Quality management training to boost shipping in the Pacific

​Shipping remains the main, and sometimes only, mode of transport for much of the Pacific Island region, contributing to up to 90 per cent of trade and connecting remote islands.

It is therefore important that the region looks to continually refine shipping procedures, to improve services and keep pace with the fast growing, highly competitive business environment in order to provide effective and quality services to different end users.  

This week, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is holding a Quality Management System Training with a number of shipping stakeholders from across the Pacific, including Maritime Administrations, Ports Authorities and Maritime Training Institutions.     

Led by SPC’s Economic Development Division, the training is providing an overview of quality management systems and offering practical advice on how to implement and maintain a quality management system.   

Participating countries include Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

“Although there’s still a long way to go, we are heading in the right direction in terms of continual improvements to shipping procedures and standards,” SPC’s Deputy Director of Transport, Thierry Nervale, said.

“It’s very important that we work together ensure that Pacific Island governments not only meet their obligations under various international conventions that call for a quality standard, but also to improve the competitive positions of these organisations,” Nervale said.

After the training ends on Friday (31 July), the participants are expected to understand the key practices required to maintain a quality management system and relate these into their own organisations and activities, as well as confidently plan and facilitate a quality management implementation programme. 

SPC will provide follow-up and guidance on these quality management systems, and work with participating countries to come up with solutions to possible hurdles that may be faced during implementation.

SPC is the principal scientific and technical agency supporting development in the Pacific Island region. This training is in line with the work of its Economic Development Division which involves strengthening transport, human resource capacity and facilitating leadership, governance and coordination of transport partnerships.