Standards success in Viet Nam with ISO 9001

Study shows that ISO’s quality management system (QMS) is an effective support tool promoting administrative reform in state administrative agencies.

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Barnaby  Lewis
By Barnaby Lewis
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ISO 9001
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It’s been almost 15 years since Viet Nam took the bold step of implementing ISO 9001, one of the world’s most popular standards, across its state-administered agencies and organizations.

Intended to bring benefits and efficiencies across public services, a recent evaluation has confirmed the value of the ISO QMS in state management activities serving organizations and individuals.

The ISO member for Viet Nam, STAMEQ, found that ISO standards have supported the country’s development goals.

The application of the quality management system has had practical effects in line with the trend of building a modern administration in the direction of openness and transparency to meet the needs of Vietnam’s economic integration, effectively support the Government’s administrative reform program.

In 2021, ISO 9001:2015 was reviewed and confirmed by the group of experts responsible for maintaining it as the world’s leading QMS. In Viet Nam, its use (as TCVN ISO 9001) has been shown to help local governments maintain a high level of service at the same time as improving sustainability.

As part of their evaluation, STAMEQ believes that ISO 9001 provides models and diagnostic tools to implement a comprehensive quality management system that will contribute to making local government efficient and reliable.

Some of the key outcomes and benefits observed over the last five years include a system of agencies and organizations under the state administrative system with the aim of building, applying, maintaining and improving the QMS across almost all ministries and regions (91 % ministries and 98.4 % regions).

In addition to implementing a system of legal documents, guiding documents for the implementation of both professional, state management and financial regimes, a methodical approach has been applied that has simplified and shortened procedures and processing times across all types of organizations.

The use of ISO’s QMS is seen as a major contribution towards improved public service, providing a harmonized, “one-stop-shop” approach to government regulations, that recognizes transparency and simplicity as important elements in building trust and satisfaction in public services.

In addition to creating favourable conditions for the digitization and management of official records, ISO 9001 has proven to be an effective support tool for administrative reform of state agencies. These are important steps as Viet Nam begins building an e-government system and further digitizing state administrative processes and procedures.

The use of ISO 9001 has been effective across the board, with particular benefits observed in areas that are considered sensitive from a societal perspective such as attributing land use rights, issuing construction permits and business registration certificates, and registering and certifying births.

The study observed that across ministries, sectors and regions, interest in applying ISO 9001 has increased year-on-year across the last five years. At the same time, inspection activities and reporting have been confirmed as important supporting factors in achieving good scores in peer assessment ratings (PAR), an index for administrative reform geared toward continuous improvement of administrative services in Viet Nam.

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