When NEPTUN WERFT, the shipbuilding company with the longest tradition in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and today almost 600 employees, faced the challenge of introducing two new management systems at the same time, this further development of the integrated management system was a decision with far-reaching consequences. This is also the view of Manfred Ossevorth, Managing Director of NEPTUN WERFT in Warnemünde. With the introduction of new management systems for the environment (DIN EN ISO 14001) and occupational health and safety (DIN ISO 45001), the shipyard is documenting that it offers safe workplaces, takes responsibility for the environment and manufactures sustainable products. Interviews on this topic in the DQS video.


In the further development of the integrated management system, certified management systems in accordance with ISO standards, starting, for example, with quality management (QM) and extending to environmental management, occupational safety and energy, are reliable guard rails for setting and achieving economic and ecological goals. External audits of these systems and processes, in turn, are the gauge of whether the management system is working. This interplay of strategic decisions and external assessments also proves its worth when introducing new management systems at NEPTUN WERFT.

In addition to Manfred Ossevorth in the company management, Dr. Moritz Achilles is the driving force behind the integrated management system. As head of the department Integrated Management System of NEPTUN WERFT, the sustainable management of people and resources is high on his agenda.

Sustainable processes for sustainable products

During the introduction, operation and further development of the integrated management system, sustainable processes as well as environmentally friendly and resource-saving procedures would have to lead to the production of innovative and sustainable products as well. Achilles emphasizes this in the interview and refers to the "AIDAnova", which was awarded the "Blue Angel" due to its novel liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion system.


White Paper on ISO 45001: Leadership and Commitment

Top management as the key to the effectiveness of an OHS management system

  • Duty of care 
  • Building a culture of trust
  • Classic (OHS) deficiencies

In fact, NEPTUN WERFT and MEYER WERFT are the first shipbuilding companies worldwide to use the sophisticated and environmentally friendly LNG technology for such ships.


Further development of an integrated management system: special challenges for audits

Stefan Hajek is a long-standing and experienced DQS auditor for environmental protection and occupational safety, among other things. And he is head of the DQS audit teams in Rostock and Papenburg. As such, he is responsible for the audit plan and audit objectives in the external audit. Asked in the interview whether the audit at NEPTUN WERFT sometimes went beyond his normal everyday work, he draws an interesting comparison.

Building a ship is just as complex as building an entire city, says Hajek. Even the shipyard is a city in miniature. And of course, this leads to special challenges for employees and management of the company (including internal audits). But also to the audit plan and the auditing itself. A challenge to the system audits, from which, by the way, all participants have derived great benefit.

An audit is not an inspection

"We benefited in particular from the profound knowledge of the audit team," says Dr. Moritz Achilles. He thus emphasizes an important feature of DQS audits. An audit with DQS is not an inspection, but a discussion about the further development of the integrated management system in an atmosphere in which one learns.

DQS Managing Director Markus Bleher sees this as a confirmation of his own claim to outstanding audits:


The "BIG FIVE" of management system standards

.. and the High Level Structure

Infographics for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001, ISO 45001 and ISO 50001

On the subject of occupational safety management, Ossevorth goes on to say, "We thereby reduce the number of occupational accidents and ensure high product quality. As a result, we present ourselves as an attractive employer to specialists and managers." 


Further development of an integrated management system - DQS White Paper

The introduction and further development of a company-specific integrated management system (IMS) has many advantages. Above all, an IMS helps to avoid conflicting goals and duplications of parallel management systems. It is designed to bundle resources and at the same time achieve synergy effects. Organizations whose management system - e.g. according to ISO 9001 - is based on the High Level Structure have a noticeable advantage when it comes to integrating and implementing further, cross-standard requirements.


The main goal of a DQS audit is to permanently improve and further develop the organization, says Bleher. To do that, he says, DQS auditors need to be knowledgeable. But they also need to think outside the box in their audit program to help achieve the company's goals.

Exemplary commitment

Praise for the introduction of new management systems - ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 - also comes from the state government in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. On the occasion of the certificate handover on December 9, 2019, Dr. Stefan Rudolph, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Health, emphasized that NEPTUN WERFT has shown exemplary commitment and earned the certifications through tireless work.


According to Rudolph, the dedication to the employees - in addition to the exciting tasks themselves - makes NEPTUN WERFT an attractive and sought-after employer in the entire region.

"Our employees are our most valuable asset," confirms NEPTUN Managing Director Manfred Ossevorth. "It is through them that our products attain their premium quality. It is therefore a personal concern of ours to ensure the highest possible safety standards through preventive measures and continuous improvement."

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Important information: BS OHSAS is completely replaced by ISO 45001

On September 30, 2021, the British standard OHSAS 18001, which has been relevant to occupational health and safety management for more than 20 years, was replaced by ISO 45001.

Organizations that have a certified management system are generally familiar with the replacement procedure and the transition periods set by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). As with the revision of both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, a three-year transition period was set for the changeover. It was initially scheduled to end on March 11, 2021, but was extended by six months by the IAF due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Now all certificates according to BS OHSAS 18001 have lost their validity. The old standard has been superseded.

In principle, DQS had still carried out certifications according to the old standard last year - but only until September 30, 2020. After that date, the financial cost of certification was no longer justifiable.

DQS: Simply leveraging Quality.

Since its foundation in 1985 as the first German certifier of management systems, DQS has been committed to the sustainable success of its customers. With value-adding audits and customer-oriented concepts, we accompany organizations all the way to business excellence.

Especially the combined, simultaneous auditing of fully integrated management systems offers numerous opportunities, as the cross-thematic assessment allows synergies to be used and at the same time interactions, but also contradictions between the different topics can be identified. In order to increase the benefits for our customers with integrated management systems, we focus on their multiple qualifications when selecting and training our auditors: DQS auditors cover at least three sets of regulations on average. Take us at our word. We look forward to talking to you.

Matthias Vogel

Since 2010 Matthias Vogel has been press secretary at DQS GmbH and responsible for technical publications. As Senior Content Manager he is jointly responsible for finding topics for the German language DQS blog "DQS in Dialogue", for coordination with authors, and for editorial work. Matthias Vogel is the editor of the regularly published DQS newsletter "DQS Update" and thus provides you with information and knowledge about audits and certification. He is also program manager and moderator of the DQS "Customer Day" events and co-moderates the virtual "Digital Quality Space" conferences.


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