Memorial University’s Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) is the first distance education unit in Canada to be certified to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), achieving ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System designation.
In 2005, DELT embarked on a plan to create and register a quality management system that would ensure the highest level of service to students, faculty and community partners. ISO 9001:2000 now provides a framework for organizational effectiveness, consistency in products and services, and increasing client satisfaction.
Ann Marie Vaughan, director of DELT, credits the unit’s achievement to the hard work of all the staff. “A success of this magnitude can never be attributed to one or even a few individuals,” she said. “We have always strived for quality and client satisfaction and that requires working cohesively as members of a well-functioning team. This success instills pride in us all and motivates us to continually explore ways we can improve our work.”
DELT’s mandate, as outlined in its Quality Policy, is to strive for excellence in each of its core functions including course development, course delivery and service, teaching and learning support, and media development. DELT uses the Quality Management System to ensure compliance with the Quality Policy and Quality Objectives, and to identify, measure, control and improve the core processes that ultimately lead to improved performance. Aspects of the system are monitored and measured at scheduled intervals to ensure improvement opportunities are identified and considered for implementation.
“We promote a culture within DELT where quality is everybody's business,” explained Ms. Vaughan. “This system allows employees and clients alike to identify ways we can further enhance our processes to ensure our standard of quality is the best it can be.”
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of some 157 countries. It is a non-governmental
organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors.
Therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.
The ISO 9000 family of standards represents an international consensus on good quality management practices. It consists of standards and guidelines relating to quality management systems and related supporting standards.
ISO 9001:2000 provides a set of standardized requirements for a quality management system, regardless of what the user organization does, its size, or whether it is in the private, or public sector. It is the only standard in the family against which organizations can be registered.