Today I attended a workshop on ISO 9001:2008 held by SGS. The worskshop aimed at what ISO is and how it can be implemented in any organization and how to conduct an internal audit. Had heard alot about auditing and the earnings involved but finally got to know what this all is actually about.
First time ever, I came to know that it is not the product that is known as ISO certified but the organization which manufactures the product is said to be ISO certified. Products have their own standards mentioned on their body such as the one we always see on most of the electric devices as CE Mark.
Since I work for an educational institute, our interests were to know how to internally audit its various departments. Our potential customers were identified as our students and their requirements which essentially set the standards of the organization were determined to be not only the obvious quality education but also the quality environment provided in the classroom that would enable the students to study with full concentration during the lecture. The latter includes the temperature, the comfort level of the chairs, the visibility factor and other such factors that would affect the performance of the students.
I wonder that the environmental requirement of the students in a country like Pakistan cannot be fullfilled by most of the educational institutes except for the private sectors because what customers get is what they give input to the provider (most of the time).
Coming to the former requirement of providing quality education to the students, giving assignments, quizzes and tests are the standard procedures to filter out the ones who conform to the certain level of knowledge through lectures and other modes of study for the whole semester. Just like in a manufacturing company, before final packaging, every item has to clear the quality tests and only the ones that comply by the standards are tagged as QC passed.
However, I think this analogy of the items is not completely correct as with the items, you can measure the quantity level of the inputs and you can actually see it as well but in the students case, they are humans and you cannot get into their minds and physically see whether what you gave them the input went in from one ear and out from the other or went upstairs in their brainy brains or went downstairs in their tummies.