Since the United Nations announced World Quality Day in 1990, the world has been observing this day every year on the second Thursday of November. It is a day dedicated to celebrating quality and enhancing awareness of its significance worldwide by spreading and promoting the concepts of quality and mastery in the workplace. Quality should be maintained among staff members, partners, suppliers, beneficiaries, customers, and the like within an organization, and must be promoted within the community in which these people work as part of their societal responsibility. Quality implications for business outcomes also need to be clarified.
The teachings of our Islamic religion urge us to excel at what we do and to produce the best quality work possible. We were raised from a very young age in accordance with the tolerant Shari’ah principles, at the heart of which stands the Prophet’s Hadith: “Indeed Allah loves that if any one of you were to do anything, he would strive to do it in the best possible manner”. In light of this, quality should be established as a culture in line with the teachings of Islam and the directives of the country’s wise leadership, which has been introducing one initiative after another to ensure the highest levels possible of quality as a priority and a key objective.
In fact, quality is not an extra task that we have to perform on top of our daily routine. Rather, it is how we should do our job, and must therefore be made a way of life and a way of business. Our social and personal lives and our work life should not be considered in isolation. The real challenge quite simply lies in how we integrate the attitude of quality into our daily routine. Most studies agree that quality typically involves productivity, profitability, compliance with the standards, and customer satisfaction, which is the most challenging to achieve.
Establishing a culture of quality is the first step towards implementing a comprehensive quality management system. The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) is currently turning its full attention to developing strategies aimed at ensuring the delivery of high quality services that meet the needs of stakeholders and exceed their expectations. Our standard should be to achieve ‘zero defects’ quality performance. It is far from sufficient to rely solely on the SCA’s compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001 for quality management systems since this standard demonstrates the minimum—rather than the maximum—requirements that should be met to have a successful management system. Conformity with this standard does not mean that the SCA has maintained the highest levels of quality, but that it merely met the minimum requirements. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of all SCA staff to take sufficient measures to ensure the continued improvement of the effectiveness of operations and the level of services provided as well as to handle customer complaints with the highest levels of professionalism and integrity to prevent their future recurrence and to draw lessons to inform the efforts aimed at improving our operations and services. On the other hand, the responsibility of quality planning, control, assurance, and continuous improvement should be borne by the strategy team while that of enhancing awareness and fostering a culture of quality should be borne by the media team. These are but a few general examples of the responsibilities that need to be shouldered by the departments and the efforts that must be put into enhancing the quality of services delivered.
Finally, I would like to point out that World Quality Day is undoubtedly an opportunity to review the SCA’s achievements and the challenges it encountered in the past to improve the quality of services offered to customers, which will help build on these achievements and put them into a meaningful strategic perspective to regulate operations in line with the best global standards. If the SCA received an unsatisfactory rating in one respect, it would immediately strive to address shortcomings, bridge gaps, and meet the required quality standards. I wish to stress the importance of working hard and having group spirit to head toward a future full of achievements and successes that are brought about by virtue of our hard work and combined efforts and the use of sound quality tools, most notably literacy, innovation, competency, potential, and compliance.