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New Centre for Excellence to strengthen international social security standards

The International Social Security Association (ISSA) has launched a pioneering Centre for Excellence, which will introduce professional standards for social security organizations worldwide.

The ISSA's Centre for Excellence in Social Security Administration will provide a set of services aimed directly at strengthening the management and administration of social security, across branches and regions.

The centrepiece of the initiative is a series of international guidelines, which provide professional standards and benchmarks to support social security organizations to improve governance, enhance service quality and achieve high performance.

The guidelines will be supported by a range of learning and support initiatives, accessible through a dedicated Web platform, as well as a calendar of training events, workshops and a technical advice service.

As social security institutions are faced with complex social and economic changes, improved social security administration is increasingly seen as a key condition for high-performing and well-governed social security systems, according to the ISSA.

"Social security organizations are committed to effective and efficient management, but can find it difficult to assess their performance without authoritative international guidance about good practices and standards," the ISSA Secretary General Hans-Horst Konkolewsky emphasized at the launch.

"For the first time, the ISSA's Centre for Excellence will offer an international knowledge and support platform based on recognized professional guidelines, which will provide an unparalleled resource for social security institutions to improve their administrative performance and service quality, which is a condition for the future development and sustainability of their systems," Konkolewsky said.

The Centre for Excellence was officially launched during the World Social Security Forum 2013 in Doha, Qatar, on 12 November, at an event attended by 1,000 senior policy-makers, including ministers and CEOs of institutions from more than 120 countries.

ISSA Guidelines will initially be available for eight key areas of social security administration:

  • Good governance
  • Service quality
  • Information and communication technology
  • Contribution collection and compliance
  • Investment of social security funds
  • Return to work and reintegration
  • Workplace health promotion
  • Prevention of occupational risks

The services of the ISSA Centre for Excellence will be accessible to ISSA member organizations, and will be introduced in phases, commencing in December 2013.

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