Continuing Education Main Headline

MORS Gold Pin Competition awards service quality in tourism

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

More than 360 tourism and hospitality front-line professionals put their expertise to the test in the 2018 Macao Occupational Skills Recognition System (MORS) Gold Pin Competition. The annual challenge organised by IFT is already in its 16th edition. The Award Presentation Ceremony was held on 3 January.

The MORS scheme is an important long-term endeavour by the IFT Tourism and Hotel School. It is the result of a joint effort by the Macao tourism industry and IFT to establish a training scheme leading to certification for certain front-line jobs. Workers can have their skills assessed and earn the appropriate MORS certificates. The certificates are recognised throughout the tourism industry in Macao.

The system was introduced in 2001, with the support of the European Union. The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has given the scheme the PATA Gold Award in Education and Training.

The 2018 MORS Gold Pin Competition attracted participants from 39 organisations – including restaurants, hotels and integrated resorts – to compete for prizes in 10 occupational categories, from room attendant to waiter.

Dr. Fanny Vong, President of IFT, says the local industry continues to support the participation of staff in MORS-related training and assessment programmes, so as to enhance service quality in Macao as a tourism destination. More than 11,850 professionals across more than 15 occupations have so far been certified by MORS since 2001, according to Dr. Vong.

Mr. Lei Pou Loi, President of the Macao Hotel Employees Association, says MORS plays “an important role in enhancing the quality of Macao’s human resources in tourism, and to facilitate the upward mobility of employees”. He encourages more employers to motivate their staff to join the training scheme and take part in the annual Gold Pin Competition.

In the latest edition of the Gold Pin Competition, 2 prize winners were selected for each occupation. The prize winners were decided in 3 rounds of competition. In the opening rounds, the contestants demonstrated their knowledge of the MORS training manuals in written tests and practical assessments of their skills. The best went on to the final round, where their knowledge and skills were judged – via live simulations of workplace situations – by panels consisting of executives from tourism businesses.

The final rounds for each category took place on 4 and 5 December, either at the casino-hotel Grand Lisboa or at IFT. Winners received a MORS Gold Pin, a cash award of MOP8,000, and a scholarship worth MOP2,000 for training courses at IFT’s Tourism and Hotel School.

One of the winners in the bartender category was Mr. Nie Peng from casino-hotel MGM Macau. He says it took him nearly 3 months to prepare for the competition. The most challenging part for him was the final round, as each contestant had to present a signature cocktail under the theme of environmental protection and sustainability. “I had to keep trying different recipes to find out the best ingredients and concoction,” he says.

“Through this competition, I became more attentive to some areas of my job than before,” adds Mr. Nie, who has worked in the food and beverage sector for 6 years. “For example, I now pay more attention to how guests react differently to the same type of cocktails.”

Improved performance

Another Gold Pin winner, Ms. Liang Yingxin from integrated resort The Parisian Macao, also acknowledges the competition made her more attentive to detail, leading to improvements in her work performance. “I can now provide better service to guests,” says Ms. Liang, who successfully competed in the concierge and bell attendant category.

Ms. Liang has been working in the tourism industry for about 4 years. This was the second time she took part in the MORS Gold Pin Competition. In the 2017 edition, she did not go as far as the final round. “This competition has broadened my horizons; I could see how some outstanding peers do their job and learn from them,” she says following her latest participation.

Mr. Kurma Mac is the IFT Tourism and Hotel School Coordinator for MORS and Hospitality Courses. He says the tourism and hospitality sector is very dynamic, meaning professionals need to keep updating their knowledge and skills, in order to keep up with the latest industry trends.

“There is no end to their journey of learning,” he says. “The Gold Pin Competition serves as another platform – besides MORS courses – for industry workers to gain new knowledge and skills.”

Mr. Mac describes the level of difficulty of the competition as a cut above actual MORS courses. The competition requires contestants – especially in the final round of each category – to face questions and service requests beyond the content covered by the MORS training manuals.

That was why finalists in the bartender category were required to develop a signature cocktail under the theme of environmental protection and sustainability. “They had to use their creativity, which is of paramount importance for the development of the tourism and hospitality industries,” Mr. Mac explains.

He adds that the tourism sector benefits in many ways from the MORS Gold Pin Competition, not just via improvements in staff service performance. According to Mr. Mac, some cocktails and dishes purposely developed for the competition by participants have now made their way onto the menus of some local restaurants and hotels.

IFT has been working with education institutions in Mainland China to introduce the MORS training and assessment programmes to the wider economy of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, with an aim to enhance tourism service quality in the region. Partners include the Zhuhai No.1 Vocational School and the Ling Dong Vocational and Technical School, both in Guangdong Province.

MORS-certifiable occupations
– Assistant Cook (Western Kitchen)
– Assistant Cook (Western Kitchen)
– Bartender
– Chinese Cook – Cantonese Cuisine (Elementary)
– Chinese Cook – Cantonese Cuisine (Intermediate)
– Chinese Cook – Cantonese Dim Sum (Elementary)
– Chinese Cook – Cantonese Dim Sum (Intermediate)
– Concierge and Bell Attendant
– Customer Relations Officer
– Floral Designer
– Front Desk Agent
– Retail Sales Officer
– Room Attendant
– Security Officer for Tourism and Gaming Industry
– Travel Consultant
– Waiter / Waitress (Chinese Restaurant Service)
– Waiter / Waitress (Western Restaurant Service)
– Western Pastry and Bakery Chef

President’s Corner

A special place

IFTM’s unique positioning means students have access to a deep pool of exclusive opportunities, including exchange and internship programmes outside Macao, allowing them to be exposed to new ideas, and to broaden their horizons. Read More