HI-Iceland Borgartún Office has been awarded the HI-Quality Office certification for following a quality management system in daily processes.
HI-Q, the Hostelling International Quality Management System, takes ‘best practices’ from quality systems around the world and tailors them to the specific needs of HI associations and hostels. The certification proves that all processes and their quality level within the organization are therefore documented, trained, constantly communicated within the team, checked, measured and if needed, improved.
The certification (Download the PDF file) stands for HI-Iceland’s dedication to quality, sustainability and continuous improvement. HI-Q is a long-term programme and every 3 years the system is audited by independent auditors to see if it meets the international criteria.
Some of the responsibilities involved under the quality system are: having a long term sustainable management approach; motivating staff; including quality, sustainability, health and safety in our strategies; frequently communicating the progress and implementing, introducing & training the programme. Also aiming for the right balance between checks and trust as measuring success or failure and analysing the outcome and then taking appropriate actions to improve.
Markús Einarsson, CEO:
“In recent years, the operation of HI Iceland has increased in all areas. Numbers of overnights and staff have gone up and investments and turnover have multiplied. At the same time, customer satisfaction has increased and more hostels are taking part in environmental and quality programmes with HI Iceland and Hostelling International.
As it happens with organisations and companies that grow as fast as HI Iceland has done, too little emphasis and time has been put into planning. Most of the time is invested in responding to increased demand. By taking part in the HI-Q programme we wanted to change this.
The purpose of integrating the HI-Q system into the operation of the HI Iceland office was threefold.
• To ensure that the Board and employees of HI Iceland and Hostel Managers all around Iceland had a mutual understanding and vision of the projects that are being worked on.
• Increase transparency within the operation.
• Be a role model for the hostels and hopefully inspire them to adapt a purposeful quality system.
The work that is behind us now has given us a chance to look up from our daily routine and participate in this project. It has given us a chance to enter into discussions we have not had before. I am convinced that in the future this work will give us better and more satisfied employees and a more focused aim, where everybody work toward a set direction, instead of only responding to demand. And in the end this will result in even more and happier customers."
Emilia Prodea, Quality & Sustainability Manager
"Implementing the HI-Q Office programme was a great way to streamline current practices and ensure consistency in irregular activities. The system has helped us increase productivity and transparency within departments, as well as having a better forecast over the coming year(s). The system offers sufficient tools for constant improvement and it is of course our aim to use best practices on a daily basis, in the hostels as well as in the office.
The last months have been both challenging and rewarding, as once again I have realised how communication and transparency are key words in such an operation and I´m grateful to be surrounded by such committed and experienced people.
Maintaining a quality system is surely an ongoing process in which all involved parties must take an active stand. I greatly welcome our first year as a HI-Q certified office and I must admit I look forward to December when we will be reviewing our Objectives and Action Plan for 2014, as we are already successfully ticking off many aims and actions. I dream of a 95% success rate!"
Currently there are five HI Iceland hostels HI-Q certified: The three hostels in Reykjavik, Reykjavik City Hostel, Reykjavik Downtown Hostel, Loft Hostel and the hostels at Grundarfjörður and Bíldudalur.
HI Iceland celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.