FIG Working Week 2000, 21-26 May, Prague

Quality in Transition
- A Journey for CHS (Canadian Hydrographic Service)

by Sean Hinds

Key words: quality control, ISO 9000, quality management system, process management.



Extraordinary efforts to produce and ensure a quality product have been found in the research of early human civilizations. Throughout history and across many cultures the essence of quality has been defined and demonstrated in different ways. An evolution of ‘quality thinking’ has emerged, in just the last century, as the global marketplace embraces the role of quality in the formula for corporate success.


The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) prides itself on its paramount attention to quality. CHS hydrographers and cartographers have long held the banner of ‘quality’ as the ‘flagship of service’. The dramatic revolution in technology, client demands and organizational culture has shaken the historic pillars of quality assurance in CHS. In response, CHS is moving to reinforce this foundation of quality with a new business model anchored by the culture of a Quality Management System. Using the process management model of the ISO 9000 International Standard and performance measurement indicators, CHS proposes to better control production and move toward a philosophy of continuous improvement.


This paper will reflect on the changed environment that faces CHS and the quality lessons in the global marketplace that can be applied to a hydrographic organization. It will explore the first steps that CHS has taken on this journey, the impact of this initiative, and what lays ahead for CHS as it moves toward the goal of becoming a certified ‘quality-organization’.

Sean Hinds
Canadian Hydrographic Service
Central & Arctic Region
P.O. Box 5050
867 Lakeshore Road
E-mail: hindss@dfo-mpo.gc

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