March 14-17, 2022
Department of Polyteclinic and Community College Education, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia
Envisioned to participate in this program are 40 officials from polytechnics who are appointed as institutions’ Working Group Leaders (WGL) and its members to be responsible in the preparation for APACC accreditation.


While there are many important quality management practices, let us focus on continuous improvement. Perhaps the idea most commonly associated with quality means never being satisfied with the status quo. “Continuous improvement, sometimes called continual improvement, is the ongoing improvement of products, services, or processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements. These efforts can seek “incremental” improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once.”

By constantly looking for methods of improvement, Polytechnics and Community Colleges, Malaysia, are determined to be renowned TVET institutions through a process of continuous improvement to enhance the quality of its education system. Thus, the Polytechnics and Community Colleges aim to engage in APACC accreditation in addition to several other recognitions from local and international accreditation and certification bodies.

Accreditation, as one of the three primary modes of quality assurance, is often considered a step towards establishing a culture of quality – sustained and maintained by defining objectives, developing the capacity to achieve them, and evaluating whether they are achieved or not. Being a gatekeeper of quality at its threshold, accreditation determines the adequacy of human, physical, and information resources; reinforces a results-based approach to evaluation, and provides a firm foundation for its institutions or programs.

The Asia Pacific and Certification Commission (APACC) is an international accreditation and certification body established through the CPSC Seoul Declaration 2004, with the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) as the lead organization. It aims to provide international accreditation and certification services towards the quality management system of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.

In 2019, APACC revised the self-study form and instrument to eliminate ambiguity and to highlight the process of PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) in all seven criteria. Also, APACC keeps on looking for ways to improve its processes; thus, review and revision of these processes are undertaken by the APACC Board whenever deemed imperative as one of its continuous improvement strategies. Once updates and changes emerge, it is but fitting to take action and make such changes known to concerned people.

Cognizant of the revisions done on the APACC manual, the Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (DPCCE) is with felt the need to undertake capacity building to polytechnics that will renew APACC certification and other institutions that will apply for accreditation to provide exposure to its constituents as well as provide guidance on the use of the new manual.

It is in this light that this training program has been designed.

  • Discuss the updates on APACC instrument and processes;
  • Define the roles, responsibilities, and attributes expected of APACC internal accreditors;
  • Ensure the same level of understanding of the APACC evaluation instrument among institutional working group leaders (WGL) and members;
  • Develop institutional internal experts who can be proficient using the APACC accreditation system and manual for the future cascading experience; and
  • Assist participants to develop a system development plan for APACC accreditation

Program Contents

In order to achieve the above objectives, the following topics will be covered:

  • Overview and Rationale of Updates on APACC Instrument and Procedures
  • Orientation on the new APACC Criteria
    • Criterion I: Governance and Management
    • Criterion II: Teaching and Learning
    • Criterion III: Human Resources
    • Criterion IV: Research and Development
    • Criterion V: Image and Sustainability
    • Criterion VI: Other Resources
    • Criterion VII: Support to Students
  • Roles and Responsibilities of Internal APACC Team before, during, and after institutional evaluation
  • Parts of Evaluation Report and Tips in Report Writing
  • Preparation for reaccreditation
  • Developing an Institutional System Development Plan

Expected Outputs and Outcomes

Expected Outputs:

  • System Development Plan
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Action plan

Expected Outcomes:

  • Proficient institutional WGL and members on the use of the APACC manual
  • Working group leaders and members skilled in preparing well-prepared institutional documents as proofs and evidence for APACC evaluation
  • Criteria working group leaders and members who are adept at responding to possible queries of the APACC accreditation team

Instructional Strategies

To facilitate productive and interactive learning, the following instructional strategies will be utilized to effectively train the participants:

  • Online lectures
  • Experience sharing
  • Interactive learning activities
  • Workshop activities
  • Online and offline tasks
  • Use of OnCourse learning management

Program Facilities

To conduct the program smoothly, the following facilities are required:

  1. Internet Connection (5Mbps or higher) preferably wired LAN or WiFi
  2. Virtual Room (for Opening, Closing Ceremonies & Invited Talks)
    • Zoom App installed in mobile device or personal computer
  3. Desktop Computer or Laptop
    • Webcam, Speakers and microphone or earphones with microphine
    • Computer/laptop (Individual participant*) with the following specifications:
      • Core i3 (equivalent or higher)
      • 4 GB RAM or higher
      • Zoom App
      • Google Chrome browser
      • Any office suite software (MS Office, WPS Office, Google Drive, etc.)

