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Towards a global cyber institute – Part 1.
By Allan J. Sayle, President Allan Sayle Associates

What service must a professional institute provide?
What are professional bodies for?
A cyber institute is at hand – if you want one

Professional institutes are primarily about two things: knowledge and recognized achievement. The two are closely related. The internet is unsurpassable in disseminating and storing the first making access to it readily available. Recognized achievement is about an agreed set of accomplishments certified by ones peers. As mentioned, that can all be done using the internet for submissions and approvals. A hard copy certificate can easily be sent by conventional post if desired. But, the internet can be used to create a database of “certified” individuals, just as lead auditor qualifications can now be found on the web. Training courses can be run using cyber space, as does the University of Phoenix and others. Approved providers working on an outsourced basis can deliver conventional training. A periodic magazine can be rapidly and cheaply distributed by email or made available through a secure password.

The notion that government is interested in the views of members and would only wish for face-to-face meetings by HQ staff is, of course, nonsense. The supposed advocacy role is a legacy of bygone days. All government needs to do is to post a question, perhaps include a multi-choice poll in order to obtain rapid feedback of the profession’s views. And, in this global age, the idea that a nation needs its own quality body is somewhat ridiculous because knowledge is international and mobile as is trade, the real user and paymaster of the quality profession’s efforts. It seems a curious inconsistency that individual institutions advocate a national quality body but an international standard for quality. Moreover, take away the revenues created by the industry attending that international standard and those national bodies would be financially crippled. The international reality is central to their survival but their HQs take a nationalistic view while their members work in an international arena. It is all rather bizarre. (The only major difference is one of language but, in the global environment, English is the business lingua franca and in virtually all nations not having it as a mother tongue, it is generally the chosen second language of their citizens.)

One’s profession comes first

Of course, one can expect various national bodies to try to protect their “turf”. One must especially expect their HQ staff to try to protect their jobs. All kinds of sophistry might be deployed. One can imagine elements of one’s own national body using pejorative expressions behind the scenes. But, one’s loyalty and efforts are first and foremost to furthering the effectiveness and BOK of one’s profession. It will always be put first. After all, is that not what the BAMs claim in their articles of association, “to further the standing, reputation of the quality profession” and similar sentiments? Yes, indeed. Advocating a cyber-based institute is entirely consistent with that. One must constantly tear down the barriers to the advancement of the profession. Cyberspace facilitates that as no other tool has done before.

A cyber institute reflects the changing world of organizations. The days of command and control are gone. It is impossible to push an official institute line any more. We live in an age of consensus where meritocracy increasingly reigns supreme. (Of course, there remain pockets of nepotism, favoritism, patronage and inheritance that determine one’s position in some firm and nations). Reading the posts on the Cove and Saferpak soon reveals who are the respected contributors. One soon sees the spectrum of knowledge and ability. One finds a cornucopia of information for an encyclopedia of topics. Searchable, available, current and greater than that available from the BAMs. It is all rather energizing.

As we live in a global economy, as communications create a global village and as business maintains global supply chains we need a global profession. And that profession needs a global institute. Only a cyber based institute can effectively serve the needs of professionals and practitioners in “quality”.

Next: A cyber institute is at hand – if you want one




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