a1qa is committed to driving economic growth and social impact for all stakeholders and the communities where we operate by using digital expertise and an innovation mindset. Therefore, we established and have been continuously updating the clear and well-communicated set of policies and practices that reflect our responsibility to further social good. Our proprietary findings indicate that the implemented CSR initiatives provide for better brand reputation, appeal to potential and existing employees, help meet the ethical standards demanded by customers and partners, and create better relations with regulators and lawmakers. Thus, according to the Microsoft CSAT survey, 100% of the interviewed customers expressed satisfaction with the services delivered, while 94% were ready to recommend us for development outsourcing of various scales.
The 2020 internal employee engagement survey revealed that 80% of employees are ready to recommend a1qa to their familiars and plan to keep on working for the company in the future.
Being a member of the United Nations Global Compact, a1qa adheres to the global standards in the fundamental areas of human rights, labor, and environment and systematically advances programs that reduce skill gaps, inequality, and environmental issues.
Based on the idea that corporate success and social welfare of the local, regional, and global communities are interdependent, our CSR policy regulates technology innovation and organizational measures, addressing the welfare of all the constituents involved: employees, customers, governance and ethics, community, environment.
With that in mind, a1qa enforces the following principles:
a1qa efforts in promoting CSR policies have been recognized by the industry experts: we are the winner in the honorary nomination Socially Responsible Brand 2013, the category Best Employer, and the winner of the national professional contest Brand of the year 2012 in the nomination Corporate Brand Responsibility.
At a1qa, each of us has an obligation to act with integrity and to ensure that we understand and comply with the policy. Training is provided to relevant employees throughout the group to support them in complying with their responsibilities. If you are not selected for training but believe that it is relevant for you, then, please, ask your dedicated HR business partner for further information. In addition, all employees are required to confirm that they have understood and complied with the policy annually.
The key element of a1qa business strategy is the commitment to ethics, compliance, and strong corporate governance. To ensure the high quality of the delivered services, a1qa recognizes the importance of well-established corporate administration principles and the ethical practices permeating all aspects of organizational governance. As a privately held company, a1qa has no obligations to stakeholders on accounting for organizational performance. Nevertheless, the duties of the company’s board of executive directors incorporate the establishment of rigorous measures aimed at achieving economic, social, and environmental sustainability through:
Our company is focused on keeping track of decisions to ensure they are followed through and determining responsibilities for the results of the business’ activities. To eliminate potential conflicts of interest, preventive measures including the firm’s policies, employee education, and oversight efforts are taken. Annual employee opinion polls and engagement surveys are conducted to ensure continuous monitoring of employee satisfaction with the leadership approach, as well as to encourage greater participation of employees in decision-making on social responsibility issues.
To increase the effectiveness of organizational governance even more, a1qa’s production quickly adjusts to changing circumstances and effectively scales operations. CTO also contributes to the timely implementation of technological updates requisite for addressing novel challenges.
We are taking a range of measures to ensure business continuity, mitigate health risks, and help clients meet planned outcomes in global disease outbreaks complying with their in-house policies.
If required, we shift the whole team or particular members to the working from home (WFH) mode out of the a1qa offices. We restrict personal meetings and business trips and wholly or partially transfer QA Academy educational programs to the online mode to reduce social contact.
Aiming to enhance CSR awareness among its employees, a1qa CEO emphasizes the importance of CSR management during all publicly delivered speeches. This information is also disseminated through online corporate channels including online publications and intranet. In 2017, a1qa introduced a Facebook-based Workplace social instrument into the corporate environment that became an efficient tool for articulating business development directions and reinforcing cross-department communication and collaboration.
In addition, we promote CSR policies amongst employees by providing respective training on environmental, information security, human rights, and corporate ethics issues throughout the year. Our company aims at paying full respect to national legislations of a1qa Group members’ domicile and residence States including the responsibility to pay taxes to the government bodies and communities in which they operate. We believe that the incorporation of these initiatives into our daily activities further enhances our corporate governance, thereby maximizing corporate value.
a1qa adheres to the world’s best practices of fair competition while incorporating the principles of compliance with legislation and due information dissemination into corporate ethics. Any type of misleading or misinterpreted information, alongside threat or compulsion is prohibited in terms of our daily operations. We believe that fair competition leads to innovation and progress, which is why we adhere to the principles of antimonopoly legislation.
