Excellent Management Systems for Training and Continuing Professional Development

Training provider consults with Steinbeis team

Like other industries, the training sector is subject to growing competitive pressure and there is stronger demand for proof of qualification and certifications. Until now there hasn’t been a specific standard for training and continuing professional development (CPD), with the exception of legal provisions for the specific requirements of labor market policies and DIN standard ISO 9001. Compared to other regulations, the new DIN standard ISO 29990 is more closely oriented toward the concrete requirements of training and CPD providers, making it more suitable for this field. The Institute for Vocational Education in Health Care (IbBG) consulted with experts at the Institute for Quality Management and Organizational Development, a Steinbeis Consulting Center, to examine whether certifications should continue to be based on ISO 9001, or if the new standard for training institutions should be applied.

It quickly became apparent that a variety of key factors pointed toward a switch to the new standard. The Steinbeis consultants see many points in ISO 29990 that align more closely with the needs of training providers than the previous standard. The new standard specifies the needs of students, companies and sponsors, defines learning content and processes, evaluates the services and qualifications of training providers, and brings management processes in line with the particular nature of training and CPD. In addition, ISO 29990 conforms more closely to the needs and language of the organization as a training provider, while at the same time covering approximately two-thirds of the content of ISO 9001. From an international point of view as well, ISO 29990 clearly is a preferable alternative to ISO 9001 for training institutions.

The project team decided to transition the IbBG management system to the new standard when recertification came around. One focal point when realigning the previous management system was defining key processes for determining training needs, for designing, delivering and monitoring training services, and for evaluation. Attention was also given to configuring the management functions responsible for carrying out customer-specific processes. In addition to the classic and established functions, the following points in particular are essential:

  • Strategy and corporate management
    The Steinbeis consultants worked with IbBG to create a business plan which defined the strategy and business targets, as well as outlined the management structure, key processes and the quality policy of the training provider.
  • Financial and risk management
    To safeguard business continuity, the new standard required that an appropriate financial management system be rolled out and documented, as well as a system for identifying, assessing and managing risks.
  • Employee competence
    DIN standard ISO 29990 requires contractual and temporary employees to have the applicable core competencies (interpersonal skills, business skills and skills relevant to the provision of training services).

IbBG was successfully certified under ISO 29990 in June 2014. From IbBG’s perspective, realigning the management system to comply with the new standard was a complex and challenging task – but the pay-off was worth every effort. The positive impact is already being felt today. Acceptance of the quality management system has risen significantly among all employees. The team has now started systematically developing a nursing curriculum with the involvement of all teachers from the nursing training courses, and the organizational structures of the institute have been successfully adapted to the tasks.

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