Home Resources Case Studies

CMS Contract Management Services Case Study

02 July 2024

In the realm of affordable housing, maintaining high standards is essential. CMS Contract Management Services has demonstrated its commitment to excellence by achieving ISO 9001:2015 certification, setting a benchmark for quality and efficiency in government compliance and contract administration.


Introducing CMS Contract Management Services

Based in Bremerton, Washington, CMS serves as a Performance-Based Contract Administrator (PBCA) for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is responsible for monitoring compliance with HUD Multifamily rental assistance contracts across multiple states. With a team of nearly 50 dedicated employees, CMS plays a critical role in supporting continued access to safe, decent, and affordable housing by working with a very specific clientele, dedicated property owners, management companies, and their agents to ensure they adhere to complex requirements.

CMS strives to strengthen affordable housing communities through compassion, innovation, and excellence which positively impacts the quality of life for over 24,000 low-income families in four states across the U.S. In addition, CMS, as a non-profit entity of the Bremerton Housing Authority (BHA), provides financial support and resources to assist BHA in providing housing, rental assistance, and related services to over 2,000 Kitsap County, Washington families.

Achieving ISO 9001:2015 certification

In July 2023, CMS achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification, a testament to their unwavering commitment to quality and efficiency. This certification process underscores the dedication of CMS employees to continually improve processes and deliver the highest quality service to both HUD, property owners and management agents, and their residents.

The ISO 9001:2015 certification not only validates CMS's operational standards but also aligns its work with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) compliance standards, positioning it as a strong competitor in future procurement processes.

And, as a result of their dedication to remain ISO 9001:2015 certified by NQA, in June 2024, CMS passed their first surveillance audit with zero findings. CMS and its staff continue to showcase the positive impacts that the ISO framework has had on every aspect of their work.

Choosing NQA for certification

CMS selected NQA as its certification body due to several factors: excellent customer service, audit time efficiency, virtual audit capabilities, cost-effectiveness, a user-friendly website, experienced auditors, and a high customer retention rate. This combination of factors made NQA the ideal partner for CMS’s certification journey.

Preparing for the audit

To prepare for the ISO 9001:2015 audit, CMS collaborated with CORE Compliance as a consultant. CORE Compliance helped structure CMS's Quality Program, ensuring that the existing processes were enhanced and aligned with ISO standards. Michele Raymond, the ISO project lead at CMS, leveraged her prior experience with ISO 9001 audits to guide the team effectively through the preparation and certification process.

The audit experience

Julie Ellis, the NQA assessor, conducted the audit with a high level of competence and friendliness. She effectively referenced the ISO 9001 Standard, helping CMS understand the audit process and its objectives. Her approach put the team at ease, fostering a collaborative environment that facilitated a thorough and constructive audit experience.

The impact of certification on CMS

‘This certification is helping our organisation both improve and grow.’

Achieving ISO 9001:2015 certification has significantly benefited CMS. The certification serves as a differentiating factor in grant awards and new business opportunities, strengthening future proposals and enhancing their reputation. Additionally, the ISO framework has enabled CMS to focus on process improvements and identify opportunities to reduce risk and enhance quality through day-to-day processes, thereby improving its responsiveness to emerging customer needs. Management and staff have embraced these processes with enthusiasm, leading to a united approach to furthering CMS’s social mission.

What is next for CMS?

Looking ahead CMS plans to extend their service areas and expand their team. They will continue to leverage the structure and discipline of the ISO framework to achieve higher customer satisfaction and strengthen their processes. This strategic focus on quality and efficiency will support CMS's business expansion and reinforce its commitment to serving those in need.

Final thoughts from NQA

NQA congratulates CMS Contract Management Services on their successful ISO 9001:2015 certification. Their dedication to quality and continuous improvement sets a high standard in the affordable housing sector. CMS’s experience highlights the ease of transferring to a new certification body and the significant benefits of implementing an integrated management system.

CMS exemplifies how strategic certification can drive operational excellence, market competitiveness, and business growth. NQA is proud to support CMS with its ongoing journey and looks forward to its continued success in expanding affordable housing services.

Explore the globally recognised ISO standards NQA has to offer. Visit our certification page.

Ready to start your audting process? Get in touch via our website today.