May 22, 2014

EARSC Certification Scheme

Estimated Article Reading Time: 2 min.

After our first workshop on certification held in Frascati in April 2013, EARSC has conducted some activities to run the EARSC scheme. The scheme will help as a mechanism to recognise expertise and excellence within the Industry. It has been developed to assist to increase the confidence within the customer base and as a tool to cater for the maturation of the industry.
Relevant Documents

A summary is presented below:

  • Ending last year, EARSC has published its first guidelines document on Requirements Definition for Earth Observation Product Specifications. It has been delivered to the EO sub-committee of the OGP which has then circulated to all OGP members for use by the Oil and Gas community and it is being tested by ESA calls.
  • One of the outcomes from the workshop led to the launch of a first call for proposals to test the practicality of the implementation of the quality scheme and four successful companies have been selected for the trial of the scheme documentation. All have been contacted by our certification expert, Peter Hollidge to follow the necessary steps in 2014 to join and implement the EARSC supported management certification scheme. The companies were categorised in three groups
    a) an organisation with an existing certified QMS
    b) an organisation wanting to develop a QMS to be certified and
    c) a small organisation that does not require a full QMS but sees benefit in the implementation of the guidelines.
  • For the selected company wanting to develop a QMS and to be certified and the organization seeing benefits on the guidelines, the current steps include
    i) a training on ISO9001 and its implementation,
    ii) a briefing on the EARSC Guidance documentation and
    iii) its implementation and assessment of the systems in place and the identification of the documentation that will be required.
  • While for the companies who already have the certification, the steps will cover aspects as
    i) Training and Briefing on the requirements of the EARSC Scheme and approach to implementation for the Quality Manager and other key staff
    ii) Supporting the organisation as needed in the review of the Guideline with respect to its implementation in the company
    iii) Reviewing the results of any certification body assessment and
    iv) Discussion with the company of comments and conclusions with respect to scheme documentation.
  • During the certification scheme, it has become apparent that the process would benefit from a checklist for compliance with the ISO9001 Guidelines. Peter Hollidge, the certification expert is visiting the selected companies and following them on the process.
  • An accredited third party certification body will test the scheme.


I am proud to announce that last week Planetek QMS has been audited by SGS (, that has successfully verified the conformance of our system to the EARSC Guidelines for EO service. I wish to thank EARSC and ESA for this initiative, that has allowed us to further enhance our management system and the overall quality toward our customers, and Peter for his valuable support.
Planetek-Sergio Samarelli, Chief Technology Officer & Head of B2B SBU, Planetek Italia s.r.l.

Follow up

  • We plan to organise a 2nd certification workshop in the second half of 2014, tentatively on 19th November in London where a EO4OG (Earth Observation for Oil and Gas) workshop will be held concurrently. The programme will report on the experience of all the companies and the certification body implementing the scheme