Reaching this Quality Certification Alliance milestone puts these companies one-step closer to achieving accreditation.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (June 11, 2009) – BDA, Inc. and Logomark are the first two companies to reach a Quality Certification Alliance milestone: successfully completing a third-party audit of their compliance programs and practices. This is a significant step because it puts these companies one-step closer to achieving QCA accreditation.

“Companies that successfully complete the process will find themselves among a select group of suppliers that can offer safer product and peace of mind,” said Trevor Gnesin, president of Tustin, California-based Logomark, Inc. and QCA founding member. “They will improve operations, gain efficiencies and solidify competitive advantage.”

The road to accreditation begins when a QCA member endorses a self-certification that indicates it is adhering to and promoting standards of compliance that would reasonably detect and deter nonconforming practices in the manufacture and importing of promotional products.

Next, each member proceeds to the self-assessment step, a rigorous process that forces the organization to analyze all of its compliance processes to ensure it meets the common standards established by QCA. In this step, the company documents its processes and makes any organizational changes necessary to successfully pass a third-party audit. Over four days, the third-party audit of a member’s compliance-related practices is conducted by an accredited, independent organization that has not had any participation in nor any part in the self-assessment process.

“This isn’t just a company saying it headquarters’ practices are safe,” said Gnesin. “Instead, the company goes through an exhaustive and complete process to confirm those safe practices.”

After completion of the third-party audit, a scorecard is issued based on audit performance in the five measured areas. The QCA board uses the scorecard as the foundation for granting accreditation. Only those organizations achieving the highest assessments in their headquarters and across their supply base are awarded accreditation.

“We’ve seen too many cases in the promotional products industry where product safety is compromised for cost or time savings, and it must stop now,” said Jay Deutsch, CEO of Woodinville, Washington-based Bensussen Deutsch & Associates, Inc. (BDA). “It is our hope that QCA accreditation will be the first major step in creating a sea change in the industry and holding companies accountable for the products that end-up in consumers’ lives. Product safety is of paramount importance to BDA and we salute QCA and the member companies for taking a stand and making a difference.”

About QCA:
Chicago, Illinois-based Quality Certification Alliance is an independent, accreditation organization whose mission is to elevate the standards by which industry firms that import and/or manufacture promotional products provide consistently safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise. The QCA Seal of Approval is granted to member companies who complete an independent third-party audit and comply with stringent standards, which are based upon a combination of state and national laws, international standards and industry-accepted best practices that are recognized for their strength and effectiveness by QCA members, the promotional products industry and the end-user clients.

QCA was formed in July 2008 by 14 companies that import and/or manufacturer promotional products: Avaline; Barton Nelson, Inc.; BDA Inc.; Broder Bros.; Dard Products, Inc.; Fanda Enterprises, Inc.; Gemline; Gordon Industries, Ltd.; Leed’s; Litehouse Custom Printing, Inc.; Logomark, Inc.; MMI International Trade; Prime Resources, Corp.; and Sweda Company, LLC. D E (Denise) Fenton serves as executive director.

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Media Contact:
Lisa Horn, CAS

Company Contact:
D E Fenton