Aspire Zone Foundation Makes Great Strides in Quality Management
The processes of recognising and standardising quality across the organisation now have undeniable importance at the heart of the Foundation’s daily functions. Unlike other organisations, which see demonstrations of quality as mere accolades to hang on their office walls, AZF considers every step forward an opportunity to achieve further goals, thereby accelerating AZF’s progress towards the successful fulfilment of the Qatari community’s aspirations, whose wise leadership identifies the opportunities presented by sports to drive progress across the country more broadly.
En Route to ISO 9001
The foundation has reached remarkable milestones on its journey to becoming the reference in sports excellence worldwide, where quality has become a springboard for AZF’s smart management of resources and activities. These milestones include:
1. The development and issuance of the Quality Management System Policy and Procedures
2. Over 45 hours of training on quality-related topics since 2014
3. A standardisation of corporate policies i.e. HR, Finance, Marketing, Legal, Strategy, IT, Internal Audit and Risk Management
4. The standardisation of corporate-level standard operating procedures (SOPs), workflows (WF) and forms – over 50 SOPs and over 100 WFs have been issued to date, while 25 SOPs are also underway.
Continuous improvement of procedures
AZF has adopted procedures to develop and unify AZF business processes while at the same time transforming them to ensure increased efficiency. This project includes automating those processes, simplifying tasks, minimising human errors and reducing paper consumption. Creating a Quality Management System has enabled AZF to develop high-quality standard operating procedures and training, measuring and monitoring policies that are continuously improving.
The Foundation has also been nurturing the culture of continuous improvement through several initiatives, such as training on ISO 9001 compliance and certifications, and the implementation of the ‘ideas initiative’, under which employees can assess, evaluate, prioritise and implement ideas on AZF’s Intranet, Sprint, with each idea’s owner being recognised accordingly.
''Quality will not be achieved merely as a result of direction from the top [of the organisational hierarchy] to the bottom. The process flows within the organisation and encompasses all organisational activities. It is a continuous process of improvement and a deeply rooted culture within AZF. Each one of us plays an important role in our journey to becoming a source of excellence," said Mohammed Khalifa Al-Suwaidi, AZF’s Acting CEO.
The hunt for Quality: a continuous process
Quality is not an emerging culture in AZF. It has been a part of the Foundation since its inception. To date, the Foundation has been awarded several accreditations following years of continuous development and excellence:
• AZF’s IT department was awarded ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and ISO/ IEC 20000-1:2011 certificates after its Services and IT Security passed the auditing process.
• Aspetar obtained Accreditation Canada International’s Platinum Level certification in January 2016; the ACI accreditation is granted to hospitals with proven safety criteria and a high quality of medical care and services. There are only 16 Platinum Level accredited institutions, with Aspetar being one of only nine healthcare organisations to achieve this status on their first survey.
• Aspire Academy received the accreditation of the Council of International Schools (CIS) in April 2016 after a thorough consideration of its academic programme and the quality of its education environment by a group CIS experts.
• Aspire Logistics successfully passed the quality management standards audit, ISO 9001 and the environmental management standards audit, ISO 14001 issued by the International Organisation for Standardisations (ISO) and the occupational health and safety standards audit, OHSAS 18001 in September 2015.
Aspire Zone Foundation connects with the local community during Ramadan