For the sake of quality

With the aim of upgrading skills and knowledge among quality practitioners, the Southern African Society for Quality (SASQ) recently hosted its second Annual Quality Congress at the Eskom Academy of Learning in Midrand. The congress was sponsored by Eskom.

SASQ’s history stretches back to 1976, when The South African Society for Quality Control was established by a group of quality professionals in Port Elizabeth to increase awareness of the importance of quality as a strategic survival tool for South African industries. It became the South African Society for Quality in 1987 with the advent of the ISO 9000 quality standard and then to the Southern African Society for Quality in 2011. The society has subsequently extended its scope, incorporating environmental, health & safety, and SHEQ practitioners.

With an emphasis on collaboration, sharing, education and development, the Society promotes quality as a profession and aims to elevate quality capability in Southern Africa.

The two-day 2012 congress, with workshops on the first day and presentations on the second, didn’t disappoint. Among many others, subjects and speakers included: “Quality and cost” by Adriaan du Plessis, managing director of Duran SA; “The impact of quality management in the brewing industry” by Dr Anna Cameron-Clarke, senior research scientist at South African Breweries; and “Fundamentals of hazards and the origins of safety risk” by Unisa’s Dr Sarel Smit.

It’s clear that the body offers its members access to a deep pool of knowledge and resources. Says SASQ national president Professor Roy Ramphal: “The delegates participated enthusiastically, contributing towards issues on the table. They definitely appreciated the platform created for quality practitioners to voice their concerns in a forum with high-quality speakers on current challenges.”

SASQ will consider holding a week-long congress in 2013.

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