9th Annual IRCA Conference: Yokohama 2010

I have just returned from the Ninth Annual IRCA Conference, held in Yokohama, Japan. It was a great privilege being invited to speak at such a prestigious and high profile event, and to be among such interesting and distinguished company

The theme of the event was “Auditing for Effectiveness” and I guess that I was invited because I have been quite vocal on the subject over the past year or so. I still find it hugely flattering whenever I realise that someone is listening

Auditing for Effectiveness: The CPD Workshop

Anyway, prior to the event I ran a 2 day CPD workshop for a number of individuals who wanted to explore the concepts in more depth. I had put together a 2 day program earlier in the year, and I must pass on my gratitude to the people of Gloucestershire College for allowing my to test out the new materials on them in May. The feedback I received from that trial run was extremely valuable and helped me refine elements of the workshop to the extent that it received excellent feedback

The workshop explored ways in which the EFQM RADAR assessment mechanism could be incorporated into more general QMS audits to add depth and rigour to the process. Here’s a group shot of the workshop delegates


The 9th Annual Conference

The annual conference was something of a daunting affair. It was held in the very grand surroundings of the Pacifico Yokohama Conference Centre, with over 300 delegates attending. I had a one hour slot mid-afternoon, the other speakers included:

  • Simon Feary, Director of the IRCA and Chief Executive of the CQI
  • Masakuzu Ikoma, JAB (Japan Accreditation Bureau)
  • Noriyuki Hishino, Technical Advisor of LRQA in Japan
  • Ashihiko Aoki, Cannon
  • Paul Palmes, Business Standards Architects Inc
  • Ian Nield, Investors in Excellence Ltd

All in all the delegates all received good value for money, and it appeared that the general consensus was that third party certification could not carry on drifting in its current direction, and decisive action to protect the integrity of the system was required. This would clearly involve improvements in both technique and governance


We love japan

Finally I need to thank everyone we met while we were in Japan. When I say “we” I mean me and Mrs Shaun, who tagged along for the experience. The people and the county are quite lovely, and we have never encountered such kindness in all our lives. Particular thanks go to the IRCA team in Japan, Masayo, Miho and Yuki, who looked after us so well.



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