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Trade, Investment, and Competitiveness
Quality Management, ISO, and HACCP Promotion

In 2002, Pragma established a Quality Management Center (QMC) NGO in Kazakhstan to support small and medium enterprises in implementing quality systems that improve their competitiveness and promote sustainability. Quality systems development is key to success of small and medium enterprises (SME). QMC seeks to assist SMEs in implementing quality management standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) through education, training, and consulting. Primary funding for the Center came from USAID, with additional assistance from multinational companies and nominal fees charged for services.

QMC seeks to assist SMEs in implementing the ISO family of quality management standards: MAS-Q, HACCP, sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) and other standards QMC is on its way to becoming a self-sustainable entity and will be a long-lasting legacy organization of the USAID Enterprise Development Project implemented by Pragma. The Center successfully passed a certification audit by an internationally recognized certification body—Orion Registrar, Inc. (USA)—and was awarded a certificate to show its compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001:2000 standards.

In addition to QMC itself, 27 QMC clients have achieved ISO 9001:2000 Certification to date. QMC has achieved many measures of sustainability. Over the past four years, the QMC provided ISO 9001:2000 training and consulting services to 83 companies and organizations in Kazakhstan During year four of the project there were 22 clients certified compliant with ISO 9001:2000 requirements, 11 clients had achieved the pre-certification stage while 298 people attended QMC training programs.

Pragma efforts with QMC significantly exceeded USAID goals. USAID had set a goal of 20 clients achieving certification and 60 clients being brought to the point of pre-certification by August, 2006. By August 2006, Pragma and QMC were able to certify 40 clients (including the QMC itself) in full accordance with the international Quality Management Standard ISO-9001:2000, 55 clients were brought up to the point of pre-certification audit and 1410 people attended QMC training programs.

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