In March, I was in Port Vila to run management system internal audit training at the invitation of the Vanuatu Qualifications Authority (VQA). The VQA assures the quality of Post - School Education and Training (Technical Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education) by developing the Vanuatu Qualifications Framework and managing its implementation.
All providers of post-school education and training are registered and need to comply with the minimum standards established by the VQA. In addition, each program of study being offered needs to be accredited. One of the requirements is that providers must show evidence of an effective quality management system with a functioning internal audit programme.
The maintenance of education and training standards is challenging enough given that Vanuatu is a poor nation, with its residents inhabiting 80 islands spread across over 12,000 square kilometres of the western Pacific Ocean. Among the challenges are that providers in a few communities are very small, some have little to no access to power, or technology, and having four official languages English, French, Bislama, and the local dialect (there are over 100 recognised indigenous languages) just adds to the mix.
The New Zealand Organisation for Quality (NZOQ) two-day internal auditing training course was delivered during two sessions to a total of 31 representatives from the Ministry of Education, the VQA, and many schools and vocational training centers from across Vanuatu.
The most popular topics covered during the course proved to be
During the graduation ceremony, the Associate Minister of Education and the Director of Education Services at the Ministry of Education, awarded certificates of completion to the Internal Audit course attendees.
Many of the graduates expressed interest in applying to the NZOQ to become certified internal auditors under the CQIA certification programme once they have completed internal audits of their organisations over the coming months.
Michael speaking at the graduation ceremony
Photo: Shane Smith
Dignitaries and course attendees at the graduation ceremony Photo: Shane Smith
My thanks go to VQA Chief Executive Officer, David Lambukly for ensuring that my time in Vanuatu was a safe and enjoyable one.
I wish the VQA and its newly trained auditors all the very best as they go back to their communities to develop effective internal audit programmes in their organisations.
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