The Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification (HKCTC), Hong Kong Accreditation Service (HKAS) and ICAC co-organized a seminar entitled “Integrity and Professional Development in Testing and Certification Industry” held on 10th July 2017. Hong Kong Society for Quality (HKSQ) was one of supporting organizations. Professionalism and integrity are foundation of good business and also form part of the core value of Hong Kong’s testing and certification (T&C) industry. This is the fifth HKCTC seminar on integrity and professional development. Previous seminar information could be found in the reference.
Before the seminar, all guest speakers took a group photo for memory.
The first speaker was Ms. Anna Lam (Deputy Executive Director of Hong Kong Business Ethics Development Centre, Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)) and her topic entitled “Professional Integrity and Corruption Prevention”. Her speech included “Importance of Professional Integrity”, “Common Corruption Risks in T&C Industry” and “Three Tests of Professional Integrity”, as well as, “Corruption Prevention Services of ICAC”.
Then she shared three real cases of corruption in T&C industry included “Forging Certificates”, “Forging test reports”, “Inspectors accepting bribes”. There were some Points-to-note including:
- Undermine the testing and inspection system
- Breach of trust of the public and employer
- Affect interests of stakeholders (company, clients colleagues, other suppliers, customers)
- Public safetyMs. Anna Lam said that compliance of law was minimum requirement, we encouraged to achieve professional integrity as highest requirement as code of conduct.
Ms. Lam also mentioned the common integrity risks included “Fake test reports/results”, “Tamper with test samples”, “Lax inspection / audit”, “expedite testing/inspection/certification processes”, “Handle confidential information”, “Entertainment” and “Conflict of interest”. After that Ms. Anna Lam introduced three tests of professional integrity that was Legal Test, Compliance Test and Sunshine Test.
1) Legal Control over Corruption
- Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (Cap. 201)
- Section 9: Corrupt transactions in private sector (4A – Agent, Advantage, Act and Approval)
- Section 11 and 19: No defence to solicit / accept any advantage
- Section 8: Offering advantage to public servants during official dealings
- Section 9(3): Use of False documentsThe advantages included several items showed in the following diagram.
2) Compliance – Administrative Control over Malpractices
- HKAS Accreditation Criteria
- International Standards such as ISO 17025 / 17020 / 17021
- Professional Code of Ethics (e.g. HKTIC, HKICA, HKIE)
- Company Code of Conduct
3) Sunshine Test – Disclose decisions openly without misgivings
The second speaker was Mr. Howie Ng (Technical Director, Hong Kong Veritas Limited & Member, ISO/TC 309 (Governance of Organizations)) and his topic named “ISO 37001 Anti-bribery Management Systems: an Introduction”. Firstly he identified the different between corruption and bribery as below.
Corruption: illegal, bad, or dishonest behavior, especially by people in positions of power (Cambridge dictionary)
Bribery: offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of an undue advantage (ISO 37001)Then he said the ISO/PC 278 was one-off Project Committee to develop this standard. The purpose is to achieve the consistency in anti-bribery performance.
Then Mr. Howie Ng briefed the benefits such as anti-bribery control and risks reduction, etc. Showing due diligence is also important.
The standard followed the ISO HL structure from clause 1 “Scope” to clause 10 “Improvement”. He explained using PDCA cycle that “Planning” aimed to ensure top management leadership and commitment. The different from ISO 9001 was “Assess anti-bribery risks” and “Define roles and responsibilities – Anti-bribery compliance function”.
In “Control”, it mainly performed in employment process, due diligence on risk assessment, financial / non-financial controls, etc. Reasonable and proportionate were the key judgement standards.
In “Checking and Improvement”, Monitoring and internal audit were basic processes. Moreover, it should be reviewed by Anti-bribery function, top management and governing body.
At the end, Mr. Howie Ng told us that ISO/TC 309 Governance of organizations was established by the ISO/TMB in September 2016 (TMB – Technical Management Board). ISO/TC 309 covered Anti-bribery management system so that ISO/PC 279 to be disbanded.
After tea break, Ms. Fung Ka Wing (Senior Manager, Qualifications Framework Secretariat) and Ms. Fanny Tang (Assessment Manager, Assessment Agency of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in TIC Industry & Senior Lecturer, Testing and Certification, School of Science & Technology, OUHK) and their topic entitled “Qualification Framework and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Assessment. Firstly, Ms. Fung Ka Wing briefed the background of HKQF which officially launched in May 2008 (CAP 592) that aimed to support lifelong learning and to enhance the quality and competitiveness of the workforce.
The framework of governance included Education Bureau (EDB), Qualification Framework Secretariat (QFS) and Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ).
The HKQF hierarchy form level 1 to level 7 were mentioned and discussed. All qualified courses could match different QF level through HKCAAVQ evaluation. For each level, generic level descriptors (GLD) describes learning outcomes in four domains and they were “Knowledge and Intellectual Skills”, “Processes”, “Application, Autonomy and Accountability” and “Communication, IT and Numeracy”.
