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University of Wollongong
The University of Wollongong has grown from a small regional university into one of the leading innovative campuses in NSW. It is the only NSW university to place in the Top 5 Australian universities for excellence, according to the 2006 Teaching and Learning Development Fund.
With over 20,000 students and nearly 1,000 staff, providing administrative support for student and staff services is a complicated task. This is why achieving the best practice QMS standard ISO 9001 has been a long-held vision of Vice Principal Administration, Chris Grange.
Meeting the challenge
In 2005, Samantha Domagala moved jobs from a busy corporate call-centre to the University of Wollongong in order to establish its new quality management framework. Her first task was to make the ISO 9001 quality standard accessible and user-friendly for the university staff. With six very distinct divisions within Administration involved, each with different processes and quality assurance needs, it was important to get every employee on board.
She developed nine key elements that not only mirrored the ISO 9001 framework, but also were relevant to the university as an organisation. And she then chose NCS International (NCSI) to conduct a gap analysis, to see what needed to happen in order to achieve QMS certification.
“I selected NCSI because they were very friendly and helpful right from the start. Their quotes were also the most competitive, but most importantly I instinctively knew they were a right fit for our needs,” she says.
“It’s been a very big change internally. We needed the staff to start documenting their processes, ensuring their work was consistent and thinking outside the square about ways things could be managed differently.”
Following the initial gap analysis, NCSI provided options to help overcome any internal obstacles, and arranged two training sessions to ensure staff understood the standards they were working towards. Quality Champions were appointed in each division, playing a big part in ensuring all staff members were fully trained and understood their role in the process.
In total, around 250 staff were involved in the project, across many internal departments of University of Wollongong Administration. These included student accommodation services, human resources, financial services, academic support, buildings and grounds maintenance and performance indicator reporting.
Within 18 months, the University of Wollongong Administration Department had gained its QMS ISO 9001 certification. It was one of the first Australian universities to have its entire administration meet this standard, according to the JAZ-ANZ register of certified organisations.
Continuing to innovate
NCS International now carries out surveillance audits periodically, checking the performance indicators for three divisions at a time. Samantha says; “Having an external person come in really helps. Our team is now a lot more pro-active, and it’s truly changed the way we work. We’re able to avoid re-work and duplication, and we create more time in the day by thinking about how we can do something better.”
The University has implemented a new QMS induction program for new employees so they can hit the ground running. Its staff have also reviewed thousands of administration forms, and created a central intranet portal to access them to save time and duplication.
“I’d certainly recommend the ISO 9001:2008 certification,” says Samantha. “Streamlined processes let you work more efficiently and consistently. Everything’s more organised and staff are more accountable. Plus, we’re helping our people to develop their skills and abilities.”
To find more information about the University of Wollongong visit: http://www.uow.edu.au/
For more information on how NCS International can assist you with your certification, call 1300 856 554 or Request a Quote Online.