GIS - July 03, 2012: The Plaisance-based Maritime Air Squadron of the National Coast Guard (NCG) received last week the ISO 9001:2008 accreditation certificate from the Mauritius Standards Bureau. The NGC embarked since March 2012 on an accreditation project in accordance with International Quality Management requirements set by the International Organisation of Standardisation.
According to Commandant Devanshu Rustogi, this accreditation represents a marked event for the NCG, being one of the very few Coast Guards in the African region to be ISO certified. He pointed out that the setting up of quality management was very fruitful for the NCG. “The accreditation according to ISO 9001:2008 norms contributed to innovation improvement, creativity, responsibility, and motivation of personnel,” he said.
The implementation of the Quality Management System (QMS) has been very beneficial to the NCG, bringing in its wake enhanced innovation, creativity, commitment, accountability, motivation, and staff involvement. It has created a strong foundation and launching pad for the NCG from where further enhancement in output, customer satisfaction, resource management, judicious use of assets, effectiveness of surveillance, record keeping, documentation, infrastructural reforms and modernisation of assets could be initiated in near future.
As a pilot project, four independent units of NCG, the Maritime Air Squadron at Plaisance, the Maritime Training Establishment at Le Chaland, the Harbour Security Unit at Port Louis and the Albion NCG post, were selected for implementation of QMS. To date, the Maritime Air Aquadron has been certified and the remaining three units are awaiting stage II audit by MSB.
In the course of the execution of this project, eight NCG Officers were trained in the accreditation process and followed audit control courses at MSB in Feb 2012. Costs related to training and certification were borne by the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms.
Evaluation prior to accreditation
During the first phase, the four units carried out brainstorming sessions with regard to procedures, criteria and methods needed to implement effectiveness. Documentation such as Quality Manuals, Quality Policy and Quality Objectives was prepared and special emphasis was laid on customer satisfaction. The needs of customers, improvement of interaction with customers as well as sensitisation programme for customers were identified, set up and upgraded.
This first step was completed in early April 2012. An internal meeting was chaired by the Commandant of the NCG to review the audit results, performance and conformity to processes, state of corrective and preventive actions, changes and recommendations to improve the service. External audit by the MSB started in May 12 and 1st stage audit of the four NCG units were completed in mid May 12. A panel of auditors from the MSB carried out on 6 and 7 June the 2nd level audit for the Maritime Air Squadron.
The NCG is the only organisation of Government which is responsible for providing maritime safety and security in the Maritime Zones of Mauritius. It was set up under the National Coast Guard Act 1988. NCG is headed by the Commandant who is responsible, subject to the directions of the Commissioner of Police, for the day to day operations.
As per the Act, the NCG is responsible for enforcement of any law relating to security of the State of Mauritius, protection of the maritime zones and detection, prevention and suppression of any illegal activity within our Exclusive Economic Zone. Presently, the assets of NCG comprise five ships, three aircraft, 19 medium crafts and 38 small crafts/ boats. With a 900-strong personnel including 38 fully trained Commandoes, the NCG has 24 posts and 8 Coastal Surveillance Radar System stations throughout mainland Mauritius and the outer islands.