Traditionally, ISO 9001 registration brings great benefits to an organization and its customers. But, when you take ISO 9001 to school, the students and their future employers reap the ultimate benefits.
In career and technical education, ISO 9001 registration creates a workforce development system that is accountable, cost-effective, and addresses continual improvement. It also creates a quality mindset among the students. When these students go into the work place, they already understand the importance of quality standards, which provides a significant advantage to their employers and perpetuates the quality process.
There are several state and federal mandates that oversee performance accountability and recognize the need for continuous improvement in education. ISO 9001 addresses accountability and continuous improvement. It also provides the structure to create a quality policy and quality objectives.
The Sun Area Career and Technical Center, located in New Berlin, PA, was the first vocational-technical school in the nation to receive ISO 9001 certification.
Schools which have completed registration to ISO 9001 through SRI have found numerous benefits. They have realized increased community awareness and appreciation of the education they are providing. Local employers have applauded their efforts and have taken a greater interest in the development of programs with the schools and, most importantly, a greater interest in their students.
In addition, the schools also noted increased operational efficiency, open lines of communication, empowerment of staff members to recommend and implement change, better documentation of methods and responsibilities, and consistency of process, and enhanced communication among their employees.
“In the school setting, the product is the curriculum, since that is what we have control over,” says Steve Franchak of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of Vocational and Technical Education. “The goal is to answer the continual cry for educational reform and improvement in a manner that is data-oriented, objective and requires schools to reach for performance excellence.”
According to Bill Dellicker, an administrator for the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, one of the largest schools to hold SRI registration, “Our mission statement at Lehigh is to prepare all students for successful careers and lifelong learning. The ISO 9001 registration process fits in very nicely with that philosophy.”
To meet the increased interest of ISO 9001:2008 registration in the field of education, SRI has established an Education Registration Division. For more information, please call Barbara Adams Cwynar, Manager, Education Registration Division at 724-934-9000 ext. 604.
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