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iso 21001 Certification in Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Fujairah- UAE

ISO 21001:2018 – Educational organizations – Management systems for educational organizations – Requirements with guidance for use

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – the only renowned organization for standardization of business practices at an international level, covering significant business verticals, has been instrumental in developing publicly accessible benchmarks that help businesses, organizations, management, government, and various regulators around the world.

The standard applies to all levels of educational institutes – Nursery, Kinder Garten, Primary, Secondary, Higher Secondary or High School, Graduation, Post-Graduation, Technical Training Institutes, Professional Colleges and Universities, Private Institutes, Government Institutes and others, that use curriculum or module for effective knowledge transfer. The 63-page booklet, ISO 21001: 2018 was published in May 2018 as an international standard for – Management Systems for Educational Organizations (EOMS).

This international standard has been developed for the educational organizations, mostly into formal education types and their associated products & services, as well as the improvement of educational services, products and customer satisfaction. However, providers of informal education services can also implement this standard. ISO 21001 was developed by the ISO/PC 288 team.

The project was directed by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) and the bigger working group comprising of 86 different industry experts from 39 nationalized standardization bodies and some stakeholders of various educational sectors.

The EOMS is meant to serve as a management tool with a set of requirements that aim to help educational organizations/institutions establish the necessary policies and procedures which would ensure that students, staff (teachers, employees), customers and other beneficiaries’ needs, requirements and objectives are met – and at the same time, the interaction between these interested parties and the educational organization is elevated to a successful level for all parties involved.

This standard, like all other newly published international standards, has its alignment with High-Level Structure, also known as HLS or Annex SL. This structure makes the EOMS much easy to synchronize with any existing ISO 9001 module, with some additional industry-specific contents. This structure plays a major role to ease those organizations that opt to operate a single management system with conformity to multiple standards.

Such management systems are conventionally termed as Integrated Management Systems. The ISO 21001 standard also includes robust & detailed guidance for use (Annexes A to G). This provides significant information related to the concept of EOMS and the requirements of ISO 21001, with specific applicability to various segments within the education industry. For example, Annex A provides extended requirements for Early Childhood Education providers, majorly the Nursery Schools and other similar bodies.

The potential benefits to an organization of implementing a management system for educational organizations (EOMS) based on this document are:

a) better alignment of objectives and activities with policy (including mission and vision);

b) enhanced social responsibility by providing inclusive and equitable quality education for all;

c) more personalized learning and effective response to all learners and particularly to learners with special education needs, distance learners and lifelong learning opportunities;

d) consistent processes and evaluation tools to demonstrate and increase effectiveness and efficiency;

e) increased credibility of the organization;

f) a means that enables educational organizations to demonstrate their commitment to effective educational management practices;

g) a culture for organizational improvement;

h) harmonization of regional, national, open, proprietary, and other standards within an international framework;

i) widened participation of interested parties;

j) stimulation of excellence and innovation.

The ISO 21001 based EOMS entails the following management principles:

a) focus on learners and other beneficiaries;

b) visionary leadership;

c) engagement of people;

d) process approach;

e) improvement;

f) evidence-based decisions;

g) relationship management;

h) social responsibility;

i) accessibility and equity;

j) ethical conduct in education;

k) data security and protection.

HOW DOES ASCENT HELP IN ACQUIRING ISO 21001 CERTIFICATION?

Ascent Emirates has considerable experience in consulting educational service providers in tailoring and augmenting their systems in a manner that enhances their service quality and profits. Ascent Emirates follows a highly pragmatic approach that effectively utilizes the already existing good practices, while further advising on areas that should need improvement. Ascent Emirates, customarily follows the following steps, unless there are special needs that need to be addressed during the consultancy process:

  1. Gap analysis to seek areas to implement, and the areas that must remain same as good practices
  2. Training to staff for the basic awareness on ISO 21001 requirements
  3. Development of ISO 21001 documentation. Some of these documents are developed by Ascent, while some procedural documents are developed by the organizational personnel under Ascent guidance
  4. Assistance in implementation of the documented management system
  5. Conduct thorough internal audit to give the best impression of the system
  6. Assist in framing appropriate corrective actions to close out nonconformities if any
  7. Assist in conducting the management reviews
  8. Assistance in acquiring the certification.

 The initial audit is conducted by the appointed competent third party, and on satisfactory completion, the certificates are awarded. The certificates are normally valid for 3 years, and every year, annual surveillance audits are conducted to verify the continuing suitability of the implemented management system and improvement trend.

The frequency of surveillance audits is generally advised by the certification authority, based on the minimum specified requirement in ISO 17021, the criticality of business and the robustness of the implemented system. On concluding the satisfactory performance, the certificates are revalidated for a further period.

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