Sierra Leone revives Quality Assurance Training for strategic and prudent management.
In today’s fast-paced environment, customers are more demanding and competition more intense. Delivering quality products and services is more crucial than ever for survival and long-term success. Having an internationally recognized Quality Management System (QMS) enables and enhances organizational performance, increases customer satisfaction and gains a competitive edge. Sadly, structured national-level quality assurance processes in the business and academic communities in Sierra Leone and many other countries is rare. Most countries face major capacity constraints.
In Sierra Leone, no academic or professional institution currently offers Quality Assurance training. Therefore, developing and offering professional QA short courses or degree programmes in the higher Education institutions has the potential of attracting huge interest and uptake in Sierra Leone, the subregion and other parts of the globe, given the rapidly growing interest in the field and the high demand for Quality Assurance graduates and professionals.
With the establishment of a QA Directorate at the University of Sierra Leone in March 2019, there has been sustained effort by the University to engage internal and external stakeholders in scoping exercise to map out priorities for defining and improving services to students, lecturers and the public and for establishing professional and academic QA training. This initiative has been greatly welcomed by UNIDO and two other organizations have embarked on a scoping exercise aimed at introducing the first QA curriculum in the Sierra Leone Higher Education system with the goal to train QA professionals and build QA capacity in Sierra Leone and other African nations.
As part of this initiative, a one-day Awareness Training for Quality Management Systems (QMS) will be hosted by the Institute of Public Administration and Management on Wednesday 10th October 2019. This is a free workshop opened to anyone or recognised organization involved in the planning, implementing, maintaining, supervising or auditing of an ISO 9001:2015 QMS or anyone interested in learning the concept of Quality Management System (QMS). The workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Shaukat H. Malik, Chief Technical Adviser for UNIDO.
Due to limited space, invitation is opened to recognised organizations only and selection will be done on a first-come-first serve basis. The training will offer delegates with an in-depth understanding of the requirements in ISO9001 and the workshop will cover:
- Importance and benefits of an ISO 9001:2015 QMS
- Key requirements, terms and definitions of ISO 9001:2015
- Structure of ISO 9001:2015, which incorporates the Annex SL common framework for management system standards
- Main concepts such as risk-based thinking, process approach, Plan-Do-Check-Act, and 7 management principles.
On Tuesday 17th March, Dr. Shaukat H. MALIK, accompanied by Evelyn T. Alpha, (National Expert for Coordination) and James Dumbuya (National Coordination Expert for Standards Implementation) visited the University of Sierra Leone for a conducted tour of training facilities at the Institute of Public Administrations (IPAM) and the Fourah Bay College (FBC). The visit came as a result of months of dialogue between UNIDO and the USL Director of Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance headed by Mr David Gbao.
UNIDO Delegation at IPAM
The UNIDO delegation was received by the Head of Campus and Deputy Vice Chancellor of IPAM, Prof S. E. Nonie. Dr Malik gave a brief overview of UNIDO’s work aimed at increasing Sierra Leone’s Competitiveness (SL-COMP) project through Enhanced productivity and Trade compliance of selected value chains.
UNIDO Delegation at FBC
As a Member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Mano River Union (MRU) Sierra Leone is regionally integrated and could take advantage of these treaties for increasing trade, but lack of technical competences could hinder any effort in this direction. Hence, developing, enhancing and embedding strong quality assurance processes in our production and service delivery organizations and institutions is an essential requirement in improving the climate for business across all sectors. The visit was concluded with a plan for USL and UNIDO to jointly organize a free one-day workshop on Awareness Training for Quality Management Systems (QMS).
Please visit https://usl.edu.sl/qa-training/ to register. For further information and enquiries, please contact the Evelyn T. Alpha, UNIDO National Expert for Coordination (076 221 353) or Abigail Amanda Jusu, Office Admin, IPAM/USL (078 154401; firstname.lastname@example.org)