Managing Service Quality

This accredited, professional course is the second module of our 2-module Fast Track Management course for PIC’s. It provides current and prospective supervisors and managers with the knowledge and tools required to manage service quality in a human services and non-profit organisation.

The six-week course takes contemporary best practices in service quality and analyses them in terms of their practical usefulness to managing in the human services and non-profit sector.


Who Is This Course For?

The course is for current/prospective first line supervisors and managers who are looking to develop their management skills in an accredited programme created specifically for the human services and non-profit sector.

At a Glance

  • Audience First line supervisors/managers in the human services & nonprofit sector
  • FormatBlended
  • AwardCertificate in Managing Service Quality (6N14518)
  • Award Type QQI HET
  • Level on NFQ 6 (10 Credits)
  • Duration6 weeks
  • Fees€395
  • Apply byJuly 1st, 2019
  • Start DateJuly 15th, 2019
  • Workshop DateJuly 22nd, 2019
  • Assignment DueAugust 18th, 2019

Continue to Application Centre 

Managing Service Quality graduate
Managing Service Quality graduate
Managing Service Quality graduate

Course Details

Learning Objectives

After successfully completing the course you should be able to:

  • Define and discuss the concept of quality in human services and non-profit organisations and explain why customer expectations are so important
  • Describe how approaches to quality have evolved and identify the difference between a quality service and a quality system
  • Discuss the work of two key theorists of quality management – W. Edwards Deming and Philip B. Crosby
  • Understand the role of effective leadership and good people management skills in quality management
  • Identify the main elements of Total Quality Management (TQM)
  • Explain the concept of “kaizen”, a Japanese term referring to continuous improvement
  • Discuss the factors determining quality systems in human services and non-profit organisations
  • Identify and critically discuss a variety of quality models and frameworks that can be used productively by human services and non-profit organisations

Managing Service Quality


Unit 1: Selecting a Quality System

  • Defining Quality of Service
  • Meeting Expectations
  • Lack of Resources
  • The Development of the Quality Concept
  • Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Total Quality Management
  • Differences between Quality Service & Quality Systems
  • Tools & Approaches – Quality Circles & Customer Surveys
  • Measuring Service – Inputs, Outputs, Processes & Outcomes
  • What to Measure
  • Quality of Life Measurement
  • Defining Quality of Life
  • Are Outcome Measures Adequate
  • Quality System Components
  • Quality Enhancement System

Unit 2: Total Quality Management (TQM)

  • Placing TQM in Context
  • Deming’s 14 Points of Management
  • Crosby’s 14 Steps to Improvement
  • Placing TQM in Context
  • Deming’s 14 Points of Management
  • Crosby’s 14 Steps to Improvement

TQM – Applications:

  • Leadership
  • Mission
  • Policy & Strategy
  • People Management
  • Satisfaction: Consumers & Staff

Unit 3: Quality for Non Profit & Human Services Organisations

  • Why Have a Quality System?
  • Accountability
  • Funding
  • Feedback
  • Why ‘Good’ isn’t ‘Good Enough’ Anymore
  • Quality: Six Guiding Principles
  • Quality: Nine Golden Quality Principles
  • John O’Brien: 5 Valued Experiences
  • Quality: A Conceptual Framework
  • Factors, Domains & Indicators
  • Quality of Life: Conceptualisation Principles
  • Quality of Life: Application Principles
  • The Council on Quality & Leadership (CQL)
  • Personal Outcome Measures (POMs)
  • The EFQM Excellence Model
  • EFQM: Criteria for Assessment


To complete the course you will need to write a 2,000-word paper that explores the relationship between the course materials and your current role as a manager. Very much a practical assignment, it will provide you with the opportunity to evaluate and expand your working practices in an environment where you have access to expert advice and the support of professional contemporaries. Having access to this learning community provides an opportunity to extend your management abilities in a uniquely supportive environment.

Taking the Course

The course uses a ‘blended’ approach which combines online learning, virtual tutorials and face-to face workshops.

Managing Service Quality
Our online learning materials are explicitly designed to accommodate the pressures that come with trying to balance work, life and learning. They make it possible to build study time around your work schedule. These are accessible through our learning centre which provides a platform for you to study, collaborate and communicate with your fellow learners. Regular online tutorials will expand your knowledge of the topic and answer any questions you have as you study.

Each workshop focuses on extending your understanding of the subject matter and helping you apply it in your working practice. The one-day session will be led by a subject matter expert who also has extensive experience in providing coaching/training to people working in the human services and non-profit sector.

Discussion, collaboration and the sharing of experiences are actively encouraged in order for the workshop to achieve one of its primary goals:

  • Facilitating the application of knowledge and skills acquired during the course to address real world challenges in a practical and effective manner.

Underpinning all of this is our learning community. This is made up of tutors who have extensive first-line experience, learning support staff who understand the human challenges people can face when attending college and our learners who are defined by their commitment to supporting each other.

We believe this creates a learning experience that is unique to the Open Training College, one that meets the specific requirements of people working in our sector and improves the quality of service our users receive. This is know as the Supported Open Learning Model. You can read more about it here.

The Learning Experience

The Tutor’s View – Brendan Collins

Sources now emphasise that ‘good’ is no longer ‘good enough’ and that customers expectations must not only be met but must be exceeded. This course will help you critically evaluate the need for good quality systems in order to offer services that relate to and best support people availing of services.”

The Student View – Edel McCabe, Social Care Worker, Sisters of Charity

I found this course to be really relevant to my role and the services on offer from our organisation. We treat quality as uppermost in the delivery and evaluation of our services and I look forward to implementing some key points learned during the course.


The course is certified by QQI as a HET Minor Award at Level 6. Successful participants will be awarded a Certificate In Managing Service Quality. Successful participants will hold 10 credits towards the Certificate in Applied Management (Nonprofit/Human services).

Next Steps

 Dates & Duration

The next course commences online on Monday, July 15th, 2019:

  • Application deadline: Monday, July 1st, 2019
    Online Preparation Module: Monday, July 8th, 2019
    MSQ Module Commencement: Monday, July 15th, 2019 (online)
    MSQ workshop Date: Monday, July 22nd, 2019 in Dublin
    MSQ Assignment Submission: Sunday, August 18th, 2019


The course costs €395 to attend.

How Do I Apply?

Apply by visiting our Online Application Centre. To apply for the course, you will need to:

  • Satisfy the entry requirements for the programme
  • Provide a range of documents to support your application
  • Submit a personal statement explaining why you want to apply

How Can We Help?

Contact us if you want to know more about the course.

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Call: (+353 1) 298 8544
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