a1qa conducts business in full consistency with national business competition laws and regulations of a1qa Group members’ domicile and residence States. We prevent engagement in anticompetitive behavior preemptively by pursuing the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ policy. In tune with a1qa principles of respecting equality and human rights, we incorporate ethical, social, and gender equality criteria in our contracting practices. All organizations and companies with which a1qa has or is about to have any kind of business relationships are scrutinized for compliance with the fundamental principles of social responsibility. Owing to the specifics of the delivered services, respect for property rights represents a considerable part of the company’s CRS efforts. The treatment and protection of the intellectual property in the production of deliverables are laid out in the company’s Intellectual Property Rights Protection Policy addressing such primary areas of the customers’ IP rights protection as production-related IP protection, employment, and non-disclosure agreements, employee education and training, legal framework and regulations, contractual basis, organizational infrastructure, and insurance coverage.
a1qa operates on the basis of the anti-corruption principle laid down in the UNGC as well as national legislation related to anti-corruption. a1qa accounting department provides appropriate remuneration to the company’s employees and representatives for legitimate work with no exception. If any kind of legislation violation occurs, it is instantly brought to the attention of appropriate law enforcement authorities.
The company has a robust risk management framework to identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks. This framework seeks to create transparency, minimize adverse impact on the business objectives, and enhance the company’s competitive advantage. The risk framework defines risk management approach across the enterprise at various levels, from generic risks, such as loss of personnel, changing requirements to project-specific risks, like technology skill level, methodology choice, facilities availability.
We adhere to proactive risk management, which means we start analyzing risks before technical work is initiated. In fact, every activity at a1qa begins with the identification of potential emergencies and consequences in a particular context and preparation of treatment plans for the most significant of them. This enables us to avoid risks whenever possible, solve problems before they manifest themselves, and respond to troubles that do happen in a controlled and effective manner.
Risks are monitored and controlled iteratively throughout the project as a part of the team’s project management routine.
The process is done horizontally – all participants of the software development are encouraged to participate:
At a1qa, we bring in expertise and assets to protect the privacy and security of personal and business data in the environment with continuously advancing security threats, technologies, and legislation. The data privacy ethics is systematically communicated to our employees from their first working day, and a policy for information leakage monitoring and treatment is used.
As long as cybersecurity is embedded in all our operations, we maintain strict protection, comply with globally recognized security standards, and adopt security protection best practices. The establishment and operation of a proprietary security testing laboratory certified by the leading scientific-research organization enable a1qa to make technical information protection in IT systems an integral part of every initiative. In 2017, we started investing in an in-house R&D lab that along with state-of-the-art technologies incubation and testing, focuses on the latest developments in artificial intelligence, blockchain, and re-encryption for the development of efficient methodologies for threat intelligence, active defense, and Internet of Things security.
The laboratories’ scope of activities embraces:
Thus, every outsourcing contract with a1qa incorporates software systems security audit and optimization measures aimed at enhancing the quality of the customer’s software products and systems and improving the condition of the entire customer’s software/hardware infrastructure.
Whoever we may deal with and wherever we may operate, we are committed to doing so lawfully, ethically, and with integrity. As part of this commitment, all forms of bribery and corruption are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We must not, and we must ensure that any third party acting on our behalf does not act corruptly in our dealings with any other person.
Part of a1qa commitment to preventing bribery and corruption is to ensure that the people acting on our behalf also do so in compliance with effective anti-bribery and corruption policies. Accordingly, where we engage third parties such as our partners, we have obligations to complete sufficient due diligence when entering into arrangements to ensure that they are not acting corruptly and to periodically monitor their performance to ensure ongoing compliance. In short, if we cannot do it, neither can they.
2020 was marked by adjusting our corporate goals and values to the unique circumstances provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a clear focus on outmaneuvering the uncertainty, a1qa:
These measures help us support our clients on a regular basis and quickly respond to any arising issues.
Also, we are dedicated to conducting the procurement of goods and services in an open and competitive environment while guaranteeing safe custodianship of customer data.
We are committed to driving transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement throughout our global supply chain that meets the ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 27001 quality standards. Being a certified Microsoft Gold Partner and Atlassian Gold Solution Partner, a1qa applies only the licensed software that we receive from our vendor partners.
Strictly adhering to the consumer rights protection practices as laid down in the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection, a1qa fully acknowledges our responsibility to use fair, transparent, and helpful marketing information and contractual processes.
Our customers are enabled to make informed decisions about a1qa services guided by the information disseminated through various channels and made publicly accessible online.
a1qa exercises great care in safeguarding and using any information which may relate to the private lives or be potentially harmful to the interests or reputation of our clients. Such information is kept strictly confidential unless the performance of the duty or the needs of justice strictly require otherwise. Non-disclosure agreements are signed to protect any type of confidential and proprietary information, including patent-pending ideas and trade secrets. Furthermore, none of the information regarding different aspects of cooperation with our customers is made public prior to obtaining customer’s consent. Measures are taken to ensure a1qa personnel does not participate in activities that may involve a conflict of interest without appropriate disclosure and approval.
a1qa properly informs its customers of all applicable rights and obligations stemming from concluded agreements and applicable laws and empowers them to act on this knowledge. A 6-month after-service warranty period is established during which any technical issue that might arise is fixed free of charge. Our company’s management system is certified according to the ISO 9001:2015 standard for quality management systems, thus, demonstrating the ability to consistently provide services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
Adhering to the culture of excellence, characterized by continuous learning and self-improvement, a1qa regularly invests in the QA community by developing in-house open-source solutions available to anyone in need of complimentary testing support.
