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SQMC celebrates 25 years of growth

SQMC celebrates 25 years of growth as it celebrates its diamond jubilee next month and its best ever financial year in 2013.

It is a silver jubilee next month (May) for Scottish-based quality trainers and consultants, who continue to go from strength to strength with longstanding clients such as Fife Council, Diageo, Caterpillar, FMC Technologies, Babcock, and Raytheon Systems.

The Scottish Quality Management Centre (SQMC), based at Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline, has evolved from a think-tank of the University of Stirling to become one of Europe’s leading providers of internationally-accredited Quality Management Systems qualifications.

It has continued to grow over the past 25 years, despite the economic downturn, and had its best ever financial year in 2013, doubling its turnover in the past five years – a testament to the excellence of the training and support it provides to its diverse client base of SMEs and large multinationals across the UK.

SQMC boasts a pass rate for its IRCA-accredited ISO 9001 Lead Auditor course of 94% in 2013, which is 20% higher than the worldwide average.

Since it was established in 1989, SQMC has been at the forefront of its niche sector, with an ongoing mission to focus on developing innovative management systems
In 1992, it was approved by the International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA), and ran Scotland’s first IRCA Lead Auditor Course.

Three years later, it was awarded ‘Centre of Excellence’ status by the Institute of Quality Assurance (now the Chartered Quality Institute or CQI) for creating Scotland’s first post-graduate degree in Quality Management at the University, designed by Director of Programmes, Ian Hannah (now SQMC’s Managing Director)*.

SQMC became an independent limited company in 1998 led by Ian, who has been instrumental in the growth of the company, with a career in quality spanning more than 40 years in Canada, the United States, Belgium and Ireland to name but a few.

Today, it employs 14 staff, including some of the UK’s most experience auditors and trainers, and has three offices in the UK with numerous satellite venues in towns and cities throughout Scotland and England. The firm opened a York office in 2011 in response to demand from across England for training courses and consultancy services. Two overseas offices were also opened in 2005 in Vancouver, Canada, where Ian began his career in Quality Assurance, and in 2012 in São Paulo, Brazil.

Speaking about SQMC in the field of quality management, Ian said: “Whilst we are a specialist in quality management and quality systems, we understand and can work with organisations in all sectors from oil and gas, to aerospace, financial, manufacturing, local authorities and service industries, to food and drink and SMEs, bringing all the breadth and depth of our experience to bear.”

As more organisations and individuals look towards re-skilling, enhancing current skills and continuing professional development, SQMC offers training with a distinctive bespoke approach that can meet any requirement. It can help those looking to enrich their CVs and unlock gateways to new business contracts through enhanced qualifications.

* Ian W. Hannah is the managing director of the Scottish Quality Management Centre in Dunfermline. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Vancouver College in British Columbia and is a senior member of ASQ.  He is also a Chartered Quality Professional (CQP) and Fellow CQI.