Finally, she mentioned 1QF credit was equal to 10 notional learning hours. All qualifications or learning programmes recognized under QF had to be quality-assured and uploaded onto the Qualifications Register (QR). HKCAAVQ was QA bodies and location universities were self-accrediting institutions.
Before explanation of RPL, she stated how to develop the Specification of Competency Standards (SCS) which was collaborated with industry through formation of Industry Training Advisory Committee (ITAC).
Ms. Fanny Tang then explained how Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) made pathways to professional development. RPL was enable employees of various backgrounds to received formal recognition of the knowledge, skills and experience that were already acquired.
The Unit of Competency (UoC) from SCS was the basic unit for RPL assessment. Then Ms. Fanny Tang briefed the assessment methods included Written Test, Interview, Written Test + Interview, Practical Assessment, Practical Assessment + Written Test, and Practical Assessment + Interview.
The relevant working experience requirement for different QF levels were demonstrated. Finally, Ms. Tang mentioned that was Win-Win situation for both employees and employers as follows:
- Gain recognition for qualification
- Professional development and profile
- Save money compared with other training program
- Quicker qualification
- Fast tracking staff through the skills recognition
- Reduction in costs of training
- Efficient in identification of skills gaps allowing for more focused training
Then Dr. Lo briefed the competence requirement for auditing based on ISO 17021:2015. He also referred to ISO 9001:2015 and found that both standards’ auditor requirement was referred to ISO 19011 for guidance in the note statement. ISO 19011:2011 – Guidelines for auditing management systems is applicable to all organizations that need to conduct internal or external audits of management systems or manage an audit programme.
Dr. Lo used safety accident as an example to point out the safety management composed of three stages: Technology, System and Culture. So he said the element of success for quality apart from technology and system was People. He proposed four incentives of T&C Personnel were Full Time, Professionalism, Role & responsibility and Culture.
He also studied the development system of ISO 9001 and Industry accident ratio and found that up-climbing safety culture and down-grading quality commitment.
Then Dr. Lo showed the competence requirement for auditing and HKICA got ISO 17024 accreditation by CNAS in the right path for personal certification. Finally, he concluded that a healthy ad reliable management system shall have full time professional staffs in place; 1st part frontline trained staff to implement daily operation and checking; 2nd party internal audit staff to safeguard effectiveness and project/materials/data control; and 3rd party certification audit to oversee the compliance and effectiveness of system.
The last speaker was Mr. Harry Yeung (Chairman, HKTIC) and his presentation title was “How Personnel Certification can Help to Development Professionalism in the Testing and Certification Industry”. Firstly, Mr. Yeung briefed the role of TIC industry such as supporting the manufactures, exporters & other service industries; integral part of the supply chain and protects daily life, etc.
Then Mr. Harry Yeung introduced The Hong Kong Association for Testing, Inspection and Certification (HKTIC) which has founded since 1981 (formerly named Hong Kong Association of Certification Laboratories (HKACL)). Then he discussed challenges of TIC industry such as limited supply of young professionals and difficulties to retain them because of lack of visible recognition of professional status. Therefore, HKTIC developed the Professional Certification Scheme for Testing Personnel (PCSTP) and got the SME development fund in Oct 2010. Then the scheme launched on 28 Sep 2011. There are two categories: Certified Testing Professional (CTP) and Certified Testing Technician (CTT). The following diagram showed the scope of certification.
Finally, Mr. Harry Yeung told us that CTP had 246 and CTT had 117. One of incentives for this certification was employers support that the recruitment included CTP and CTT requirement.
Lastly, Mr. Harry Yeung believed the scheme development different benefits among Clients/public, Employees and Employers in TIC Industry in Hong Kong.
In the second part Q&A, many people asked question about HKQF and RPL as well as if any integrity UoC for auditor training use. For HKQF, different industries had their own code of conduct training module and it would be discussed in ITAC-TIC later. Dr. Lo said most auditor training would cover code of conduct.
HKTIC - http://www.hktic.org/
Previous ICAC involved T&C Seminars:
20101025: Seminar on Support to Testing and Certification Industry - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2010/10/seminar-on-support-to-testing-and.html
20110916: Seminar on Supports to Testing and Certification Industry - https://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2011/09/seminar-on-supports-to-testing-and.html
20111103: Ethical Management Seminar for Testing and Certification Industry - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2011/11/ethical-management-seminar-for-testing.html
20131008: HKCTC Seminar on Integrity and Professional Development in Testing & Certification Industry - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2013/10/hkctc-seminar-on-integrity-and.html
20140114: ICAC Training Workshop for HKAS Accredited Organizations - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2014/01/icac-training-workshop-for-hkas.html
20150713: HKCTC Seminar on Professional Integrity in Testing and Certification - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2015/07/hkctc-seminar-on-professional-integrity.html
20160627: HKCTC Seminar on Professional Integrity in Testing and Certification - https://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2016/06/hkctc-seminar-on-professional-integrity.html