Our approach to talent management rests on inclusion, diversity and equal opportunity, talent attraction and development, and employee well-being.
Our company established conditions whereby its employees are free to enjoy their civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights as laid down in ICCPR, CEDAW, ICERD, ICESCR, CRPD, and other international treaties. We recognize the inalienability of human rights without distinction of any kind.
a1qa values and embraces a full spectrum of different backgrounds, cultures, affiliations, abilities, work styles, and perspectives. Whatever their role, function, grade, location, gender, nationality, or belief are set, our people always have the opportunity to learn and grow in new areas, enjoy the respectful and bias-free treatment and equal pay negotiations.
We take a range of actions to reinforce the racial equality policy:
Gender diversity and equality are essential to a1qa, and we focus on attracting, advancing, and retaining both male and female talents. Currently, we observe total gender equality — 515 women and 510 men. In a similar vein, a1qa offers equal job opportunities for persons with disabilities and has a policy of handling expressions of discrimination against the LGBT community. a1qa makes every effort to promote equal opportunities, trust, and respect among all our employees and stakeholders.
We believe that collaboration and knowledge exchange are the key drivers of a1qa growth. With this in mind, we hold QA meetups where our experts report, scrutinize, and improve their technology and methodology findings; and also we regularly accumulate domain-specific knowledge and best practices in 10+ proprietary Centers of Excellence and R&Ds to proficiently deliver projects across 10+ industries . Activities of this kind yield overall effectiveness, high software quality and bring in unified guidelines for service delivery.
Employing 1,100+ full-time specialists, a1qa pays great attention to enterprise-wide communication. A cross-department connection is ensured by means of an intranet, Facebook-based Workplace social network and a1qa Content — a monthly company newspaper that allows all employees to stay abreast of company news and updates, industry insights, the inner workings of other departments, employee personal interests, and many more. For the unprecedented employee engagement increase proved by figures and the ability to meet the HR goals, in 2016, a1qa was awarded the national HR Brand award recognizing the periodical as a strong HR branding tool.
In order to ensure the atmosphere of healthy enthusiasm, a1qa takes care of both physical and mental health of its employees along with bringing their talents to light and unlocking creativity. a1qa maintains a ‘safety first’ policy, providing the safe equipment and training necessary for the prevention of occupational diseases, accidents, and dealing with emergencies. Since we consider our employees to be our most valuable asset, we provide them with free medical services.
To guarantee extra support during the pandemic, a1qa has joined a WFH policy, provided employees with necessary equipment and infrastructure for remote work, conducted a complimentary corporate vaccination, moved offline events online and developed different virtual activities, including online fitness classes, and virtual team buildings. Educational programs and conferences were also switched to an online mode.
To ensure a healthy work-life balance, we provide reasonable working schedules, parental leave policies, and childcare facilities oriented to improve employee well-being.
Recognizing the fact that employment entails the rights and responsibilities specified for both parties of the relationship, a1qa fully covers all its legal obligations to workers whilst eliminating the possibility of any kind of discrimination in regard to employees during hiring and dismissal processes (including those who are sub-contracted). Our human resources management system fully complies with the national legislation of a1qa Group members’ domicile and residence States.
To gauge the health of employee engagement and promote employee motivation, a1qa actively engages our workers in a social dialogue via two-way discussions and surveys to address their concerns. The results of anonymous surveys are published on a1qa internal employee portal and are available for all employees to get acquainted with. Thus, by means of the surveys, the company’s management can fully appreciate the level of employee satisfaction and take steps to make amends where there is a room for improvement.
Recognizing the dire need for environmental protection and sustainable development, a1qa promotes environmental responsibility and runs programs to reduce the hazardous impact on the environment.
a1qa is actively engaged in promoting awareness and tackling environmental issues in accordance with best practices. The company management has ensured that the outdated IT equipment is gradually being replaced with energy-saving hardware systems. Renewable energy is utilized whenever possible. A number of measures are taken to optimize electricity consumption with a view to decreasing energy consumption and ensuring that the energy efficiency of office buildings is improved. This includes equipping lightning devices in a1qa offices with energy-saving light bulbs and switch-off automation of corridor lights with motion detectors during nonworking hours, evening time, and days off.
