Background to the QHubs Programme
NACEC CLG trading as the Community Enterprise Association Ireland (CEAI) is funded – under the 2019 Regional Enterprise Development Fund – by Enterprise Ireland to develop a Quality Programme for the National Hub Network. This Programme – QHubs – was formally launched in November 2021 by the National Steering Group responsible for the Programme’s implementation.
What is the QHubs Programme
Established in 2021, the QHubs Programme is the emerging Quality Development Programme for the National Hub Network, fostering a culture of continuous improvement, ongoing innovation and best-in-class leadership within centres and hubs nationally.
The Programme is a strategic framework for the management of centre and hub locations establishing and achieving innovation and growth targets for centre and hub locations nationally.
The Programme will support the development and strengthen the long term sustainability of the National Hub Network through the integration of key management and innovation imperatives such as Quality, Innovation, Environmental, Social, Collaborative Relationships and Governance – into core business practices.
The Programme will foster excellence across the National Hub Network by establishing and continually improving the management systems within centre and hub locations.
The QHubs Programme – a Global First
The QHubs Programme is all encompassing and will reflect the best-in-class performance and ambition of the National Hub Network. Verified participation in the QHubs Programme will demonstrate responsible, innovative, sustainable and ambitious business practices on the part of the Network locations, underpinning Government’s positioning of the Hub Network as a national asset with global ambition.
As the worlds’ only Quality and Innovation Development Programme for enterprise centres and hubs, this pioneering Programme will drive Irish ambition, opportunity and leadership across the National Hub Network – underpinned by Government leadership and support and with endorsement from the National Standards Authority of Ireland.
Planning & Oversight of the QHubs Programme
QHubs is a National Programme supported by Government.
NACEC CLG is backed by Government to design, develop, deploy, grow and sustain the Programme; and further to act as the primary liaison body between Government, the National Standards Authority of Ireland and the National Hub Network.
The design, development and rollout of the QHubs Programme is overseen by a National Steering Group on behalf of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
This National Steering Group is made up of representatives from:
- Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment
- Department of Rural & Community Development
- City & County Management Association / Local Government Management Association
- Enterprise Ireland
- National Standards Authority of Ireland
- Regional Enterprise Plan Managers Network
- Skillnet Ireland
- Western Development Commission.
NACEC CLG will be certified to ISO9001 as the Secretariat providing support to the National Hub Network. This certification will provide for international credibility and transparency – enabling global benchmarking across the Network for consistent performance and growth.
Why has the QHubs Programme been created?
QHubs is a Programme designed to challenge the performance of the National Hub Network so as to optimise quality, innovation and additional core management performance metrics across the Network.
ISO Standards are central to design and development of the QHubs Framework and Programme. The QHubs Programme is grounded in a solid Framework of ISO Management Principles taken from several ISO families of Standards including:
- 9000 Series (Quality Management Systems)
- 14000 Series (Environmental Management)
- 27000 Series (Information Security Management)
- 37000 Series (Governance of Organisations)
- 44000 Series (Successful Collaborative Business Relationship Management)
- 56000 Series (Innovation Management Systems).
QHubs Programme Structure and Verification
- QHubs is built upon a framework which will combine elements of various ISO Families of Standards. These elements will work together to achieve, sustain and improve the capability of the centre or hub location to deliver services – consistently and to the highest standard – to the satisfaction of clients, tenants, stakeholders and the wider community
- QHubs will focus on ongoing performance improvement; achieving and excelling in effectiveness and efficiency. It will enable centre and hub locations to set and achieve measurable growth plans to underpin business functions; providing ambitious, progressive and innovative services to drive performance and growth
- QHubs will support continual professional and performance development, achieving common goals and enabling successful relationships with stakeholders, clients and the wider community
- QHubs will be externally verified by a third-party Verification Partner (such as NSAI – the National Standards Authority of Ireland) for transparency, credibility, brand reinforcement and differentiation. This verification process will ensure the centre or hub location continues to meet the minimum performance standards set out under the QHubs Programme.
The Business Case for the QHubs Programme
- QHubs will ensure that centres and hubs – being recognised as key actors in the regional enterprise infrastructure – are equipped to meet the ambition of entrepreneurs and businesses in their region
- QHubs will offer centre and hub locations a valuable promotional tool to facilitate and support the interactions of FDI and MSME companies, offering opportunities for partnerships and collaborative engagements
- QHubs is a world-first centre and hub quality programme. The development and rollout of the QHubs Programme will underpin National Government’s ambition of promoting Ireland’s reputation as a global leader in centre and hub establishment, management, growth and innovation performance.