26th APQO Conference
incorporating Qualcon® 2021

The Future of Quality is NOW!

The call for abstracts has now closed.

If your abstract has been accepted, you will be contacted by the Qualcon team with details regarding the preparation of your presentation.

Once your completed presentation has been accepted, you will be provided with a discount code to access a reduced registration fee.


APQO is an autonomous, non-political, non-profit, scientific and technical organisation comprised of the national Quality associations of some 20 countries in Asia and those located near the Pacific Rim. It includes organisations representing countries including Australia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, United States and Vietnam.

The annual conference is the focus event of the year.

The Australian Organisation for Quality (AOQ), as a member of the Asia Pacific Quality Organisation (APQO), is organising the APQO 2021 conference. Over our 63-year history, AOQ‘s national Quality Conference (Qualcon®) has become recognised as a key event in the Quality calendar. In 2021 we have incorporated Qualcon into the APQO Conference.

The COVID-19 disruption has created an opportunity to rethink the way online conferences can operate, and we have developed a truly innovative digital model.

Recognising both the impossibility of running an international in-person conference in Australia in 2021, and the opportunity for innovation this presents, AOQ has totally re-engineered this conference.

It won’t be in-person. Nor will it be ‘virtual’ (pretending to be an in-person event, but delivered online). And it won’t be a ‘hybrid’, live streaming a small national event from inside a COVID-safe ‘bubble’.

APQO/QUALCON® 2021 will be a fully digital experience

The traditional rigid, parallel, mutually-exclusive streams of the in-person model have been reinterpreted, now being reengineered as themed individual mini-conferences (‘Streams’).

This will be delivered in October 2021, available to registrants for the full month.


A traditional in-person conference – the kind we all conventionally embraced – does have some attractive features: the location novelty and the opportunity for face-to-face networking and relationships. But it does have weaknesses; these are now leveraged to be strengths in the APQO/QUALCON 2021 model.

As a digital conference, the content will be available throughout the whole month of October, not just the scheduled time-slot of a conventional conference.

Without being locked into rigid, mutually-exclusive, parallel streams, participants have total flexibility to access all the conference content they want, when they want. Participation becomes less expensive, simpler and greatly expanded. The productivity dividend is huge! We believe the removal of these constraints will enable many more people to attend than would otherwise be possible.

Participants will experience a superb learning opportunity!

These include:

  • An International conference
  • Excellent exposure for you and your ideas
  • Low cost participation (low registration fee [and further discounted for presenters], zero travel and accommodation costs, participate from anywhere)
  • Assistance to make an impactful presentation – our program team will help you ensure your content is excellent, and our technical team will support you to deliver a professional video presentation.


The knowledge and practices of Quality are constantly evolving. Quality today has been shaped over the past 100+ years. That which has proved worthwhile is retained and developed. That which isn’t is replaced. Some are incorporated into the core body of knowledge; others become useful elements of the Quality toolkit; others are discarded when they are no longer useful or relevant, or as their weaknesses and limitations become apparent.

This process of ‘creative destruction’ is ongoing as world, society and technology changes. There will be new challenges that emerge in coming years that will require further evolution and innovation.

This conference offers a rare opportunity to

reflect on the journey to date,

examine the present and

extrapolate to the future!

This is the thinking that created the conference theme:

The Future of Quality is NOW!


The conference presentations are organised into 6 Streams: an overview that unpacks the conference theme, plus four Streams each reinterpreted from the ISO 9000 series Quality principles, which explore key areas of Quality application in more detail. Our sixth stream will showcase all APQO Awards conferred as a part of the conference.

Each Stream is a mini-conference!

In this new conference model the Stream presentations are pre-recorded and assembled into a number of short program Sessions, delivered via a purpose-designed cloud digital platform.

Each Stream is introduced by a Keynote presentation that explores the conference theme, and sets the context for the individual presentations that comprise the Stream that follows.

The Stream session individual presentations will be shorter, and because the timing constraints of the in-person conference model no longer exist, can be flexible. They will typically be 10-20 minutes, recognising that the attention span for an online experience is different.

This will deliver high quality presentations, aligned to different perspectives of the Theme: “The Future of Quality is NOW!”.  These will be available on demand for the whole of October 2021.

Each Stream will conclude with a facilitated Panel discussion that will summarise the key ideas that emerged in the Stream and explore and integrate those and others that were not into a satisfying conclusion to the Stream.

The overview and context of the conference theme Keynotes Stream Sessions Stream Panel
1.     Rethinking Customers & Relationships Keynotes Stream Sessions Stream Panel
2.     Rethinking processes Keynotes Stream Sessions Stream Panel
3.     Rethinking excellence Keynotes Stream Sessions Stream Panel
4.     Rethinking leadership & people Keynotes Stream Sessions Stream Panel

The key ideas each Stream will cover include:

The overview and context of the conference theme

Your insights and perceptions of the state of Quality Management at this point in the 21st Century. This may include your insights related to a broad perspective of:

  • What we have accomplished over the past 100 or so years?
  • What our legacy for the future likely to be?
  • What has proved valuable and enduring, and what has either had a short-term benefit – or was in the context of hindsight, not of value?
  • What are the challenges in store for both practitioners and society as a whole?
  • What directions do you foresee Quality evolving to in the future?
Rethinking Customers & Relationships

Focus on the stream theme, in the context of the overview above.

You could explore the way that supply chains will evolve, collaborations and partnerships will potentially operate, and even what Quality is evolving to in the Customer perspective. Is Customer focus being broadened to a focus on interested parties generally? How might new digitisation tools change the way we focus on customers?

Rethinking processes

Focus on the stream theme, in the context of the overview above.

You could explore the way that process thinking and management has evolved, and what the emergence of advanced digitisation, artificial intelligence and data tools, and the increasing sophistication of service processes, mean for process management.

Rethinking excellence

Focus on the stream theme, in the context of the overview above.

What is excellence, past, present and future? How useful have the various models of excellence, such as ISO 9000 series and business excellence frameworks, proved to be? How useful and enduring have the various tools and methods that been developed proved to be? And what will excellence in a future world look like?

Rethinking leadership & people

Focus on the stream theme, in the context of the overview above.

In a digital world, where do humans fit? What is the continuing human dimension to Quality? And what kind of leadership is needed in a modern world for Quality to be effectively managed?

We’d love you to be part of this!

Here’s how we work through this together.


Submission of Presentation Abstracts Until 31 July 2021

Review of suitability

We may contact you about required improvements


Acceptance/Rejection advised

Instructions for Presentation recording provided

By 31 July 2021
Recorded Presentation to be provided By 31 August 2021
Slide Deck and (optionally) written paper to be provided By 15 September 2021

Presenters need to be aware of copyright in conference presentations. If you do not own the image or video, you need to seek permission from the owner of the IP and only use the image or video if that permission has been granted. Creative Commons images are generally made available with no copyright attached in that the originator has given their permission. If you buy a stock image to use, then the copyright is assigned by the owner to the purchaser, just like when someone buys a photo from a photographer to put on display. YouTube owns some rights to the videos people put on the site in addition to the originator. Go to https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2797449?hl=en&ref_topic=2778546#zippy=%2Chow-do-i-get-permission-to-use-someone-elses-content-in-my-video to read more.

From AOQ’s perspective, it is the responsibility of the presenter to check this.

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