As a professional services company, our environmental footprint consists primarily of the carbon emissions generated through air travel and the use of electricity, and we take measures to reduce them. Thus, we use telepresence tools to collaborate with our geographically dispersed employees and clients, while reducing the cost, time, and carbon emissions associated with travel.
In order to reduce the global carbon footprint, our company frequently holds tree-planting campaigns. In terms of these initiatives, our employees gather in city parks or public gardens to plant trees or any other plant species. In general, over 50 items per hour were planted when a1qa participated in a social project by the large private bank and during the tree-planting action on our own initiative.
a1qa follows the principles of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Recycling Program in an effort to promote the recycling and reuse of waste electronics and reduce the amount that is disposed of in landfills. One of the elements of our corporate culture that is communicated to every employee since their first working day in the company is to refrain from printing incoming emails and draft materials and utilize recycled stationery in order to limit paper waste. Thus, paper consumption per employee has been reduced by 19% during the past 5 years, which is of strategic importance given the growth in employee numbers. Also, a1qa has accustomed its staff to use their own mugs even for takeaway drinks to decrease plastic waste, which was no big deal as each newcomer receives a branded reusable coffee cup on their first day in the company
a1qa has made sure that there is no polluting production or manufacturing that emits greenhouse gases and destroys the ozone layer. All office air conditioning systems have inbuilt air cleaning filters to prevent the emission of dust and other inappropriate substances into the atmosphere. Furthermore, a1qa offices are regularly inspected by supervising authorities — local sanitary and epidemiological stations — to control airborne emissions. We have equipped a bicycle parking space and office shower rooms to encourage our employees to switch from private cars to bicycles for commuting. In 2016, a1qa extended the bicycle parking with 50 extra places, addressing the spike of interest to bicycle transportation at the company, which indicated the effectiveness of the Sustainable Transportation Promotion Program.
By engaging with local communities, we promote the morals, values, and ethics of the IT industry, equip young people with the skills to get jobs and make the place we live and work in better.
a1qa provides decent job opportunities, maximizes local employment, and fulfills its tax responsibilities.
The company also provides collaboration and networking opportunities for IT professionals and organizations interested in knowledge exchange through the establishment of several local professional QA, test automation, and project management communities, holds meetups and hackathons.
In our mission to achieve higher quality education for young people in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the company partners with educational establishments, providing its production facilities for compulsory theoretical and practical training within the students’ curriculum. a1qa set up fully-equipped training labs at 7 educational establishments, where the company’s specialists deliver lectures based on their knowledge and hands-on, industry-specific experience. a1qa has a proprietary QA academy organized around the idea of effective knowledge transfer and experience sharing. Initiated as a training center for interns and newcomers, during 10+ years of operation the Academy evolved into an independent educational entity providing unique practice-oriented course programs for our clients willing to improve their departments, increase productivity and efficiency, gain more expertise and practical knowledge. The strategic idea under the B2B training is to share our valuable domain-specific knowledge, methodologies, tools, and instruments, communication and teamwork, metrics, etc. that could help companies increase the quality and security of their products and services.
Having accumulated extensive technology and operational skillset and experience, a1qa has been advancing a proprietary framework to give young people the skills and connections to gain sustainable employment, as well as actively share the accumulated knowledge through co-working initiatives.
In 2019, the company organized:
a1qa recognizes the establishment of multi-faceted relationships with the communities it operates in, the positive impact on all community members, and support for non-profit organizations as a core social responsibility area. The company’s community development initiatives include holding company-wide and country-wide events, supporting flashmobs aimed at raising money to support relief funds and search and rescue organizations. Among such initiatives, there are toy donation actions and the annual Christmas bazaar where the company’s employees can sell and buy home-made bakery to raise funds for the international children’s aid fund.
In 2016, the International Socio-Economic Foundation IDEA named the ‘Super park’ community involvement project held by a1qa the CSR project of the year in the respective category. The project idea consisted of the extensive engagement of citizens in edutainment activities and improvement of the urban environment and public spaces.
a1qa believes that each person has the right to meet their own needs in the future. Thus, we adhere to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and strive to sustainably consume energy, provide inclusive educational opportunities, equal employment possibilities, and more.
For instance, a1qa established long-term cooperation with universities. The company invites students to its offices where it conducts excursions around the facilities and shares insights into working in the IT industry, career path development, company’s projects and milestones.
To foster innovation and generate disruptive ideas, we set up 10+ proprietary centers of excellence and R&Ds to accumulate industry-specific knowledge and best practices, develop in-house solutions boosting testing efficiency, and provide opportunities for teams to hone their professional skills.