The First Ever Virtual NATO QA On-Site Visit
FINCENT’s NATO Quality Assurance reaccreditation is currently underway and proceeding on schedule. Last month, 9 – 11 May, a team of experts from NATO HQ SACT reviewed FINCENT’s activities during a virtual on-site visit, a key step in the reaccreditation process. This was the first of its kind for both FINCENT and NATO QA personnel, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As a NATO Partnership Training and Education Centre, adhering to NATO’s quality standards is a key part of FINCENT’s activities. With an effective NATO-compliant quality management system and multiple NATO certified and listed courses, FINCENT was awarded with the NATO Quality Assurance Accreditation for the first time in 2015. Its renewal for the next 6-year period is due this year and the process now continued with the virtual on-site visit of NATO QA team of experts.
In the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the normally face-to-face on-site visit was conducted entirely online for the first time ever. Based on the previously available material, including the Quality Management System Standard Operating Procedures (QMS SOP) and the previously sent Self-Assessment Report (QA SAR), the NATO team of experts scrutinized the Centre’s activities during three days of online sessions.
Each day was devoted to one of three NATO Quality Standards: Leadership and Management; Education and Training and Contribution to NATO. On FINCENT’s side, the sessions were prepared and conducted by the team of experts assigned for the project. Each of the quality standards was then presented to the NATO team by the personnel responsible for those activities. Despite the circumstances and the limitations of online meetings, the virtual on-site visit was carried out in a professional manner successfully as planned and scheduled, with all the quality standards well covered.
The next step in FINCENT’s reaccreditation procedure is the evaluation report, which will be prepared by the NATO QA team of experts based on the virtual on-site visit.