OQA Österreichische Arbeitsgemeinschaft zur Förderung der Qualität (Austrian Workgroup for Promoting Quality) was established in 1946. In its capacity of a non-profit and independent association, OQA is, by now, the only Austrian body to be federally authorised to grant and monitor the Austria Quality Label. In the sense of the non-profit character and neutrality of the Quality Label Association, expenditure is financed from royalty while there is no other income.
Together with its member organisations, OQA, an organisation with decades of experience, sees its mission in promoting quality and strengthening competitiveness of Austrian trade and industry. At the moment about 500 registered companies are multiple users of the Quality Label. This is clear evidence for intensive commitment.
Up to now the legal basis for granting Quality Seals for Products has been the Quality Seal Regulation dated 1942. On December 31, 2009, this regulation became ineffective (§ 4 al. 2, Annex Index Number 95.08.02, of the First BRBG (“Bundesrechtsbereinigungsgesetz” – Act to Abolish Obsolete Legislation), BGBl. (“Bundesgesetzblatt” – Federal Law Gazette) I No. 191/1999).
Therefore, the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy elaborated the draft of a Quality Seal Act, which enables marking of quality of articles manufactured by trade and industry (products) as well as services to be provided commercially. Thus using a Quality Seal with the addition “Quality Seal recognized federally” would exclusively be allowed on the basis of this rule.
Upon entry into force of the new Act (probably spring 2010), supervision and control by the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy will continue to be guaranteed.
OQA Zertifizierungs-GmbH (Certification Ltd.) (100% subsidiary of OQA Österreichische Arbeitsgemeinschaft zur Förderung der Qualität (Austrian Workgroup for Promoting Quality)) was established in December 2007. Accreditation existing since November 26, 2004 (Austrian Accreditation Act, BGBl. (“Bundesgesetzblatt” – Law Gazette) No. 448/2004) as a Certification Body acc. to ÖNORM EN 45011, which had been granted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Labour, was transferred to OQA Zertifizierungs-GmbH (Certification Ltd.) in June 2008. With the edict BGBl. 154 from 10.05.2011 the accreditation extent has been expanded.
OQA is independent in economic terms and from any political party and uses the resources it gains itself as an NPO to strengthen its own efficiency in the service of society.