Quality

Purpose

This policy affirms Merit Solutions’ commitment to quality in the delivery of all of our services and products.

Scope

This policy is ongoing, subject to regular review, and applies to all workplaces. Every manager, employee and contractor has a responsibility to fulfil the requirements of this policy.

Policy Statement

Merit Solutions commits to the development, implementation and ongoing improvement of high quality systems and processes modelled on the Australian Business Excellence Framework, focused on the requirements of our clients.

LEADERSHIP

Drives commitment, collaboration and a determination to deliver outstanding outcomes for our clients

STRATEGY AND PLANNING

Our whole-of-business strategic plan is translated into a specific project plan for each major project undertaken. We continually monitor our business environment and develop new products or services in response to our clients’ needs.

INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE

Knowledge Management
Merit Solutions uses web-based technology to store and manage information and knowledge. We maintain a database of corporate documents and training manuals as well as client policies, procedures and templates which is accessed by any of our consultants via a secure website.
All documents which form part of our quality system are subject to regular review and version control, and are approved for issue by an appropriately qualified and authorised person. The latest version of controlled documents should be always be accessed from the secure website – printed versions of documents are considered uncontrolled. Superseded or obsolete documents are removed from use.

Information Sharing and Continuous Reflection
Regular team meetings involve the review of both process and outcomes in a collaborative learning environment. Knowledge is consciously shared through face to face discussion, team presentations and electronically.

Records Management
A job file is created for each client assignment, and is registered on a central database.
Training records are retained for courses which are open to the general public – the retention of records for in-house training courses is the responsibility of the client.
Information gathered during assignments is identified and managed in accordance with client and legislative requirements.

Confidentiality
All client information is treated as confidential property and is accessed for the intended purpose only, will be securely stored for the duration of the assignment, and destroyed after an agreed time period in a manner which ensures confidentiality is retained. All consultants are required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement.

PEOPLE

For Merit Solutions, our people are literally the most critical elements of our performance management and quality management systems.

Attraction and Selection
We select only the most outstanding individuals to join our team and our standard Checklist for Consultant Hire ensures that each consultant meets our minimum requirements. In addition, each and every consultant has demonstrated outstanding achievement in their field and is supported to deliver excellent services to our clients. New team members receive personal coaching from the Managing Director or another highly qualified team member during the period of their induction and whenever they take on new challenges. Our flexible resourcing structure means that additional people and capabilities can be sourced if required to meet project milestones. Consultants maintain their knowledge through participation in professional activities, sharing best practice within our team and involvement in other professional bodies.

Retention of a highly qualified team
Merit Solutions is proud of our very low consultant turnover rates. Most new consultants have joined us due to growth and more than 25% of our existing consultants have been with us for approximately 10 years. Our flexible resourcing model ensures that we have adequate resources available and can draw on additional support when required to meet unexpected demands or do deal with risks arising from unexpected events or the reschedule of selection assignments.

Learning and Development
By ensuring the recruitment of only experienced, motivated and professional staff, we minimise any quality issues. The work of any new consultants is carefully monitored and reviewed to ensure that the highest quality standards are met. In addition, our administration team carefully monitor feedback from clients and ensure speedy follow-up by a Director of the company on the very rare occasions that there are any concerns about performance or quality. Our high standards of quality are best demonstrated by the fact that our work mostly comes from client referrals and that our business has grown consistently since our beginnings in 1996.
Regular consultant meetings are a forum for sharing best practice, encouraging innovation and for peer review.

Health Safety and Well-being
Merit Solutions has a Health and Safety Policy which also focuses on well-being. We support highly flexible work practices which in turn ensure a positive and engaged workforce.

CUSTOMER AND MARKET FOCUS

Underpins every assignment and the behaviour of each consultant. We put out client’s interests first.

Contracting
The initial contracting process is an important element of our quality system and our administration team ensure documentation through a formal contract (if required by the agency) or through a confirmation letter issued by our Office. This ensures clarity for our clients about fees, delivery requirements or billing arrangements. Our Office Manager ensures effective operational management in accepting and confirming bookings, registering the job in our database and then concluding the assignment with prompt invoicing.

Identifying Appropriate Personnel:
Merit Solutions Booking Policy establishes ongoing consultant/client relationships as a priority and ensures client requests for a particular consultant are given priority. If a particular consultant is not requested we match consultants with clients they have worked with before, or to clients where they may have specific subject matter expertise.

Client Communication
In addition to the formal communication processes at the commencement and conclusion of an assignment, consultants are in regular communication with clients during the course of their work, particularly as most assignments are of short term duration. For lengthy assignments we agree milestones for reporting and delivery.

Account Management
The Managing Director undertakes Account Management responsibilities including regular contact with key people, proactively seeking client and consultant feedback, structured meeting and review processes to ensure client satisfaction and the continued improvement in service standards.

Measurement, Management and Improvement in Customer Satisfaction
Results are delivered for clients and our business with the rewards coming from client loyalty and repeat business.

PROCESS MANAGEMENT, IMPROVEMENT AND INNOVATION

This policy covers our innovation processes, supplier and partner processes and the management and improvement of other processes. Further processes are in place for delivery management and risk management.

Purchasing
Goods, materials and services such as room hire and catering are purchased through the MYOB system, ensuring requirements are clearly specified and expenditure approved by an authorised person.
The purchase of consultancy services is via a contracting arrangement with individual providers.
Suppliers and consultants are selected on the basis of:

  • Quality assurance system
  • Past performance track record
  • Value for money considerations
  • Availability of required product or service

A register of approved suppliers and consultants is maintained.

Management of Delivery
Projects are delivered on time and within budget through careful planning. We have sufficient capacity with a large and skilled consulting team so that work can be re-allocated or additional resources assigned where required to ensure that project outcomes are delivered on time.

Complaints, Non-Conformance, Corrective and Preventive Action
Any negative feedback which may be received is treated seriously and managed in accordance with our Customer Service Standards Policy – Complaints Processing.
Goods and Services purchased which do not conform with the specific requirements will be investigated and if appropriate the supplier or service provider removed from the register of approved suppliers and consultants.
The quality of our services is monitored through an internal audit program and corrective / preventive action taken promptly to address any issues raised.

Risk Management
Risk assessment is undertaken for major projects and consulting assignments. For the business as a whole, we manage risk through:

  • systems that ensure the availability of back-up for individual consultants;
  • project management of large assignments with the flexibility to draw in additional resources if required to meet client performance standards and timeframes;
  • creating a supportive and client focused culture, ensuring that consultants place the needs of the clients first and seek assistance if needed; and
  • sharing information and resources.

Continuous Reflection and Improvement
Regular team meetings involve the review of both process and outcomes in a collaborative learning environment. Knowledge is consciously shared through face to face discussion, team presentations and electronically, and process improvements adopted into our quality management system..