The Watermark Standard is an audit system for ensuring that all product being produced to this standard are tested and certified as conforming to the relevant Australian standards that relate to the individual products.
Watermark requires that each product type ( and a random periodic sample ) be tested for features such as impact resistance, surface hardness, deflection of walls and cycle testing. Being product specific, Watermark ensures first class products result, which are then supplied to customers with certification.
While some Australian manufacturers of bathware have attained Watermark accreditation of their vitreous china basins, there is only one bath manufacturer to have attained the Watermark standard on the entire range of bathware produced. This standard safeguards the buyer, as well as the suppliers, as product is certified as suitable for the purpose to which it was specified.
The ISO-9002/AS-3902 Quality Assurance System (QAS) is an audit process on manufacturing and production procedures that ensures a paper audit trail to cover all aspects of the production process from receival of raw material to the delivery of the finished product. Processes in the audit system include testing, handling of customer orders and/or complaints, to final inspection and inventory storage.
This system of procedures is not a product quality system, but rather a production system, which ensures production consistency in manufacturing through an established set of procedures and work instructions. It is quite conceivable that a firm may be producing poor quality products prior to the implementation of ISO-9000 series QAS and then progress to producing consistently poor quality goods after accreditation. However, given that recognised procedures and practices are more closely defined and all procedures have traceability after manufacture, there are significant advantages for attaining this standard.