Posted on May 24, 2015

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) has highlighted the international certification of several of its member organisations at a high-profile recognition ceremony attended by the organisation’s Group Executive Director Administration, Mr Fahad Saad Al Qahtani and Mr Jassim Telfat, the Group Executive Director – Capital Projects and Facilities Management.

Held at Education City, the event saw the Ambassador of France to Qatar, His Excellency Eric Chevallier, present an array of awards and sought-after workplace standards certificates granted to QF by Bureau Veritas, a global leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification. Amongst those honoured at the ceremony were representatives of QF member Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), QF’s Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Directorate and QF’s IT Directorate, with His Excellency noting that all have maintained “a culture of excellence,” whilst working to achieve QF’s mission to unlock human potential.

Mr Al Qahtani said: “At QF, we believe that certifying ourselves to international standards achieves certain strategic goals for us as an organisation, because it ensures our operations are efficient and that we are providing a high quality, safe and welfare-conscious environment. This, in turn, ensures we are fully utilising our potential as we look to establish a high-performing and collaborative culture here in Qatar. We are delighted to be joined at this ceremony by our friends from the French Embassy in Doha and to be recognising the consistently high standards that this organisation has displayed since its founding 20 years ago.”

Paying tribute to QF, H.E. Eric Chevallier said: “We all know that Qatar Foundation is setting examples and acting as a standard-bearer, both in this region and further afield. In recent years, QF has shown its commitment to corporate social responsibility, education, health, workers’ safety and the environment. These are all important issues for France and we recognise that QF is a key partner for leading the way in these endeavours.”

Recognition ceremony celebrates 2 [].jpgAlso in attendance were representatives from the highly respected French testing and certification company Bureau Veritas, who were responsible for establishing QF’s compliance to all five of the awarded certifications. Speaking at the event, Bureau Veritas’ Senior Vice President, Mr Marchel Hochar, said: “These coveted certifications truly reflect the high level of commitment and leadership from QF to benchmark best international practices in management systems. ROTA being the first organization in the State of Qatar to get certified to SA 8000, demonstrates the leadership role Qatar Foundation is undertaking towards basic human rights of workers.”

“We truly see Qatar Foundation as an esteemed strategic partner in promoting the culture of Excellence both in the State of Qatar and internationally. Qatar Foundation and Bureau Veritas, a world leader in Testing and Certification Services and with over 50 international accreditations and more than 5500 qualified auditors, are well placed to take this partnership forward and achieve many more challenging objectives in the journey towards management system excellence.” One of those to garner praise during the morning ceremony was ROTA, a QF member organisation that has achieved two international standards certificates over the past 12 months whilst continuing to provide quality education to those most in need locally and throughout Asia, in support of QF’s mission to affect positive international change.

In November 2014, ROTA became the first organisation in Qatar and the first NGO in the Middle East to earn the international SA8000:2008 certification. This sought-after standards certificate is awarded to organisations that can display policies and procedures that protect basic human rights in the workplace. Meanwhile, in October 2014, ROTA also achieved ISO9001:2008 certification, an esteemed quality management achievement that recognises the consistency and impact of the organisation’s programmes.

Expressing his gratitude, ROTA Executive Director, Mr Essa Al-Mannai, said: “It is with great pride that we receive these awards today in recognition of our hard work and efforts. ROTA is an organisation that strives to respect and protect human dignity and to raise the bar for standards in the workplace throughout the region. These certifications show that we are consistently meeting the ambitious targets that we set ourselves. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to each and every member of the ROTA family, whose contributions have made these honours possible.”

Also present at the ceremony was Mr Mohammed Al-Suwaidi, Qatar Foundation’s Executive Director of Operations, who collected a recognition certificate on behalf of QF’s IT Directorate. In March this year, QF was re-issued with the internationally acclaimed ISO 27001:2013 certification, widely seen as the gold-standard for managing information security risks and information handling processes. Delighted with this recognition, Mr Al Suwaidi said: “In just a few short years, Qatar Foundation’s IT Directorate has established itself as one of the most ambitious and fastest-improving information technology centres within the Gulf region. I am pleased that our efforts are being continually recognised and I am sure we will use this latest certificate to further motivate us as we look to deliver high-quality IT services to the entire QF workforce.”

In addition, QF’s HSSE Executive Director Sheikha Amal Al-Thani, also received an honorary certificate in recognition of the two international compliance certifications that her Directorate has been re-awarded over the last 12 months. Both the ISO 14001:2004 and the OHSAS 18001:2007 certificates follow vigorous audits over the past three years that confirm QF’s consistent commitment to health, safety and environmental standards in its offices.

Commenting on these achievements, Sheikha Amal Al-Thani said: “At Qatar Foundation, we are paving the way at a regional level for consistently high health, safety and environmental standards within the workplace. It is an honour to have our efforts highlighted at an occasion such as this, and I am grateful to His Excellency for his kind words of recognition. I would like to share this achievement with all those who have assisted QF as we look to reduce workplace accidents, illnesses, and our environmental impact, whilst enhancing the welfare of all of our valued staff.”