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Baldrige Examiners, Judges Sought for 2002 Awards

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is recruiting examiners for the 2002 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA). The examiners board consists of about 400 positions, including nine judges and 60 senior examiners.

NIST says about 1,000 apply annually to be unpaid examiners because the position is an asset to professional development, provides opportunities for networking and learning how leading organizations achieve performance excellence, and offers a chance to contribute to a program dedicated to improving organizational performance.

Examiners evaluate applications for the award and prepare feedback reports to applicants citing strengths and opportunities for improvement. Qualifications include expertise in business, education or healthcare management processes and results and knowledge of practices and improvement strategies for organizational excellence.

Applications for the 2002 board are available by calling 301-975-3716 or at www.quality.nist.gov/Examiner_Application.htm. Applications must be postmarked on or before Jan. 4, 2002.

The December issue of Quality Progress will contain a feature article on how and why to become a Baldrige examiner.

In other news about the Baldrige Award, the MBNQA Board of Overseers has recommended no changes be made to the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence in 2002. Eligibility forms will be due on April 16, 2002, and award applications on May 30.
 

Smithsonian Exhibit Honors 100 Years at NIST

NIST/100The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History has opened an exhibit, "Striving for Standards," to honor the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) centennial.

The exhibit takes a close look at three NIST efforts: defining length, describing color and encouraging the United States to convert to the metric system.

One display shows how NIST's work on color impacts everything from child's play to traffic safety. Crayola crayons used NIST's 1955 publication Color: Universal Language and Dictionary of Names to help select its crayon names. The standard colors used by the railroad, shipping and aerospace industries are based on NIST work, as are traffic signals and yellow school buses.

For a look at information on NIST's first century, visit www.100.nist.gov.

One of NIST's newest initiatives is its industrial liaison office, which is now working to maximize the impact of NIST technical programs on industry. An ongoing pilot program is currently looking at the automotive sector.

Two NIST staff members are available to give presentations to auto industry groups on the NIST automotive project portfolio of more than 60 projects. For information, contact Clare Allocca at 301-975-4359 or clare. allocca@nist.gov, or John Slotwinski at 301-975-2171 or john.slotwinski@nist.gov.

AS9100 Standard Issued For Aerospace Industry

RocketThe G-14 American Aerospace Quality Group has published AS9100, Quality Systems--Aerospace-Model for Quality Assurance in Design, Development, Production, Installation and Servicing.

AS9100 includes ASQ9001:1994--Quality System Requirements and specifies additional requirements for the quality systems of the aerospace industry. To order, visit www.sae.org/servlets/index.
 

Accreditation Launched For Human Research Protection

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have released final 2001-2002 standards for the first external accreditation program to protect individuals participating in research projects.

NCQA will develop and administer the new program, which will apply to more than 120 VA centers conducting research with human participants and will set the standard for other federal agencies and private sector organizations.

The standards will address six major areas:

  • Institutional responsibilities.
  • Structure and operation of the institutional review board (IRB).
  • IRB consideration of risks and benefits of research.
  • IRB consideration of recruitment and subject selection for participation in research.
  • IRB consideration of research related risks to privacy and confidentiality.
  • IRB consideration of informed consent for participants.

ASTD, NGA Issue Report On Workforce E-Learning

The American Society for Testing and Development (ASTD) and the National Governors Association's (NGA's) Center for Best Practices have issued a report, "A Vision of E-Learning for America's Work-force."

The report cites a potentially enormous return on investment for both the public and private sectors and contains the following broad recommendations:

  • Create the highest quality e-learning experiences possible.
  • Implement new measures and methods for assessing and certifying what individuals know and are able to do.
  • Ensure broad and equitable access to e-learning opportunities.

A pdf file of the full report can be viewed by clicking on a link at www.astd.org.
 

'IndustryWeek' Site Highlights Cost vs. Quality

The September issue of IndustryWeek.com had a cover theme of cost vs. quality: the price manufacturers pay for skimping on quality.

Author Doug Bartholomew asked, "What is the cost of quality? To Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., one of the costs of quality is the inestimable damage to both companies' reputations as wary consumers think twice about purchasing Ford Explorers or Bridgestone/Firestone tires.
... DaimlerChrysler AG may find out when results are in from its decision earlier this year to require suppliers to reduce costs by a fixed percentage."

These activities are contrasted with those of organizations such as Caterpillar, which said it was investing $20 million this year to train 2,700 employees in Six Sigma theory and practice.
 

Telecom Industry Groups Sign Co-op Agreements

The Telecommunications Industry Association and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions have signed cooperative agreements with the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) on behalf of Accredited Standards Committee T1.

The agreement enables the pursuit of activities of mutual interest, including joint projects, publications, seminars, meetings and training.

CITEL is an agency of the Organization of American States. The T1 committee has similar agreements with telecom standards development organizations worldwide.
 

ISO Committee To Study Social Responsibility

The International Organization for Standardization's (known as ISO) committee on consumer policy is conducting a feasibility study on standards for corporate social responsibility and has launched an online forum to gather the views of stakeholders.

The forum, hosted by the Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs, has been set up to facilitate worldwide discussion of the possible roles of standards in defining the elements of corporate social responsibility.

ISO says the forum is designed to provide a mechanism for increasing awareness and promoting constructive discussion of new and existing initiatives and their relevance to existing or potential standards projects.

Corporate social responsibility refers to the overall relationship of a corporation with all of its stakeholders: customers, employees, communities, owners and investors, government, suppliers and competitors.

To participate in the online listserve discussion, contact the forum facility, Kernagham Webb of the Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs, at webb. kernagham@ic.gc.ca.

A workshop on corporate social responsibility is scheduled for June 10, 2002, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

Short Runs

A day after the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings on Sept. 11, the American Institute of Steel Construction contacted the Federal Emergency Management Association and leading structural engineering associations to form a special task force to determine whether modifications are needed in existing standards.

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Joint Commission Resources, a subsidiary of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, has published Managing Performance Data in Health Care. The book provides an overview of data management and explains how to use the data management process to improve performance. It also features tips on data collection and analysis, case studies and a case study exercise.

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The Quality Society of Australasia (QSA) will become a separate legal entity from its parent, the Australian Quality Council, on Dec. 1. QSA, in liaison with Austrade, the Australian government overseas trade commission, has opened discussions with the Vietnamese government Bureau of Accreditation (BoA) about providing auditor certification, membership and professional development services to the Vietnamese quality industry. A joint QSA-BoA office was slated to open in Hanoi in October 2001.

Jack Welch, former chair and CEO of GE, made his retirement official in September, but he's still in the public eye following publication of his autobiography, Jack: Straight from the Gut, by Warner Business Books. Welch is credited for wide use of Six Sigma to increase shareholder value.

DoctorQuality (www.doctorquality.com), a provider of Internet based healthcare quality solutions, and the Risk Management Foundation of Harvard Medical Institutions (www.rmf.Harvard.edu), announced an effort to share technology and analytic capabilities. DoctorQuality provides error and incident tracking, reporting and a comparative benchmarking database, while the foundation has a classification system and analytic and benchmark capabilities.


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