Quality Management Lead Auditor Workshop – A WMO First
DHMZ, 11 August 2023 - The WMO Climate Service Branch conducted the first WMO Quality Management System Lead Auditor Workshop during the period 3-7 July 2023 that was hosted by the Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ) in Zagreb, Croatia. The training provided a practical hands-on approach using real-time climate services case studies and examples.
The WMO Strategic Plan 2020-2023 approved by the Eighteenth World Meteorological Congress (Cg-18), placed special emphasis on capacity development, that recognizes the pivotal role it has in improving the understanding of the specific needs of each developing country and supporting cooperation among Member countries. The Cg-18 requested the WMO Executive Council (EC), to develop related training initiatives to address gaps in Members’ ability to deliver climate services. Particularly, under Strategic Objective 1.2: Broaden the provision of policy- and decision-supporting climate information and services, WMO is required to train National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), to adopt a Quality Management approach to the delivery of weather, climate and water services.
The outcome from the Lead Auditor training provided the 13 participants with the skills and ability to conduct audits within the ISO 19011 Guidelines for auditing management systems and ISO 17021.1 Conformity Assessment-Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems against an ISO 9001 framework and their application within the climate services environment. The Lead Auditor training had a focus on leadership and management of an audit and included topics on how to manage an audit team; conduct opening and closing meetings, auditor protocols, preparing a checklist and other audit tools as well as conducting real-time audits based on a fictional NMHS.
The workshop consisted of face-to-face sessions over five days. The trainers provided real-time hands-on lessons and exercises through the dedicated Moodle site made available to the Climate Services (CS) Program by the Education and Training Programme (ETRP) of the WMO Secretariat.
Countries involved in the training were from Region VI and included: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Poland, the Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and the WMO Secretariat Senior Scientific Officer Mr Amir Delju. The successful completion of the course was based on individual performance and practical contribution during the course as well as an exam which required an 80% pass rate. The successful participants received an internationally recognised Statement of Attainment as qualified Lead Auditors.
Feedback from the participants on the workshop was extremely positive. In particular, the high quality of the workshop content, presentations, balance of theory and practical realistic exercises and the additional real-time examples and insights provided by the trainers who are Lead Auditors and professional quality management practitioners within the WMO community. Comments on future training needs for more practice with experienced auditors was required to strengthen and apply the skills and knowledge gained during the workshop.
The workshop was also a success due to the enormous amount of work and amazing hospitality provided by the DHMZ staff. Their contribution in ensuring the success of the workshop was outstanding. Mr Amir Delju (WMO Secretariat), strong support of the workshop and commitment to Strategic Objective 1.2, to adopt a quality management approach with an ISO 9001 quality management framework was clearly demonstrated by his active and hands-on involvement in the training along with the participants who contributed significantly to the success of this workshop.
The Australian training team respectfully integrated into the workshop a celebration of Australia’s First Nation peoples with the provision of an aboriginal designed lanyard and boomerang for each participant. The boomerang was used as a metaphor for auditing and the benefits that can be 'returned' to an organisation from the audit process.