What does the Program Quality Director Do?

What does the Program Quality Director Do?

By John Cox

Gerard, Patricia and I at the District Officer Training in Chicago

Quality and excellence feature in all our roles!

But both are ill-defined and mean different things to different people.

As your Program Quality Director my main responsibilities are:

  • Club quality and member retention,
  • Division, area and club officer training,
  • District conference,
  • District-wide speech contests, and
  • Education programs and Toastmasters materials

Supported by Division and Area Directors, Club Officers and Conference Teams I am confident we will get the job done.

During my career I scoured the world to help me understand and promote to my clients’ excellence in business and commerce. Many countries hold annual awards for quality and excellence.

In Japan they have the Deming Prize, established in 1951 to honour W. Edwards Deming who contributed greatly to Japan’s proliferation of statistical quality control after World War II.

USA has the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Malcolm Baldrige
served as 
United States Secretary of Commerce during the Reagan administration.

The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) is a not-for-profit membership foundation established in Brussels to increase the competitiveness of the European economy.

I was fortunate to meet and speak to award winners of all three awards, helping me to author a guide for UK businesses entitled: “Towards World Class Performance.” I also regularly attended the annual Baldrige Quest for Excellence Conference in the USA.

So, what did I learn and how can that be used in Toastmasters?

Exceed Expectations (the Member Experience). Put Customers (members and guests) first, before profit (DCP goals). If you exceed their expectations profit/results will follow.

Measurement drives performance. Understand leading and lagging measures. Profit (DCP goals) is the result of getting everything else right – quality, employee, customer and supplier satisfaction. Moments of Truth is our best tool for measuring how well we deliver quality in our clubs to meet the needs of our members and visitors.

Leadership versus Management. One
of Toastmasters
strengths is the opportunity it gives to its members to practice leadership skills in selling a vision, agreeing targets, running meetings, giving feedback, managing performance, etc. However, it is also one of our greatest weaknesses, handing our clubs, areas, divisions and districts over to new leaders with little training to carry out their roles.

We now have less than a year left in our roles to make a difference.

We can help to “raise the bar” in our own and other people’s lives by:

  • Enhancing the member/guest experience at our meetings,
  • Getting feedback on our own and our clubs’ performance via Moments of Truth,
  • Sharing knowledge, experience and wisdom,
  • Encouraging fellow members to embrace Pathways, take on more roles and progress their speeches,
  • Recognising even the smallest improvement – it may have been a big step for them, and
  • Focusing on member retention – 68% of non-renewing members said that “something could have been done” to convince them to renew.

But above all enjoy the experience and have fun.

Welcome to District 71 Toastmasters year 2018-2019

As members, club officers and district leaders of Toastmasters, do we practise excellence, enthusiasm and encouragement in everything we do?



Excellence is one of the four core values of Toastmasters.  The other three are Integrity, Respect and Service to the member.  What is excellence?  Jim Kokocki, a past international president of Toastmasters International, says that “for club members excellence means performing assigned duties to the best of our ability every time. Sometimes we have bad days, and sometimes we have less time to prepare than we might like. Regardless, excellence means performing to the best of our ability every time for the benefit of the club and all the members”.  For club officers it means providing an atmosphere of club excellence that enables member achievement and for district leaders it means serving the members and supporting the clubs to the best of our ability.


Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”.  Enthusiasm is infectious.  If we perform our toastmaster’s roles with enthusiasm and chase our toastmaster’s goals with enthusiasm we will have a positive effect on our fellow club members as well as guests and new members.


There’s an old Irish saying “Mol an Óige agus tiocfaidh sí” which translates roughly as “praise the young and they will flourish”.  It’s easy to criticise, but it’s much more rewarding and more productive to praise.  Roy T. Bennett said, “Be an Encourager: When you encourage others, you boost their self-esteem, enhance their self-confidence, make them work harder, lift their spirits and make them successful in their endeavours. Encouragement goes straight to the heart and is always available. Be an encourager. Always”.  Why do you stay in Toastmasters?  There are probably many reasons why you stay in Toastmasters.  One of the reasons I have remained in Toastmasters for 16 years is the encouragement I get from fellow members.

I wish all our members, club officers and district leaders a successful and distinguished toastmasters year 2018-2019.  I urge you to perform your roles with excellence and enthusiasm and to always give encouragement to fellow members.

At the 30th June 2019, I hope you will have achieved your goals, I hope our clubs will be distinguished and I hope District 71 will be recognised on the world stage in Denver, Colorado in August 2019 as a distinguished district.

