2015-06-appac-awards3On behalf of the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), Mr. Rangsan Thepmondri (4L) receives APACC letter and budget for print ads on newspapers from the APACC Special Officer in Thailand, Dr. Paiboon Saiyawongs (3L), through Dr. Julin Milintrasutra (4R).

Thailand, Colombo Plan Staff College's (CPSC) staunch partner in advocating quality TVET systems through CPSC's Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) in the education sector in the country, once again engages in intensified promotional undertakings in various big Colleges and institutions through the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), Thailand.

In a recent APACC event in the country, OVEC conducted a workshop on the preparations of APACC documents such as the APACC Self-Study Report (SSR), held from July 1-8, 2015 in several of its colleges and institutions. This was in order to prepare applicant institutions of APACC for the upcoming accreditation exercise in the country.

The first leg of the workshop was held from July 1-3, 2015 at Baan Tai Had Resort, Samutsongkarm, Thailand. It was spearheaded by Dr. Julin Milintrasutra, Director of Nakornpathom Technical College and was attended by several officials from OVEC led by the National Coordinator for Accreditation (NCA) of Thailand, Mr. Rangsan Thepmondri and OVEC Senior Advisor, Mr. Sinthao Chaisawat. Other notable attendees include: Dr. Paiboon Saiyawongs, APACC Special Officer, Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi (RMUTT), Thailand, Dr. Kamolwan Chaochanglek, Director, Phetchaburi Polytechnic College, Thailand, the Deputy Directors of Ubol Ratchatanee College and Samutpraharn Technical College and officers from Quality Assurance Department of OVEC.

During the opening ceremony, Mr. Sinthao Chaisawat, on behalf of the OVEC Secretary General, expressed his optimism that at least half of the 20 colleges they identified to undergo APACC accreditation will be able to obtain the highest APACC Accreditation status. He also identified some of the urgent issues that should be addressed to fast-track the preparations of Thai colleges for APACC accreditation particularly the budget and letters of endorsement. These documents were handed over by Dr. Julin to Mr. Rangsan for swift action.

The workshop tackled all pertinent information on how to apply for APACC accreditation. This includes understanding of the APACC Manual, preparation of SSR and a detailed description of the APACC Criteria, which is to be finalized and sent to all applicant colleges before July 15.

2015-06-appac-awards4Dr. Paiboon Saiyawongs (left) with Mr. Sinthao Chaisawat, OVEC Senior Advisor and
Dr. Julin Milintrasutra (right) Director of Nakornpathom Technical College.
Another OVEC-organized event and a second initiative was held at Khon Kaen Vocational College in Khon Kaen Province, Thailand on July 5, 2015. It was attended by 146 members of the faculty as a way to gear up potential APACC applicants in Thailand.

Situated in the Northeastern part of Thailand, Khon Kaen Vocational College is considered to be one of the best vocational institutes in the region. It offers certificate and diploma courses in Business, Food Technology, Fine Arts, Computer, Hotel and Tourism to almost 4,000 students. OVEC identified this College as one of the candidate institutions for APACC accreditation. It is currently led by its Director, Ms. Nongyao Kalayalak.

2015-06-appac-awards3Attendees of the APACC Workshop in Khon Kaen Vocational College, Thailand.

The program commenced with a discussion on the rationale for obtaining regional accreditation by the Head of the Quality Assurance of OVEC, Dr. Pangsatorn Pimpanit. His discussion focused the criteria for selecting a college which can potentially gain the highest level of local accreditation. He also discussed that having staff members that can communicate in English and the possession of good ICT facilities, as well as the teamwork and commitment of all members are the key characteristics of an APACC-accredited institution.

An overview of APACC was then tackled by the APACC Special Officer in Thailand, Dr. Paiboon Saiyawongs. In this section, a detailed presentation about CPSC, APACC and the on-site visit preparations were discussed. In addition, Thailand's participation in APACC and CPSC activities were also mentioned.

A detailed discussion on the APACC criteria in Thai Language was handled by Ms. Supaporn Bubphaprom, Deputy Director, Ubol Ratchathani Vocational College in which the seven criteria for APACC accreditation were enumerated as: (1) Governance and Management, (2) Teaching and Learning, (3) Faculty and Staff, (4) Research and Development, (5) Extension, Consultancy and Linkages, (6) Resources and (7) Support to Students. She also showed comparisons between quality standards adopted by OVEC and ONESQA.

The program ended with a group task on SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) led by Dr. Narumol Duangsang, Head of the Research and Development Division of the Ubol Ratchathani Vocational College. The participants were divided into seven groups, representing one of each criterion, and further analyzed the emerging issues for every criterion assigned to them.

Following the workshop held from July 1 to 3, a third workshop on APACC Manual in Thai version is currently being held at Royal Gems Golf Resort, Nakornpathom from July 8 to 10. The workshop is being chaired by OVEC Senior Advisor, Mr. Sinthao Chaisawat.

Attendees of this workshop continued with the finalization of the contents of the Thai version of the APACC Manual. They looked into the following items: (1) Introduction of APACC; (2) Process of applying and selection of the college; (3) APACC Criteria: The Criteria, Indicators and Elements; (4) Preparation for APACC Accreditation; (5) Preparing the SSR.

This Thai version of the APACC Manual is scheduled to be finished by July 10. It will be forwarded to the different colleges as soon as copies get printed.

Interested colleges are expected to send their formal application to OVEC on or before July 25, in which OVEC will select the potential institutions that will be chosen to undergo APACC accreditation. The final list of first batch of APACC applicant institutions from Thailand will be received by CPSC from OVEC on or before the end of July 2015.

2015-06-appac-awards3Attendees pose during the on the Workshop of the APACC Manual in Nakhonpathom, Thailand.

2015-06-appac-awards3Dr. Pongsatorn Pimpanit discussing the accreditation rationale at Khon Kaen.