- Quality Mark
An important component of quality assurance is the monitoring of quality standards by continuous inspection.
If a laundry has the status of applicant, the so-called applicant inspection is carried out on site. The applicant inspection involves an external examiner inspecting the washing processes and the company in accordance with the requirements of the German Certification Association for Professional Textile Services.
The German Certification Association also helps maintain the quality of its member companies by a comprehensive system of regular self-monitoring. Every member company is obliged to use continuous self-monitoring to document the fact that their products and services comply with the quality assurance requirements at all times. For example, the service water must be tested every day and the quality of the finished laundry inspected regularly by people from outside the production area using checklists.
The in-house testing of the finished laundry includes the following criteria: cleanliness and freedom from stains, degree of whiteness, dryness, smoothness, effectiveness of finishing treatment, quality of laying out and folding, odour and packaging. In particular, dry linen, mangle linen and shaped items are tested separately. The result of each test must be documented in writing and in full in the German Certification Association's inspection record book. During external monitoring, the inspection record is checked by an external examiner to ensure it is complete.
In addition to the in-house testing, external monitoring takes the form of neutral and independent inspectors visiting the RAL certified laundries unannounced. They then check that the company's services comply with the relevant quality criteria.
The external monitoring covers the washing processes and the whole operation of the company including hygiene. Ever since 1959, the external inspections of the laundries with the RAL Quality Certification Mark have been carried out by the independent and internationally renowned textile testing service provider and research partner Hohenstein in Bönnigheim
The quality assurance system under RAL-GZ 992 was worked out by the RAL German Institute for Quality Assurance and Certification as part of its basic principles for applying RAL Quality Certification Marks in an endorsement process, with the cooperation of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and in partnership with the relevant professionals, consumer groups and authorities. The written version can be obtained from the Beuth publishing house.
The test regulations of the German Certification Association provide for internal and external audits. Internal audits are carried out regularly at the company and documented in the RAL inspection record book. They cover, for example, cleanliness and freedom from stains, the degree of whiteness and the dryness of the linen. External audits involve regular testing by a RAL-recognised institute, including checking of the inspection record book.