Case Studies | Quality Management

An education provider’s QMS

Kristine Sandahl
By on 18/03/2015

In this case I invited UCPlus’ Quality Manager, Kim Strunge, to a talk about how Quality Management, ISO9001 and their quality management process works in practice when laws and regulations control UCPlus as an education provider.

In this interview, you can read about how the Danish education center UCPlus works with Quality Management, ISO9001 and their QMS when laws and regulations influence them as an organisation. I invited UCPlus Quality- and Education Manager, Kim Strunge, for a talk.

UCPlus in short: UCPlus is certified by ISO9001, 14001 and 18001 in work environment management systems and environmental management systems. The company is specialised in basic and continuing education within the transport industry. They have more than 35 years of experience in the field of education, educating drivers for taxis and heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses. UCPlus also offer language courses in Danish for foreign adults.

A Self-developed QMS

I asked Kim Strunge how UCPlus as an education center works with Quality Management Processes and ISO 9001 in practice. He informed me that they use a self-developed management system. Their management system is designed in PowerPoint and Excel. PowerPoint is used as an employee manual and Excel to systematically follow up on deviations. All employees can access the system and all roles are visible. Leaders are part-owners of the system and have the responsibility of correcting the deviations that may occur:

“In this way we work actively with the system every single day”.
Since UCPlus use their management system actively every day, they hold four management evaluation meetings a year (although the standard only requires one meeting a year). Kim Strunge explains:

“It is the deviation system that keeps us going. Quality is extremely important to us in our industry. Therefore, our follow-ups are never more than three months apart in the form of a management evaluation meeting.”

I asked Kim Strunge if they have any challenges with the management system they use. To this question, he answered that the system performs perfectly in relation to the number of deviations and how they work with follow-ups on these. Another advantage of the system is that it is easy to access for all, understandable and simple:

“Everyone can relate to it because it is simple. When you create a management system, it is important not to build large blocks, but a small house with a good road you believe in.”

Quality Management Processes in Practice

I asked Kim Strunge how UCPlus as an education center works with their management system. To this he explained that continuous improvements are an important part of it:

“In our management system there is a constantly need for continuous improvements and adjustments. In our system we describe what we do. When we do something different to the usual, there must be a change made in the system.”

Kim Strunge also explains that these processes are followed up by internal audits. Furthermore, continuous improvements are limited since regulations and laws tightly control UCPlus. This is why they frequently investigate whether new regulations or laws are included in the system. This is done by legal information and links:

“We need to do this by ourselves. And that is a healthy process, because we go through the entire system every second month.”

Kim Strunge adds that they have a specific process for this in particular. Furthermore, they also have an annual seminar where laws and regulations are reviewed.

Pull Yourself Up

Lastly, I asked Kim Strunge how he sees the future for management systems. He replied that he thinks that a management system today has to ensure quality, which is particularly important for UCPlus since government laws and regulations influence them as an organisation. Moreover, he believes that it is necessary for all organisations to create a structure they believe in, which fits the industry and the changes that may occur.

Kim Strunge concludes:

“It is essential to have a structure that fits the world you as an organisation has to fit into and relate to. One way to pull yourself up is to schedule follow-ups.“

Want to learn how to involve your managers in quality management processes and systems? Read our article!

UCPlus adaptation to the industry

To sum up, it seems that UCPlus has built a management system that is closely tailored to their industry and business model. The impact is primarily through legislation and UCPlus has managed to create routines and a QMS that carefully collects and incorporates these requirements. It could be interesting to investigate whether other companies that have the public as their primary customer do it the same way. We will look into this further in another case.

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