From 11-12 December 2018, entrusted by the Credit Bank of the Open University of China (OUC), National Standard Integration (Beijing) Certification Co., Ltd. (NSC) conducted an on-site review of Beijing Bohaidi Information Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred as Tech-Lab) of its certification for educational training service.

Tech-Lab is the first educational training institution to get service certification, to apply to join the Learning Outcomes Mutual Recognition Alliance, and to become the OUC Credit Bank’s training partner in line with the Educational Services Standard Certification of Training institutions. After two days of on-site examination, Tech-Lab successfully met the standards and received a certificate for education services from the OUC Credit Bank.

Introducing third-party certification is an important step in the construction of the OUC quality assurance system. The OUC Credit Bank has compiled the Educational Services Standard Certification of Training Institutions and had it documented in the National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) in China in collaboration with the Center for Quality Control and Evaluation and NSC (Beijing). Educational training institutions have to meet the standards as one of the requirements for them to join in the Learning Outcomes Mutual Recognition Alliance and the Credit Bank. The introduction of educational service certification implemented by a third party aims to improve the work quality and service level of training institutions. The results of educational service certification are important evidence of quality for training institutions to apply for the institutional approval of the Credit Bank.

The NSC (Beijing) and Tech-Lab pay great attention to this work. The NSC (Beijing) is a third-party certification institution with independent corporate capacity. It is registered and approved by the CNAS and recognised by the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA). The NSC (Beijing) review panel prepared in full prior to the review and discussed educational services standard certification for training institutions, dismissed the different understanding of the standards, unified the yardstick for service evaluation, and proposed the focus of the review process and the depth of the review of key links. Tech-Lab also cooperated positively with the review and the responsible personnel from each business function department got thoroughly involved in all the work, including standards training, filing documents, and on-site review. During the on-site review, the review panel gathered data and service features from the process of education and teaching related to the standards by communicating with relevant personnel from the departments of teaching affairs, academic affairs, and quality control. They looked up relevant documents and materials, collected information and data from the information system, and attended live training courses. They reviewed all of Tech-Lab jobs in line with the objective evidence collected in contrast with the 33 requirements of the standards and the results of experiencing the education services. They pointed out the advantages and disadvantages of the company and proposed improvements from six aspects. In the end, Tech-Lab succeeded in passing the on-site review and received proof of certification.

Tech-Lab was founded in December 2007. It is committed to ICT talent cultivation for cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, data network security, and internet of things. It has established strategic cooperation with renowned enterprises such as Huawei and Redhat, and has trained more than ICT 100,000 professionals. The Tech-Lab staff who received the service certification review for the first time felt that they had gained a lot, that it was of great help to their practical work, and that introspection can be made in the course of the company's rapid development process. The review also revealed a number of management problems that had been neglected due to the fine development momentum in the company. The service certification process will thus help with the sustainable development of the company.

NSC (Beijing) believes that the cooperation with the OUC Credit Bank is a new way to popularise educational service certification and issue applicable standards in cooperation with the institution. Trainings are given to popularise the standards inside the industry in order to implement service certification. This practice has bridged the gap between the promulgation and utilisation of standards, settled the issue of popularising standards through certification, and created a new model for the market popularisation of service certification.

The OUC Credit Bank will build on the first third-party pilot, establish and improve further work mechanisms, steadily expand the scope of the pilot, and absorb more quality training institutions into the construction of the credit bank.

By Li Lingqun, OUC