Date Published:

Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 12:45

The Kenya Wildlife Service is on a quest to get certified against the new ISO 9001:2015 standard by early 2020. KWS Productivity Improvement and Quality Assurance (PIQA) department - in conjunction with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) - facilitated the training of staffs on QMS awareness on July 25, 2019. KEBS is the National Standards body in Kenya.

This is not the first time that KWS is seeking the world-renowned ISO certification, having previously being certified to the now obsolete ISO 9001:2008 standard. Such a certification is valid for three years, after which it is subject to renewal; otherwise it lapses and a new application has to be done.

ISO is an international agency consisting of 164 members. ISO is not an acronym. The long name in English is International Organization for Standardization. It is referred to as “ISO,” not I-S-O which is derived from Greek word “isos” meaning “equal”. ISO 9000 is a family standard for Quality Management (QM) and Quality Assurance (QA), applicable to any organization.

The one-day Quality Management Awareness seminar aimed to introduce participants to the basic concepts of quality, ISO 9001 QMS standards, as well as the principles of QMS.

Participants were walked through the requirements of the current standard, ISO 9001:2015, in addition to the ISO 9001 QMS documentation.

The language in the Standard is generic, such as use of the word “shall,” to indicate the necessity for organizations to adhere to the systems. Participants learned that quality is the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of an object fulfils requirements (ISO 9001: 2015 clause 3.6.2). QM principles which are seven include Customer focus, Leadership, Engagement of the people, Process approach, Improvement, Evidence-based decision-making and Relationship management, for ease of remembrance it forms an acronym of the word CLEPIER.

The ‘dictionary of quality’ that is the ISO 9001:2015, focuses on a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and Risk Based Thinking (RBT).

KWS top management briefing on QMS was previously done by KEBS in March 2019. This is a demonstration by the Top Management to QMS as a management tool in running the organization.

Implementation plans are underway to pilot five key sites in KWS for implementation and audit in adherence to QMS. These are: KWS Headquarters, Nairobi National Park, Central Workshop, Airwing and LEA in Manyani. The implementation will then be rolled out to other stations (sites) in due course, which will pave the way for KEBS to determine whether KWS is eligible for ISO 9001:2015 certification.

Twenty three staff from KWS headquarters, Nairobi Park, Nairobi Safariwalk /Nairobi Animal Orphanage, Airwing and Ngong were trained in ISO 9001 QMS awareness. This is in addition to 40 staff who have already been trained as implementers, to champion the pilot exercise in the five sites.