Quality Week (Quality Week 2013) was opened for the 22nd time on 27th February 2013 in order to traditionally gather scientists, economists and renowned experts in the field of quality. The plan was to present the latest trends in the monitoring and development of management standards, management tools and techniques to be used in practice.
Vladimir Trajković, President of the Fund for Quality Culture and Excellence (FCQE), was the first one to address the delegates and he wished them a successful conference given the importance of this year’s topics.
Dušan Stokić MSc addressed the delegates on behalf of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and he thanked the collegues from Quality & Excellence Magazine for a successful long-time cooperation. He emphasised the importance of responsibility at both company level (in terms of employees, local community and environment) and state level given that the state had to facilitate further development of the quality infrastructure (QI).
Prof. Zoran Punoševac PhD, President of the Association for Quality and Standardization of Serbia, highlighted the importance of dissemination of quality management knowledge to students, while prof. Zdravko Krivokapić PhD, Centre for Quality of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Podgorica, explained that the number of conferences dedicated to quality kept increasing and thus confirming that this field was being constantly upgraded.
Furthermore, representatives of the local QI institutions and those from the neighbouring countries addressed the delegates when Natalija Jovičić Zarić MSc, Deputy Director of the Accreditation Body of Serbia (ATS), explained the importance of fulfilment of needs of industry and regulators, and all those using testing, inspection and certification services. She also wished the delegated a lot of practical and usable papers and discussions.
Natalija Jovičić Zarić MSc, ATS Deputy Director
Miodrag Perović MSc, Director of the Institute for Standardization of Montenegro, stressed the importance of standards for the Montenegrin economy and explained that QI should be considered as an important resource not as cost. It is necessary to foster entrepreneurship and innovations by introducing standards since that is the best way to overcome the economic crisis. Ivan Krstić MSc, Director of the Institute for Standardization of Serbia (ISS), said that standards were the key QI factor. ISS transposed so far somewhat more than 92% of electrical standards (published by CEN/CENELEC) and somewhat more than 84% of non-electrical standards (published by CEN). In the field of harmonised standards ISS published about 96% of electrical standards, i.e. about 85% of them from non-electrical fields. Thus ISS met the technical requirement for CEN/CENELEC membership, whereas it is expected that ISS will submit an application for membership in the said organisations in early June.
The conference was officially opened by Jelena Popović MSc, Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MFE), when she explained that conclusions to be made during the conference would be vital for further operation and planning of the MFE activities. Establishment of the new QI system helped create the QI legal framework, whereas the key directives falling within the scope of MFE had been transposed. The institutional framework was significantly upgraded through the upgrade of QI institutions. One of the important tasks that MFE has is to raise awareness of adequate application of regulations and with that end in view seminars for conformity assessment bodies and industry had been organised, together with a series of individual interviews with companies and TEHNIS internet portal had been designed to facilitate the download of information about technical requirements for products to be placed on the market of the Republic of Serbia. GIZ project (Strategy for the Development of the QI) helped publish six publications, guidelines for the application of the New Approach Directives. Furthermore, the Strategy for the Development of QI needs to be adopted by the Serbian Government in order to facilitate further QI development. The Strategy is based on four analyses (needs of the economy, CAB analysis, QI institutions), and it will also include the strategic objectives of all QI institutions.
Jelena Popović MSc, MFE Assistant Minister
Severin Rakić MD, Institute of Public Health, Centre for Healthcare Management, Banja Luka, emphasised during his presentation entitled “Practical aspects of the implementation of the policy to upgrade quality and safety of healthcare in the Republika Srpska” that quality in healthcare should be considered as a specific issue of extreme importance. Therefore, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republika Srpska used a frontal approach when putting in place the quality system in 68 public healthcare facilities. The quality policy helped put in place the new legal framework that fostered the establishment of the accreditation and certification system in healthcare facilities in the Republika Srpska. Capacity building was needed in order to design the new finctional job title in healthcare facilities in keeping with the Law on Healthcare that required the establishement of quality units in each healthcare facility. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare promised to cover the certification procedure costs for the first 20 healthcare facilities to apply in order to motivate them. Additionally, it was necessary to raise awareness among healthcare managers and educate them which was successfully realised.
Vladimir Simić, Euroquality Group, Belgrade, made two important proposals during his presentation. One pertained to re-establishment of the Quality Council, while the other pertained to the establishment of the Institute for Quality as a technical institution that would foster further QI development.
Vladimir Trajković, President of the Fund for Quality Culture and Excellence (FCQE), addressed the delagtes one more time in order to explain the novelties that had been introduced in terms of the criteria for the national business excellence award, Quality Oscar. The reward will be awarded for four categories (not only for the first two categories as was the case so far): Quality Oscar for big enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises, public sector and organisations outside Serbia.
For more information, please visit http://www.kvalitet.org.rs/ostalo/nedelja-kvaliteta-2013.