Program Management and Resource Persons

Program Supervisor (CPSC) Prof. G. L. D. Wickramasinghe ([email protected]) is the first Sri Lankan and the 12th Director General of CPSC. He is also the concurrent President of Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC).

Prior to his appointment as the Director General, he was a professor at the Department of Textile and Clothing Technology, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka since 2015. Here also held key administrative posts during his career: as a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Vocational Technology (2016-2019), former Chairman of the Centre for Open and Distance Learning (CODL) of the University of Moratuwa (2015-2016), and former head of the Department of Textile and Clothing Technology (2009-2012).

He also served as the Chairman of Alethea International School (2017-2021), an independent non-executive Director of Orit Apparels Lanka Ltd. (2014-2016), and Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel (2010-2015). He also served as the Director of Technical and Quality Assurance of Brandix Textiles Ltd (2013-2014). He also served as chairman and member of various public sector strategic and technical committees.

He also published over 60 research publications on topics related to textile engineering and educational management, of which over 30 are international refereed journal publications.

He was honored with 18 national and international awards including Emerald Literary Award (2018), President's Award for Scientific Publications (2017), and NRC Merit Award for Scientific Publication (2016, 2011). The World Education Congress also honored him with the award for Outstanding Contribution to Education in “Sri Lanka Education Leadership Awards” in 2018.

Prof. Wickramasinghe is a graduate of a Bachelor of Science in Textile Engineering from the University of Moratuwa in 1993 by which he obtained first class honors. He finished his PhD at the University of Manchester in 2003. He also obtained a PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching, the University of Arts London, UK in 2006 and an MBA in the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka in 2008.

Program Supervisor (DPCCE) Ms. Zainab Ahmad is currently the Director General, Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (DPCCE), Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia. Her responsibilities include overseeing the development and implementation of TVET policy via local and international partnerships, supervising human resource and students’ excellence, managing the development and implementation of full-time and lifelong learning curriculum, examination and assessment, instructional and digital learning, research and innovation; and monitoring the governance operation and excellence of polytechnics and community college. DPCCE is the biggest TVET provider in Malaysia, vis-a-vis public and private institutions – 36 polytechnics and 104 community colleges nationwide. Ms. Zainab is also spearheading the National TVET Council (MTVET) Secretariat in overseeing the policy making and development of TVET in Malaysia.

Prior to this appointment, she holds major roles in two key departments of TVET which are Department of Polytechnic & Community College Education (DPCCE) and Department of Community College Education (DCCE). In DPCCE, she was designated as Deputy Director General (Planning) (2019) and Academic Senior Director (2018), whilst in DCCE, she was appointed as Policy Division Director (2014) and Academic Development Director (2011).

She has worked in the areas of national policies and strategic direction for TVET and lifelong learning in community colleges and polytechnics; training and career development of lecturers and supporting staff including internationalization activities for lecturers and students.

She started her career as a lecturer in the Electrical Engineering Department of Ungku Omar Polytechnic in 1985. She went on to establish the Career Counselling Unit of Port Dickson Polytechnic before becoming the first director of Hulu Langat Community College in 2003. In 2008 to 2010, she was assigned as local coordinator for Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC). One of her significant contribution is the formulation of the Excellence Criteria Model for Promotional Exercise (Higher Education Service Scheme) for Polytechnic and Community College lecturers. At present, she is the Governing board member (GMB) for Malaysia in South East Asia Ministries of Education Organization (SEAMEO), SEAMEO CELL and SEAMEO CED.

Ms. Zainab holds a degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from Loughborough University, United Kingdom, a Masters in Power Engineering from Putra University, Malaysia and a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (Counselling) from National University of Malaysia.

Program Coordinator and Resource Person Prof. Romulita C. Alto, Ed.D. ([email protected]) is retired from government service in 2006. However, she continuously imparts her knowledge in various capacities. Currently, she is a CPSC Project-Based Faculty Consultant and Accreditor of APACC.

She has been associated with CPSC since 1992 in various capacities. From 1992 to 1994, she was a Research Associate. From 1997 to 2001, she was engaged as Governing Board engaged Core Faculty Consultant and Chairperson of Consultancy and Marketing Division and Research and Development Division. Dr. Alto is the lead author of CPSC’s best-selling book - the Research in TVET Made Easy and was the lead reviewer of the APACC documents in 2013 – 2014.

She was able to handle several high-profile assignments and projects at ADB and JICA, being an educator and international consultant for more than 50 years.

