Partner Spotlight: DQS

By, Phil Wong

Since 1985, DQS has been the trusted certification and assessment partner for quality-focused companies around the world. Part of the DQS Group, a global Certification company, the company currently operates in 60 countries, with 2500 auditors and has experts in virtually every industry sector. Its recent partnership with Purity IQ and CAPS (Cannabis Authenticity and Purity Standard) has firmly cemented its place in the cannabis industry. In this special spotlight, we sat down with the President and CEO at DQS Inc., Brad McGuire to get further insight into how DQS helps companies achieve sustainable business success.

What Industries Does DQS Currently Deal With?
“Our focus sectors include Automotive, Aerospace, Environmental, Health and Safety, Food Safety, Information Technology and Cyber Security, Medical Safety, Sustainability and Quality. Many of these standards are required by OEMs, regulators, large retailers, and others to ensure the quality, reliability, and safety in the supply chain. We perform, among many services, certification audits, supplier audits, compliance audits, inspection audits and performance audits.

During each audit we identify strengths, weaknesses, risks, and opportunities. We support organizations that strive for success based on quality-driven processes and systems. Audit objectives consider specific customer requirements and DQS auditors systematically assess the effectiveness and efficiency of systems and processes, beyond merely evaluating compliance.  Management systems help our customers to improve business outcomes, organizational health and realize strategic goals.”

What Initially Attracted DQS to the Cannabis Industry?
“The industry is emerging in the US as far as legalization goes and we can learn from our Canadian counterparts. In Canada, cannabis is federally legal, whereas in the United States it is not. Many states have medical cannabis laws but less than half have legalized recreational use.

Product recalls for quality and contamination failures have increased in the US in the past several years.  Our interest is in the quality of the products, the ability of management systems to manage that quality over time and the purity, authenticity and accuracy of consumer information presented in labelling. The supply chain can benefit from uniform application of quality systems and so along with Purity-IQ and the CAPS program we can fill that void.”

It should be noted that DQS holds international accreditations by DAkkS, ANAB, UKAS and performs more than 125,000 audits per year and approximately €150 million in annual revenue. Its recent inclusion of the CAPS Program by Purity-IQ has allowed them to expand their reach into the North American and European cannabis industry.

How Does the CAPS Program Measure Up as an Authentication Standard for the Cannabis Industry?
“The CAPS program offers our customers an opportunity to differentiate themselves in the cannabis industry through ensuring safety, authenticity and purity on a continuous basis. Current methods that rely on testing are point in time checks, while a management system ensures process consistency over time. The CAPS program, ANAB accredited with ISO 17065 for product certification is a great fit for our business and fills the needs of all users of cannabis, CBD and hemp for consistent quality, purity, and authentication of end products and processes. “

How Does the Cannabis Industry Differ from Others?
“Probably the biggest difference is the lack of regulation and standards found in the Food Safety and Medical/Pharma industries. The industry is evolving, and federal and industry regulation is evolving as well.

What Does DQS Have in Store for 2022?
“One relevant project for this year is obtaining our accreditation from ANAB for the CAPS program, which would then permit us to certify our customers to the CAPS program, which would then permit us to audit against the standard and help our customers improve quality, reliability and in the end, help them realize their growth aspirations.”

Thank you for your time, Brad, and your perspective on the cannabis industry. We will catch up with you in the near future! We wish DQS all the best on your upcoming 2022 projects.

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