New development in Quality of Vocational and Technical Training in Sri Lanka

 

New development in Quality of Vocational and Technical Training in Sri Lanka

By Vajira Perera

Director, Tertiary & Vocational Education Commission

Quality applies to everywhere in the modern world. Mechanism to measure Quality has to improve and thereby periodic review for Quality is important. As such Tertiary & Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) which is the apex body for Technical and Vocational Education & Training (TVET) sector initiated to revise its used Quality Management System (QMS) to a new direction. Under the directives of Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training, revised QMS is now being implemented to practice in Technical and Vocational Training centers. World Bank and the ADB have been funding through separate DLIs to the revision process of QMS, auditing & certification of revised QMS in the training centers. The implementation process of revised QMS is facilitated by the Skills Sector Development Programme project.

Sixty Five Vocational and Technical training institutions are now qualified to be awarded with certificates of revised QMS, after successful third party audits (certification body audits) conducted by the TVEC. First group of twenty training centers qualified among the lot, are awarded certificates by Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Skills Development & Vocational Training on this Monday (25th April 2016) at a simple gathering.

Quality Assurance in TVET

TVEC has a pivotal role to play as the monitoring body to establish proper Quality Assurance mechanism (Figure 1) in all vocational & technical training providers in Sri Lanka. In this view TVEC performs three fold periodic monitoring mechanism on training centers. They are,

  1. Registration of institutes – this is a statutory condition; power vested by the Act of Parliament and shall comply with basic requirements for training delivery
  2. Accreditation of courses – this is an optional, nevertheless training centre has to comply requirements of National Competency Standards for which eligibility criteria to award NVQ qualification
  3. QMS certification – this is a process approach for Quality in training delivery and ensure the establishment of Quality satisfactorily, in the training center; process approach is the concept to assure Quality in any means, this is the basis for ISO standards

New QMS

The main objective of revising the old QMS is to make the QMS more simplify, effectively implemented, improved and user friendly. This facilitates training providers to ensure their quality of delivery of training and to produce competent craftsmen and technicians that satisfy the current needs of the industry.

The base for revised QMS is on ISO 9001:2008 and SLS IWA 2:2007 (Guidelines for the application of ISO 9001:2008 in Education).

The revised version of QMS has six vital aspects as required by the ISO standards i.e.

  1. Control of Documents
  2. Control of Records
  3. Internal Audits
  4. Controlling of Non-Conformities
  5. Corrective Actions
  6. Preventive Actions

Above six aspects need to be complied when performing following important activities and processes of training providers,

Monitoring of Academic staff concerns, availability of training equipment & material, monitoring of training environment/infrastructure (safety also coming under here), availability and the point of use of National Competency Standards & curricula, conducting final & continuous assessments, monitoring training delivery process, monitoring student recruitment, customer satisfaction (student, employer, parents) and monitoring financial review.

Six procedures of ISO standards and Nine processes/activities for training delivery of IWA standards are combined in the revised QMS. Therefore, revised QMS is named as `SIX by NINE’ matrix.

Figure 1 – Quality Assurance of TVET; Product/Service approach of Quality Assurance is now advanced to process approach

 

Significances of revised QMS

Revised QMS (SIX by NINE matrix) also facilitates to comply the key requirements of new ISO version, ISO 9001:2015 standards in view of risk assessments, opportunities, planning for change. Further, revised QMS substantially supports the product/service requirements of TVET with a view to registration of institutes and accreditation of courses as well. Therefore we could consider registration and accreditation as subsets of the revised QMS.

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