By Leakey Sonkoyo 


Kenya Forest Service has for the last three (3) years been certified under ISO 9001:2008 following the setting up of a Quality Management System. The ISO standards are normally reviewed every five years and revised if necessary to make sure that they remain helpful and maintain relevance and are integrated with other management system. 

The standards are also reviewed to provide an integrated approach to organizational management and provide a consistent foundation for the next 10 years. The ISO standards must also reflect the increasingly complex environments in which organizations operate in and ensure the new standard meets the needs of all potential user groups and also enhances the organization’s ability to satisfy its customers. 

In this regard the International body based in Geneva has revised the ISO 9001:2008 standard and developed ISO 9001:2015. Consequently in order to keep in tandem with these changes KFS has initiated the process of transiting to the revised Standard. Accordingly a series of trainings focusing on senior management, the steering committee, Heads of Conservancies, Ecosystem Conservators and internal auditors have been successfully carried out. 

The trainings started in October 2016 where the top management was trained in Embu. Trainings for the 10 Heads of Conservancies, 47 County Coordinators, 25 steering committee members, and 57 internal auditors from the Headquarters, KFC, Conservancies and Counties were carried our regionally in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret and Nyeri.  

In the mean time KFS is currently reviewing its policy statements, policy manual and procedures to comply with the requirements of the revised Standard.   In addition the Service has awarded a contract to SGS Kenya Ltd to carry out pre – recertification and surveillance audits. Once the Service meets the ISO 9001:2015, it will be awarded a certificate for the next three years. 

According to the Quality Management Representative (QMR) for KFS Mr. James Wainaina, the Service took up ISO certification to help standardize its operations. He added that with the establishment of quality management systems, KFS will be at a vantage position both in service delivery to its many customers as well as being able to implement its various programmes in an efficient, effective and transparent manner. 

The adoption of the ISO certification is a result of a government directive that all its institutions adopt internationally recognized customer service delivery approaches in its general bid to improve the lives of Kenyans as it accelerates social-economic development in the country. Already a number of government institutions led by parastatals and ministries have embraced the process while many others are in the process of implementing relevant certification standards. However KFS is among the first government institution to adopt the latest standard 9001:2015. 

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