as the Department AGES Academy (AKAD) of the Specialty Unit Research Coordination, Knowledge Transfer, AGES Academy (WIF) are certified together with the Austrian Medicines & Medical Devices Agency according to EN ISO 9001 by an accredited body.

Conformity Assessment Bodies

The AGES conformity assessment bodies are accredited as examination bodies, inspection bodies and certification bodies by Akkreditierung Austria. The ÖVE/ÖNORM EN ISO/IEC 17025 provides the basis for the examination bodies’ management system. The AGES inspection bodies perform their services as an objective third party in line with ÖVE/ÖNORM EN ISO/IEC 17020 -- i.e. independent, Type A inspection bodies. The requirements listed in ÖVE/ÖNORM EN ISO/IEC 17065 apply to the AGES GmbH certification body for products, which covers both the certification programme pastus+ as well as the SeedGuard-System. In contrast to the accredited pastus+ certification programme, the SeedGuard certification system is not applied in the accredited scope.

Additional QM Requirements

The AGES Academy (AKAD) has been certified in line with Ö-Cert as a quality provider of adult education.

The AGES Institute for Seed and Propagation Material, Phytosanitary Service and Apiculture has been accredited by the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and is officially recognised as an examination office (EO) by the CPVO (Community Plant Variety Office).

The Institute for Animal Nutrition and Feed is a laboratory for the examination of animal feeds, as part of the Q&S feedstuff monitoring programme, officially recognised by Qualität und Sicherheit GmbH (QS).

The Austrian Medicines & Medical Devices Agency fulfils additional QM requirements in line with Good Vigilance Practice (GVP), Quality Assurance Guidelines of the OMCL network, QS Requirements for GMP Inspectorates and HMA Best Practice Guides.