Dr. Alto was the recipient of the Outstanding Public School Teacher of the City of Manila in 1971; the Most Outstanding Natural Science Teacher of the Year in 1972; and the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Technological University of the Philippines in 2005. Among the scholarship grants she enjoyed are the CDG-Gesellschaft scholarship at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand on Remote Sensing Technology and Environmental Resources Management, Asia Foundation Scholarship on the Teaching of CBA Chemistry, and Teaching of Chemistry at RECSAM in Penang Malaysia, and a Shell Philippines Chemistry scholar at the University of the Philippines.

Dr. Alto earned her Doctoral Degree in Educational Administration in 1984, Master’s Degree in Teaching Chemistry in 1970; Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics, and Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1961 all from the University of the Philippines.

Resource Person Dr Hewage Chithral Ambawatte ([email protected]) is the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Ruhuna.

He obtained his Ph.D. in Technical Sciences (Automobile Engineering) in 1997 from Russian Peoples’ Friendship University, Moscow, Russia, specializing in Thermal Engines (Internal Combustion Engines) and Environmental Protection & Rational Use of Natural Resources. He successfully defended the thesis on the subject: “Soot reduction of exhaust gases in a compact high-speed direct injection (DI) engine by doping Rapeseed (Canola) oil with fuel”. In 1993 he obtained his BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Automobile Engineering with Honors from Russian Peoples Friendship University (formerly Patrice Lumumba Friendship University) Moscow, Russia.

His research includes alternative fuels, solid waste management, energy technology, and management, etc. He wrote and edited three books, has published more than 30 scientific papers and patents, received several best paper awards, and supervised dozens of graduate students. He was the Head of the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering for 3 years from 2003 to 2006.

Prior to joining the University of Ruhuna, he worked as a Senior Research Engineer / Project Manager at the Renewable Energy Department of National Engineering Research & Development Centre [NERD Centre] for 6 years. He led many R & D projects and worked with many organizations, NGOs, ministries, on various projects. He was the Project Manager of the Market Garbage Disposal Project, Muthurajawela with a budget of Rs 33 million.

In 2010, he also worked as the Chairman / CEO of National Apprenticeship & Industrial Training Authority [NAITA], Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development, Sri Lanka and as the Director-General of the Department of Technical Education & Training [DTET], Ministry of Youth Affairs & Skills Development, Sri Lanka for 3 years. In 2017, he worked as a Faculty Consultant at the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) in Manila, Philippines, and conducted training programs in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and China. In addition, he serves as an Accreditor for Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Council (APACC) and conducted accreditation work in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Dr Ambawatte is a Fellow of the Institute of Automotive Engineers and acted as a Council Member from 2000 to 2004. In addition, he is a Life member of Sri Lanka Energy Managers Association (SLEMA), Member of Advanced Statistics Association of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Sciences (SLAAS), Young Scientist Forum (YSF) of National Science and Technology Commission (NASTEC) and a member of Association of KOICA Fellows (AKOFE), Korea.

Local Program Coordinator Ms. Nurhafizah Yahaya ([email protected]) is at present a Senior Assistant Director at Competency and Career Enhancement Division, Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (DPCCE). She coordinates international training programs with various international agencies such as Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Korea Polytechnics (KOPO), etc. She has been actively involved in organizing In-country Program with CPSC since 2012. In 2014, she was appointed as the Focal Person for Malaysia-Korea Hi-Tech Centre initiatives, a collaboration between DPCCE and KOPO.

In line with her field of study, she is also responsible for planning and monitoring the conduct of numerous English Enhancement Programs for managers at DPCCE and institutions as well as lecturers at polytechnics and community colleges. In 2014, she was nominated as focal person for the Training Programme for Malaysian English Lecturers in The TVET Sector that was conducted in collaboration with Westminster Kingsway College, United Kingdom. In 2016-2017, she was appointed as Person of Reference for DPCCE in English Language Education Reform Initiative in Malaysia, a collaborative program between Ministry of Education, Malaysia and Cambridge English. Recently, she is engaged in the planning of English Teaching Assistant Program between DPCCE and Malaysian-American Commission On Educational Exchange (MACEE).

Apart from that, she is in charge of professional certification programs to equip core disciplines lecturers at both polytechnics and community colleges with industrial skills.

She has previously served at Curriculum Development Division to coordinate English language courses for diploma and bachelor degree levels which are offered at polytechnics. She was also an English lecturer at Politeknik Sultan Azlan Shah, Perak from 2010-2012.