Frequently Asked Questions

To assist organisations implement the SQMS standards more quickly and efficiently the following are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

SQMS gives your organisation a structured approach to quality management. It gives you the benefits of:·

  • Continuously improving your systems and processes
  • Instilling a culture geared towards continual improvement
  • Fosters staff teamwork, commitment and satisfaction
  • Improves the training and education for the learners
  • Improves the learning experience
  • Helps promote a safe learning environment
  • Setting realistic business targets
  • Assists in costs reductions and business expansion in target markets
  • SQMS helps the organisation focus on areas important to it.

The SQMS standards have been written in such a way as to make them applicable to any size of organisation in any sector of industry.

The SQMS standards have been specifically designed for Scottish vocational training and education. They are currently used by public and private bodies, the voluntary sector, further and higher educational establishments and employers for quality assuring their training provision.

Any organisation may download the SQMS standards and implement them in their organisation to establish a quality management system. There is no need to achieve certification through an external audit. The exception to this rule is where you may have a contractual relationship with another organisation that insist that the organisations they conduct business with have to be SQMS certificated.

SQMS Scotland delivers Introduction to SQMS workshops for new organisations. Contact us to find out where and when the next workshop will be delivered.

SQMS Scotland will give organisations the skills to design and implement their own systems, processes and policies through advice and guidance (we will not write them for you). This assistance may be charged for, please contact us for further information.

An SQMS certificate is valid for three years. All that we ask is for you to keep the certification current and to aid continuous improvement that organisations conduct Self-Assessment against the standards in the two interim years and that the Self-Assessment complete with the development plan is sent to SQMS Scotland on the anniversary of your certification. Your Self-Assessment and development plan will then form part of the preparation for your next full audit.

Only one copy of the SQMS manual is being distributed to organisations. Further copies can be downloaded form this website. In fact downloading (or linking to the SQMS standard on this website) and posting it on your intranet will ensure that only one master, continually updated copy, is available for all staff; this will assist you with document control.

SQMS operates a mutual recognition process with some other national bodies e.g. SQA, SFEFC and IiP. When you can demonstrate that you have the systems and processes in place (and they work) for other bodies and that they have been quality assured by those other bodies then SQMS Scotland may recognise them against the SQMS standards thereby reducing overlap and disruption to the organisation and learner. Full details of how Credit Transfer works can be found in the document Arrangements for External Auditing and Credit Transfer.

An SQMS certificate is valid for three years. All that we ask is for you to keep the certification current and to aid continuous improvement that organisations conduct Self-Assessment against the standards in the two interim years and that the Self-Assessment complete with the development plan is sent to SQMS Scotland on the anniversary of your certification. Your Self-Assessment and development plan will then form part of the preparation for your next full audit.

Yes, there are costs involved, however this is dependent on many factors such as the size of your organisation, programmes offered etc. Please contact SQMS Scotland for further details.

Yes, you will have 30 days to address any remedial actions identified in your audit report. Further details can be found in Arrangements for External Auditing and Credit Transfer.