Student Info & Guide

Quality in Education and ISO 9000

by on February 26, 2015 | Useful Topics


The quality revolution is sweeping its way through most companies, institutions and organisations globally. It has focused on improving the quality of products and services delivered to customers and on companies’ internal processes. The quality profession is at a crossroad. The decade of the 1980s was a period of remarkable change and awareness of quality by consumers, industry and governments. 1990s came with a sudden and frenzied emphasis on international quality certification. Many nations, governments and states have developed quality awards to recognize organizations’ outstanding quality control and quality management practices. Education has not been spared in this race for survival.

ISO registration is promoted as the passport required to do business in the post 1992 global marketplace and the only true way to Total Quality Management (TQM).

ISO 9000 might not be the path to TQM, but it could be a path to TQM.

Quality has now become a major issue for those involved in education and training.

ISO 9000 is a proven quality management system which has been successfully adopted by a number of education and training institutions. Within education and training, the aim of the quality management system is to ensure that the provision of service is both consistent and continually improving. ISO 9000 is a specification for a quality management system. All aspects of staffing, training and induction, management and most important the teaching and learning should be part of the quality system. Quality system in the provision of education and training must also include administration and support services which contribute to the effectiveness of the institution as a whole and should be considered as part of the service.

The following definitions may apply to the educational and training institution albeit the ISO 9000 Standard.

  • Supplier - the provider of the service, i.e. the universities, the colleges, schools and the training organizations
  • Product or Services - the enhancement of competence, knowledge, understanding or personal development of the student resulting from the learning experience
  • Customers or Clients - can be any individual pupil/student/trainee
  • Subcontractors - the provider of goods and services to the university, colleges and schools
  • Documentation - can include such items as papers, cassettes, videos, disks, tapes pertaining to the quality system
  • Programme / Course - educational or training packages which may include the curriculum, syllabus, presentation materials, equipments, appropriate resources, input requirements and output expectations

A great deal of controversy exists pertaining to the benefits of ISO 9000 Quality Management Systems deployment within organizations worldwide. A well-designed quality system will enhance a company’s ability to consistently produce a quality product or service. While most companies decide to seek ISO 9000 certification in response to customer’s requirements, there are others who decided to implement an ISO 9000 based quality system because of internal needs.

Benefits Of ISO 9000 Registration

Institution / Management

Transparent - where every one in the institution knows what is going on and how things are done.
  • Defines and clarifies standards and performance indicators besides providing consistency
  • Brings effectiveness and efficiency to internal bureaucracy, allowing more time to deliver effective staff development to improve the services offered to students and parents
  • Provides recognition to the quality ethos and commitment of the organization
  • Internal monitoring and review through effective systems
  • Effective problem identification and preventive actions
  • Encourages effective leadership and direction
  • Encourages cost savings
  • Assists in measuring and controlling cost effectiveness
  • Identifies and reduces wasted resources and bureaucracy
  • Staff involvement and empowerment
  • Encourages ownership of service delivery

Students and Parents

  • Clarify roles and responsibilities making more effective use of staff time
  • Improve internal communication
  • A systemised documentation for easy referencing/tracking for the students
  • Transparent in the management

Whether a company does business across international borders or merely across town, having a quality management system that is registered to ISO Standards may be a requirement for continuing success. While market pressures have forced many companies to seek ISO 9000 registrations, many others are doing so because they believe in the concept of total quality management.

Many companies pursue registration to ISO 9000 or another quality standard under pressure from their customers or as a marketing strategy. Along the way to implementation, they discover they have so improved their procedures and processes that the benefits exceed all their expectations, and their company prospers.

It is important that a quality management system is developed to suit the culture of an institution and, more importantly, that is should be accepted by all staff in both teaching and support roles, including part-time and subcontract staff. ISO 9000 provides the framework for the development of a quality management system through the following processes:

Developing documentation - The ISO 9000 Standard provides the framework for what is to be included in the management system which allows freedom and flexibility in preparing a system appropriate to the size and character of an institution.

The documentation should ensure that the quality system is comprehensive, consistent and unambiguous and the procedures adopted satisfy stated quality aims and are compatible with the ISO Standard.
The implementation of the quality system is a continuous commitment to customer satisfaction whereby the implementation requires the commitment, involvement and training of all personnel.

Once implemented, the system needs to be maintained and updated to ensure that the service is consistently delivered and opportunities for improvement are identified and acted upon. The quality system will have built in auditing and review activities, along with appropriate recording systems to monitor compliance to procedures and to ensure a quality improvement process.

SIRIM QAS as an external body would then come and audit the organisation after its quality system is in place. The audit process is as follows:

Adequacy Audit - This is the preliminary audit conducted on the organisation by an external party. This first level audit is also known as the paper audit as what basically happened here reviewing of the documentation complying to the requirements of the ISO 9000 Standard.

Compliance Audit - Upon satisfactory completion of the first level audit, the second level audit will be arranged. During the Compliance Audit, the auditors will ascertain whether work done is in compliance to the ISO Standard or the requirement of the documented procedures of the organisation.

Surveillance Audit - Upon registration with SIRIM QAS a yearly audit will be conducted. The purpose of the surveillance audit is to ensure that the system has been well maintained since certification. It is not surprising that some organizations defaulted and failed to ensure the continuity of the quality system.

Reassessment Audit - Three years after certification, a thorough audit, like the Compliance Audit will be carried out. The main purpose is the see compliance and maintenance of the quality system.

Educational Institution Awarded The ISO 9000 Registration

  1. Universiti ITM, Shah Alam (Examination Centre Only)
  2. Universiti Utara Malaysia (Library Only)
  3. Universiti Teknology Malaysia, Skudai (Library Only)
  4. Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang (Registrar Office Only)

Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia

  1. Sekolah Rendah Seri Indera, Perlis
  2. Sekolah Menengah Derma, Perlis
  3. Politeknik Shah Alam, Selangor

Private Colleges And Institutions

  1. Asia Pacific Institute Of Information Technology (APIIT) - The first educational to be registered.
  2. IKIP Kuantan
  3. Taylor’s College (Subang Jaya Branch Only)
  4. INTI College (Subang Jaya Branch Only)
  5. Informatics Institute (Klang, Melaka, penang, Kuching, Ipoh, Petaling Jaya And Kuala Lumpur Branches)
  6. FTMS-ICL, Kuala Lumpur
  7. Saujana College, Ipoh

Private Schools

  1. Garden International School, Kuala Lumpur
  2. Sekolah Sri Garden, Kuala Lumpur

Meeting ISO 9000 requirements doesn’t mean your organisation has completed a total quality management process. But preparing your company for ISO 9000 is a good start on the road to total quality. Even companies that are further down the quality route will find ISO 9000 to be a useful tune-up for their business processes. ISO registration signifies that a company has approached quality as a system and aspires to achieve world-class quality status.

Source: Studymalaysia Research Team

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