By Jemal Hansen
As part of its commitment to quality management, General Wingate Polytechnic College recently conducted a kick-off meeting on ISO 9001:2015, marking the beginning of its journey to standardize its management system.
The event, held on November 17, 2022, was attended by the college’s top management and facilitated by the Ethiopian Standard Institute (EIS), the technical supporter of the Quality Management System (QMS) implementation.
During the meeting, facilitators from EIS inspired the participants by highlighting the driving force, benefits, and close of ISO 9001:2015, emphasizing the need for leadership commitment in the QMS implementation process. The college management demonstrated its commitment to enhancing customer satisfaction by adopting the global standard used to establish a quality management system
According to the facilitators, ISO 9001:2015 encompasses three fundamental concepts: the process approach, PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle, and risk-based thinking. The main driving forces behind the implementation include enhancing customer satisfaction, addressing market needs, meeting mandated customer requirements, and self-declared conformance.
Additionally, ISO 9001:2015 serves as a foundation for improved management confidence, awareness of company objectives, enhanced communication, well-defined roles, responsibilities, and authorities, improved traceability to root causes of quality problems, better process control, increased productivity, continuous improvement, and increased profit.
The seven principles of ISO 9001:2015, as outlined by the facilitators, include customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, evidence-based decision making, continual improvement, and relationship management. These principles provide a solid framework for General Wingate Polytechnic College’s journey towards quality management excellence.
The implementation journey is expected to commence with QMS development, which is estimated to take 1-4 months, followed by a 5-7 month implementation phase. Subsequently, a 5–8-month QMS evaluation will take place, culminating in the highly anticipated certification. The Institute also highlighted that the expected technical support outputs will include capability building for the college, documentation of the QMS, QMS certification, and mechanisms for sustainability.
During the event, the element of success was presented and discussed, emphasizing the critical factors that will contribute to a successful implementation. These elements include top management commitment, core team commitment, organizational-wide employee participation, cooperation and support, proper time management, and close coordination.
The presenter commended General Wingate Polytechnic College’s decision to embark on the ISO 9001:2015 journey and stressed the importance of seeing it through to the end. Quoting Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the presenter said, “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”
With the college’s commitment to implementing ISO 9001:2015, General Wingate Polytechnic College is positioning itself as a pioneer in quality management within the education sector. By adhering to this globally recognized standard, the college aims to enhance its services, ensure customer satisfaction, and establish itself as a leading institution that upholds the highest standards of quality.
The college’s management, along with its dedicated team, is eager to embark on this transformative journey towards excellence, confident that the implementation of ISO 9001:2015 will bring numerous benefits and further strengthen its position in the market.
The writer is the Project Coordinator for EASTRIP at General Wingate Polytechnic College.