Patricia O’Reilly, DTM, District Director, District 71

The final D71 newsletter of this Toastmaster year

June 2018 D71 newsletter

Here it is folks, the final newsletter of our Toastmaster year.

There are lots of interviews, Travelling Toastie winners (some pictured above), and news from across the District and Division G, our guest editors.


–Laura Bruce, PR Manager

PS As I and a number of District Officers are completing our terms today, just a quick ‘thank you’ to everyone who contributed to the newsletters this year. Your contributions have been very much appreciated by me!

Oh no! The last Safe Haven Newsletter update!

Can you believe it?? Just hours to go before it starts!

This is the final Safe Haven 2018 Conference Newsletter — and I nearly missed it in my email!

Safe travels everyone!

Safe Haven 2018 – NewsLetter No 5!

The April 2018 newsletter is here!

With extensive coverage of activities in Division F, this is a bumper edition of the newsletter. There’s a great story about the SafeHaven 2018 conference, including a linguistic guide to the city, and 5 reasons you must attend the conference.

But don’t take my word for it, read it yourself!

Download the newsletter here. District 71 2018 April newsletter

Frances Goeghan DTM: A huge Congratulations to Frances on achieving her DTM. Frances is seen below being presented with her certificate by Area 12 Director, Pat Croke


Distinguished Club Incentives Update

Distinguished Club Incentives Update at 27th April 2018

The first 20 clubs to achieve President’s Distinguished receive a clicker or its monetary equivalent.

To date 16 clubs have already achieved President’s Distinguished:-
West Cork Toastmasters
Castleknock Toastmasters
Clonmel Toastmasters
Shropshire Speakers
Manchester Orators
Saffron Walden Speakers
Warrington Toastmasters
A1 Speakers
East Herts Speakers
Elder Gate Toastmasters
Dublin Club
Dun Laoghaire Club
Capital Communicators
Lucan Club
Haymarket Toastmasters
Dublin 18 Toastmasters

The first 20 clubs to achieve Distinguished that weren’t distinguished last year will receive a ribbon pack, guest book or its monetary equivalent.

To date 8 clubs have already achieved Distinguished that weren’t distinguished last year:-
Talking Heads Club
Lagan Valley Toastmasters
Glasnevin Club
Thurles Toastmasters
Sligo Club
Talk On The Wilde Side
Dereham Articulate Speakers
Vox Populi

GDPR and Toastmasters District 71

Preparing for the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. The GDPR aims primarily to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU. The GDPR will enter into force in all European Union countries on May 25th, 2018.
Ref: GDPR -Wikipedia

GDPR and Toastmasters International

Our District core team has been in touch with Toatmasters International world headquarters Legal department. They have informed us that they are aware of the upcoming changes and that their team is working on proper procedures and policies which will be communicated with the clubs and districts in the near future. Toastmasters International will make sure their system fully supports GDPR by May 25th, 2018.

GDPR and easy-Speak

Many of our clubs use easy-Speak to manage the meetings and store data about the members and guests. easy-Speak is being updated to fully support the GDPR by May 25th, 2018,, and allows each club to correctly manage data about members and guests.

Supporting documents

Whilst we await further details, please see the document, Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation. The document outlines 12 steps to consider, please could you ensure that ALL club Presidents and VPE’s have reviewed all the steps, with particular attention to the following:

  1. Awareness
  2. Information you hold
  3. Communicating privacy information
  4. Individuals’ rights
  5. Subject access requests
  6. Consent
  7. Data Breaches
  8. Data Protection Officers

If your club is collecting information about its guests and/or members make sure that the privacy notice supports the GPRD – see Examples of privacy notice.

Thanks to our cousins in D91 and D59 for much of the foregoing detail.

New D71 newsletter: the Blizzard of 2018 edition!

A white-out has struck the February edition of the D71 newsletter.

It looks like a blank sheet. We blame the weather.

Stay tuned and we’ll try to get it up here ASAP!

The January D71 newsletter is out!

If you thought tonight’s supermoon-blue moon combination was something really special, then you probably won’t be all that impressed by the new D71 newsletter.

But just in case, here it is. Stories from around the district, with Division S (my home division) contributing a number of articles. There’s a lot of information. And a LOT of photos. In fact, before I compressed it, this issue was 25.6 MB!

I hope you enjoy it! District 71 January 2018 newsletter (<–click here to open)