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Productivity specialists are certified by Certification Bodies (CBs), which in turn are certified by the APO Accreditation Program. CBs require qualified assessors who can carry out candidate assessments. The National Productivity Organization, Pakistan implemented a training course for Assessors of the Productivity Specialists Certification Program from 4–8 September 2023 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Twenty-two individuals from nine APO members attended. The four resource persons were from Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Singapore. The training was based on APO-PS 101:2019 with the intent of providing the skills, knowledge, and ability necessary for assessors to maintain the highest standards.
This training was important for achieving the first goal of APO Vision 2025, which is sustained productivity growth. One challenge faced by many NPOs is the lack of productivity professionals who can promote practices for better productivity at the organizational and national levels. By developing APO CBs, NPOs can address this deficiency and certify productivity specialists. Developing competent assessors is important for ensuring that productivity specialists in APO members adhere to APO standards. The NPOs of India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Vietnam have accredited CBs while I.R. Iran, Sri Lanka, and Turkiye are in the development stage.
Director General Ismat Gul Khattak, Pakistan National Accreditation Council, was invited in the opening session. She highlighted the importance of assessors in certification of qualified specialists. Senior Vice President Faad Waheed, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke during the closing session. The course was well received by participants, who were interested in becoming associated with APO-accredited CBs. The course covered certification levels, prerequisites and competency requirements for productivity specialists, roles and responsibilities of assessors, assessment methods, the certification and recertification process, the Assessors’ code of conduct, and case studies. It included group activities, presentations, and a test. Ultimately, it fulfilled its purpose of expanding the pool of qualified assessors familiar with the APO-PS 101 standard. Assessor development needs to continue, since more CBs are expected to begin operating in the future.