Institute of Quality Management (IQM) aims to assist the University towards improving the quality of education and support services through the promotion of quality management.
To be a leader in quality assurance in open and distance learning (ODL).
To promote quality culture towards realising quality education by leveraging on supportive policies, framework and work environment.
The objectives of IQM are:
a. To drive quality initiatives towards improving programmes and services in OUM;
b. To improve OUM’s quality management system for greater effectiveness and efficiency, and
c. To drive quality culture among staff for greater productivity and increased efficiency towards performance excellence.
I. Quality Document Repository
IQM is responsible for maintaining a repository of OUM Quality Documents. The documents maintained are the Quality Manual (QM), Manual Operating Procedures (MOP) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which are being used at all departments and learning centres within OUM and METEOR subsidiaries.
IQM provides assistances to departments and learning centres to compile, review and update their quality documents. The review process involves numerous discussions and workshops. These updated documents serve as the ‘controlled documents’ for use of relevant staffs as well as auditors.
As the owner of the repository, the departments and learning centres are required to register and constantly update IQM of the latest version being used at respective offices. The documents are shared with all staffs at eQMS system which can accessible through the University’s portal.
II. Audit Management
IQM manages internal audit for the whole University. The Institute coordinates audit activities for all SIRIM certified and non-certified departments and learning centres for quality control and continuous improvements. Internal audits are carried out by a pool of trained internal auditors. The pool of auditors comprises of certified lead auditors as well as trained auditors.
Every year, IQM prepares an annual audit plan and assign auditors to specific department/learning centres. In ensuring smooth internal audit, IQM’s role is to ensure proper arrangement for the visit, provide the Audit Kit, collating and analysing the audit reports.
Each audit team comprises of a lead auditor and trained auditors. Duration and number of auditors assigned for audit very much depends on the number of processes to be audited. Audits are scheduled either yearly or biannually for each department/learning centre depending on criticality and arising needs.
Even though, only two departments in OUM undergo ISO 9001 certification, the University’s management insisted that all departments as well as learning centres be audited according to the International Standard.
III. Quality Training
In order to ensure good understanding of quality requirements, IQM provides training programmes to staffs primarily focusing on auditors, document controllers, management representatives, heads of departments and process owners. This helps to ensure that key personnel are equipped with the right knowledge and skill to carry out their job. For instance, head of departments are expected to impart their knowledge to their subordinates to ensure quality standard are being practised at all levels.
Training programmes were designed based on feedbacks obtained from audit activities as well as new requirements set by quality standards. IQM also conducts internal training on the new standard.
Refresher courses were also conducted to reacquaint staffs to quality standard or bring their knowledge and skills up to date.
IV. Quality Improvement Management
Quality Improvement Management is a process whereby IQM coordinates the efforts to conduct Quality Improvement or Strategic Projects aimed at finding innovative and effective solutions to improve quality. Efforts at institutional level are initiated by a Quality Improvement Committee (QIC) who decides the scope of work, staffs involved and duration required. QIC will monitor the progress and the outcome of the project, while IQM will act as the secretariat during the whole process.
V. Promotion of Quality Culture
The most crucial and challenging role of IQM is to ensure assimilation of quality culture in the day to day practices throughout the University. Adaptation of quality practises at all level of staffs “anytime” and “anywhere” without having to be monitored, i.e. having quality as a way of life, is the way forward for OUM.
IQM is establishing groups of Innovative and Creative Circles (ICC) to help assimilate quality culture. ICC is a group of key personnel that will be grouped together based on the University’s core processes. ICC serves as a platform for the formation of a ‘Community of Practice’ (COP) where all members share similar interest in improving a specific core process. Basically, ICC’s roles are to review cross departmental processes, close the gaps between the departments and implement continuous improvements. The heads of ICC will be required to present the groups’ progress to the University’s QIC, on a regular basis.
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