SECKENHEIM, Germany - The Army Oil Analysis Program Mannheim Laboratory Center recently became the first AOAP laboratory worldwide to receive recertification under the newest International Organization for Standardization 9001:2008 criteria.

Although the laboratory had already received previous ISO certification, the new certification is awarded at a higher level of standards.

"The changes in ISO 9001:2008 are primarily clarifications that are intended to provide clarity and thus improve understanding of the existing requirements," explained Akwasi Edusei, AOAP MLC quality management representative.

"The new standard allows an organization flexibility in the way it chooses to document its quality management system, and it enables each individual organization to develop the minimum amount of documentation needed in order to demonstrate the effective planning, operation and control of it processes and the implementation and continual improvement of the effectiveness of its QMS."

Meeting the new standards for certification isn't easy.

"We had to study the changes outlined in the ISO 9001:2008 and then review and update our QMS to reflect the changes in the certification, Edusei said.

Heidrun Bodeit, AOAP MLC director, is thrilled that her team has received yet another certification from the ISO.

"I am so proud and happy to lead this wonderful MLC team," she said. Col. John Haley, commander of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, echoed her praise and offered his congratulations to the entire laboratory. "I am very proud to have (the laboratory) as part of the U.S. Army Materiel Command team here in Europe. This recertification is recognition for the hard work and high standards the AOAP lab has set for itself."