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Raising Tongan Risk Assessment standards

Siniva Samani

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New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarship Programme
New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)- Work Attachment

Siniva is an employee at the Tonga National Qualification and Accreditation Board as a Senior Risk Analyst.

Life before joining the New Zealand Short Term Training Programme

Siniva is an employee at the Tonga National Qualification and Accreditation Board as a Senior Risk Analyst. The NZ Qualification Authority qualification builds on her significant previous academic experience; she has a BA (Literature and History, Politics) from the University of the South Pacific and Masters in Anthropology from Northern Illinois University.

Siniva describes her motivation for doing the course as being: “I needed the professional development from an organisation quite like the one I work for, whose risk management team was up and running and well implemented – that’s why I applied for the New Zealand scholarship.”

Experience as a student

During her NZQA Work Attachment Siniva learnt how the risk management apparatus works and how all the other services in NZQA feed into risk. She particularly enjoyed the interaction between the different divisions and how no one division is independent but they all work together and are dependent on each other.

Siniva nominated building healthy work relations with the members of the Risk Management team, producing a complaint procedure for TNQAB and establishing real, lasting friendships, as exciting highlights of her experience with NZQA.

“What I really liked about the course was the awesome risk team I worked with at NZQA. They were helpful, always forthcoming and willing to help me “get” certain concepts related to risk to then implement here in the workplace. I have returned from NZQA but the ties and relationships that I forged while there, still endure.”

“They (the risk team) wrote after Tropical cyclone Gita ravaged Tonga, to ask if myself and my family were okay after the natural disaster. I established personal and professional relationships that will be helpful later when I need answers to queries or questions.”

New skills and future plans

Siniva is particularly proud to have put together a complaint procedure for the Tonga National Qualification and Accreditation Board. Both her NZQA Risk Management Team Manager and Team Leader provided feedback on the complaint procedure she worked on. She says, “I then brought it back here to Tonga and the Acting Chief Executive Officer added further feedback – the procedure was then passed on to the Board of executives and they made further revisions before it was finalised.”

Siniva’s complaint procedure is now being utilised as an ongoing process at the Tonga National Qualification and Accreditation Board.

Looking to future, Siniva says that her work attachment is continuing to be of benefit, particularly with regards to her ongoing Risk Database project: “What I’m working on now is a Risk Database. This is using knowledge that I picked up from my time at NZQA. We will have a Risk Database here at TNQAB and it will assist us in detecting risks to the organisation.”

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