Investigating the factors affecting the development of a sustainable national accreditation body for engineering and technology laboratories in North Africa

Elsmuai, T., 2015. Investigating the factors affecting the development of a sustainable national accreditation body for engineering and technology laboratories in North Africa. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Quality Assurance has become one of the prime factors for consideration by a customer whether a person or organisation in order to achieve highly competitive industrial activity. Within the developing countries there is limited awareness among the public regarding the role and purpose of accreditation. This constitutes a major constraint and it is one of several constraints for accreditation, specifically, in the Arab region. The primary objective of a National Accreditation Body is to enable organisations to attain continuous performance improvement, maintain consistency, promote quality awareness and achieve the desired level of business excellence. However, a major issue arises as to the application of the NABs in different cultural and operational backgrounds, and how to take account of additional complexities of social systems. Therefore accreditation in the developing countries need to establish a new strategy on accreditation to be able to demonstrate the capability to compete internationally taking account of the difficulties, barriers, confidence and international acceptance. The research was carried out in three phases. Phase one established a conceptual framework based on a literature review and a quantitative and qualitative study. It described seven important themes containing 94 variables as critical to a sustainable accreditation scheme. Phase two provided empirical studies of the Quality Assurance approaches adopted in a case study in Tunisia. The field research surveyed the selected samples from the Tunisian Accreditation Council (TUNAC) and Central Laboratories for Testing and Analyses’(LCAE) population using a questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed to examine satisfaction and motivation, as well as gauging the effectiveness of the TUNAC as determined by an analysis of the improvements that could be directly associated with its implementation of a sustainable accreditation scheme.
The questionnaires achieved over 84% response rate and the resulting data set was comprehensive and the analysis robust. An additional element of the research compared the results of the questionnaire results with the perceptions of the TUNAC management. In-depth analyses of the case study plus interviews with decision makers (TUNAC management) provided a context and guidance in the development of a sustainable accreditation framework. Then in Phase three the external PESTILE factors of North Africa were analysed and linked to the internal factors to construct and propose a sustainable accreditation framework. The analysis of the proposed framework has led to the development of a draft questionnaire to be used by prospective accreditation bodies as a measuring tool against its current accreditation process.
The main contributions of this research are the development of a sustainable accreditation framework, which was developed and cross validated and development of a PESTILE framework which has never been used before in developing sustainable frameworks. Moreover the findings of this study enrich the debate on accreditation and Quality Assurance in literature.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Elsmuai, T.
Date: April 2015
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 03 Jun 2016 13:59
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2016 13:59

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