Frequently Asked Questions

Q: “Why do we want a formal Quality Assurance system?”

The QA system assures clients and the Irrigation Design accreditation programme that the organisation will maintain the design quality in their day to day business, the same quality as demonstrated in their accreditation application.

 

Q: “Why are you accrediting the organisation and not accrediting the individual designers?”

Because the organisation has overall responsibility for their quality of work.

  • Staff hold qualifications and practising certification – that is their professional recognition.
  • The accreditation is the equivalent for organisations.  This is international convention.

Note: Staff come and go within an organisation but it’s the organisation that signs the contract with customer. The organisation needs to ensure that adequate training is provided in the different components of designing an effluent system.

 

Q: “What’s all this quality assurance (QA) paperwork? What’s that got to do with designing irrigation systems?”

A recording system is key to a successful QA system but does not have to be elaborate.

It does need to provide evidence that the quality and safety procedures are active and effective by, for example, recording dates and signatures.

Note: To help organisations understand what the Irrigation Design accreditation programme is looking for; we have provided example QA programme for small organisations.

 

Q: Is ISO9001 suitable as QA system?

Yes, ISO 9001:2008 is a h4 and well recognised QA system. If you use an ISO 9001 system, reference this in your application and briefly describe how it is set up for your organisation.

 

Q: Is joint accreditation possible?

No; Irrigation Design accreditation will be issued to a single organisation.

An organisation that does not directly employ staff with all required skills can still become accredited.

If your organisation requires skills and experience from other individuals/companies, then a documented agreement may need to be developed between parties. Such an agreement should be referenced in the quality assurance (QA) section of your application.

Note: The other organisation could also seek accreditation, using your skills within their application and QA processes. This could be a reciprocal arrangement.

 

Q: Is theoretical design easier?

No, designs are all theoretical. Systems only become real once installed. Organisations will need to access real farm data for use in designs. See the requirements of the assessment check list (e.g. topography, climate, soil water properties etc).

 

Q: “I supply a great range of pump equipment – will this Accreditation scheme be for me?”

Probably not if you just supply pumps. This scheme is for organisations that DESIGN systems for irrigation.

Note: If you sell the pumps, pipes and fittings and fully install the system then perhaps you should consider this accreditation scheme for your business.  You may need to outsource some of the work to another provider or alternatively up-skill with some extra training.

 

Q: We’re a small company mainly involved in system upgrades, how do we become accredited?

The same accreditation process applies to all organisations, regardless of size.

All companies supplying systems to irrigators should consider the accreditation scheme, even for system upgrades. You still need full knowledge of the Irrigation Design Code of Practice and Standards to sell the correct equipment to the customer.

Note: If you do not have all the skills in-house then we suggest either you get some training, outsource your requirements through developing a formal relationship with a complementary organisation or individuals.

Q: Does the accreditation create more work for a larger company with more employees?

Not if the company already has good quality assurance systems in place. A larger company is warranting that all the designs produced by all of its employees are to the Irrigation Design Code of Practice and Standards.

Note: A good QA system saves time by finding and fixing errors early, before expensive rework is required, and thereby reducing the number of errors that are made.

 

Q: This is tough on small guys, it might drive us out?

That is not the intention. Even smaller companies need checks on quality or their customers will get poor service. The QA system for a small organisation can be quite simple.

The overall goal of the Irrigation Design Accreditation programme is to lead to more demonstrable skills being used by the irrigation service industry so New Zealand irrigators get a high level of service for their irrigation upgrades and developments.

Note: Smaller companies may need to look at out-sourcing the skills they lack, look at some training or develop a reliable skilled set of companies to partner with.

 

Q: How will the register of Irrigation Design Accredited companies be managed?

There will be one register maintained on the Irrigation Design Accreditation website. Companies will be listed in alphabetical order. Over time a second list will be organised by region as many irrigators may wish to search for accredited organisations in their region. For those companies that have branches in more than one region, then only those branches actively involved in irrigation design can be listed. The regional list will also be listed alphabetically.