The IODE Committee adopted Recommendation IODE-XXII.18 which established the IODE Quality Management Framework (IODE-QMF). IODE-QMF provides overall strategy, advice and guidance for NODCs to design and implement Quality Management Systems (QMS) for the successful delivery of oceanographic and related data, products and services and to ensure NODCs can demonstrate their capabilities to provide data and services in compliance with established standards and responsibilities that will lead to accreditation. The IODE encourages NODCs to implement a QMS and to demonstrate they are in conformity with ISO 9001, the international standard for quality management.

Accreditation requirements

NODCs seeking formal accreditation will need to meet a minimum set of requirements to ensure compliance with IODE standards and to establish a mechanism to regularly monitor and assess the quality of data and service. NODCs will need to demonstrate their ability to provide secure long-term storage of and access to marine data. The IODE committee has established accreditation criteria to ensure NODCs meet these requirements. Submissions for accreditation should address all the accreditation criteria which can be found in IODE Quality Management Framework for National Oceanographic Data Centres. (IOC Manuals and Guides 67, 2nd revision (2023)).

Accreditation process

The accreditation process comprises the following steps:

  1. Submission of accreditation application in response to the IODE Accreditation Requirements to the IODE Steering Group for Quality Management Framework (SG-QMF) through the IODE Secretariat;
  2. Review of the accreditation application the SG-QMF;
  3. Response from SG-QMF to applicant
  4. Formulation of recommendation regarding accreditation for consideration by the IODE Officers;
  5. Decision by the IODE Officers, on behalf of the IODE Committee.

Successful applications will be awarded the status of Accredited IODE National Oceanographic Data Centre.

Prepare your accreditation submission

The steps required to prepare a submission for accreditation include:

  1. Develop and implement a Quality Management System (QMS). A QMS consists of a set of rules (procedures) that an organization decides to follow in order to achieve its objectives related to the quality of its products and services. Such a system contains, for example, rules concerning the general management of the organization and makes reference to the technical procedures which have to be followed, the quality controls which are performed on the products or services and the actions to be taken if the products or services do not comply with the requested specifications.
  2. Prepare a Quality Manual which documents the scope of an organization’s QMS, including references to documented policies and processes, and describes the scope and extent of the QMS.
  3. Complete the IODE accreditation check list and provide relevant documentation that your QMS meets the requirements.
  4. If your organization has a certified QMS (for example ISO 9001 certification), provide evidence.
  5. Submit accreditation request to the SG-QMF