In the beginning, Dr. Kwok briefed the typical assessment process from application review to assessment that included the whole application process life cycle. Some key activities included:
- Records assessment related information (e.g. due date, visit date, assessment teams, review, approval record, etc.)
- Maintenance of CAB’s information and scope of accreditation
- Maintenance of technical assessors, technical experts and external lead assessors
- Maintenance of members and statues of Accreditation Advisory Broad (AAB), working parties and task forces.
Then Dr. Kwok mentioned their existing approach using Microsoft ACCESS (since 1997) for paper records and computer records. Major functions are including Captures data from events (e.g. Application for Assessments, Assessment team formations, Visit schedule dates, Appointment of external assessors and CAB information) and Generate reminder for those activities. Moreover, it also assisted for statistics reports for management review and standard letter / emails generation.
However, several problems and limitations were shown as follows:
- Manual process to manage assessment cases
- Time is critical for issuing amended assessment report after assessment
- It often requires several iterations for acceptance of remedial actions
- Limitation of email attachment size
- Only support HKAS internal process, etc.
Therefore, a feasibility study conducted by the third party consultancy firm completed in July 2012. It proposed to implement a custom-built system with integration of appropriate software products named HKAS Information Processing (IP) System and HKAS Accreditation Service (AS) System. The objectives were to facilitate provision of better accreditation services (see following diagram).
The system architecture – conceptual overview was briefed (included Hardware and Software).
The Key Features of IP system included Application Review, Preliminary Visit, Prepare for Assessment, Post Assessment, Accreditation Decision & Granting and Monitoring (Reminder), Reporting, etc.
The Key Features of AS system included CABs, Assessment Team and HKAS online platform for information exchanging.
The schedule of AS System would be started in the middle of September 2015 and to be launch in end of 2017 (~30 month). Questionnaires would be sent to all stakeholders for collection feedback for AS System design proposes.
HKAS - http://www.itc.gov.hk/en/quality/hkas/about.htm