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Why ISO 9001:2015?

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he world has changed and globalization has allowed organizations to trade across borders. There is now a shift to service-based economies where supply chain has become complex (McKinley, 2015) and there are increased expectations from customers (ISO, 2015). Consequently, there is a need of greater focus on customer requirements where conformity of products and services should be ensured (Croft, 2015). This can be achieved through the implementation of high-level-structured Quality Management Systems (QMS) such as the ISO 9001:2015, an updated version of the ISO 9001:2008.

With more than 1.2 million certificates issued to more than 185 countries, theISO 9001 is by far the most recognized standard worldwide consisting of 71% of all certificates issued by ISO (2014). In the Philippines, the institutionalization of QMS to all branches of the government including State Universities and Colleges (SUC) is one of the requirements imposed by AO 161 and EO 605 (2006). This standard has also been used as basis on the grant of Performance Based Bonuses (PBB) since 2012 (DBM & CHED, 2015), a criterion for Institutional Sustainability and Enhancement (ISE) Assessment by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED, 2014), determinant of SUC Leveling by DBM & CHED(2016), and other statutory andregulatory requirements.

The Technological University of the Philippines system is up for the challenge of upholding its commitment in delivering quality education services by undergoing continuous accreditation of its programs and processes. Inspired by TUP Visayas Campus’ recent ISO 9001:2008 certification; the Manila Campus is very optimistic to replicate this achievement along with Taguig and Cavite campuses in the near time.


ISO 9001:2015 Framework

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he ISO 9001:2015 uses the Annex SL framework and adopts its high-level structure,core text and common terms and core definitions. The main clauses include the Scope; Normative References; Terms and Definitions; Context of the Organization;Leadership; Planning; Support; Operation; Performance Evaluation; and Improvement. However, within sub-clauses to these main activity headings, ISO 9001:2015 also includes those additional requirements which are specific to QMS.

One of the consequences of adopting the Annex SL is that some of the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 which are unchanged in ISO 9001:2015 are now located under different headings in differently numbered clauses. For example, ‘Management Responsibility’ activities from ISO 9001:2008 clause 5, are now to be found under ‘Leadership’ in a new clause 5, whilst ‘Product Realization’ in clause 7 is now covered by the new clause 8 ‘Operation’.

Also, emphasized in the framework is the compelling importance of identifying the requirements of the customers and other relevant interested parties. This is the ultimate consideration on the design and implementation of effective, efficient, and timely processes that meet customer expectations, hence, ensuring customer satisfaction.


Our Strategy

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assing the ISO 9001:2015 certification is a tedious process, hence, a committed workforce and well-laid strategic plan will definitely help. Initially, the Top Management shall decide the scope and specific key processes that will beaudited. If accreditation is desired at institutional level, all departments that perform the core and support functions of the University shall undergo a third party accreditation. Moreover, getting everyone involved from top to bottom will also make a difference in the smooth implementation of targets. Hiring an expert is highly recommended for first time accreditation. The consultant will provide expert services and guidance for the core team in complying with the critical QMS requirements. The core team, composed of dedicated personnel, shall undergo intensive training in documentation, implementation, and internal auditing. After that the team will prepare the QMS deliverables then implement them in all departments of the University for approximately three months. The core team will eventually conduct internal audit and management review to identify and resolve nonconformities found. After a successful internal audit, TUP shall proceed with the formal certification to a third party ISO Certifying Body who will conduct the Stage 1(Documentation) and Stage 2 (Implementation) audits. If TUP passes all the conformity requirements, an ISO 9001:2015 will be awarded subsequently.


Timeline of Activities

he certification will take approximately twelve months, sans the preparation and awarding ceremony. This is doable given that there is substantial support from the Top Management, ample financial resources, and relentless efforts and cooperation from all employees. Initially, TUP through the QA/A Team has to go through preparatory works such as the identification of the scope of accreditation, key processes to be audited, determination of the members of the core group, conduct of initial gap analysis, and hiring of consultant which also includes the bidding process. The core group will then have to go through training in QMS awareness, documentation, implementation, and internal auditing. After that, the QMS documentation deliverables such as Quality Manual, Work Procedure Manuals, Forms and other Supporting Documents, and Risk Management Plan will be prepared, then implemented in all departments of the University.

A third party ISO certifying body will eventually conduct the Stage 1 Audit for the QMS documentation, then the Stage 2 Audit for the QMS implementation for approximately two succeeding months. The certifying body will convey the results of the assessment if there are major or minor non-conformities. If there are no non-conformities though, the certifying body will award the certificate approximately on the third month from Stage 2 Audit. The certification is valid for three years, wherein there will be surveillance visits on the second and third years to ensure that the QMS implementation has been consistently implemented and observed in the University.


The Core Group

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he successful attainment of the ISO 9001:2015 certification heavily relies on the commitment, dedication, and competence of the core group composed of the Top Management, a Quality Management Representative (QMR), University Document Controller, ISO Coordinator, and a set of Internal Auditor, Process Owner, and Document Controller per office. The Top Management led by the President, along with her Vice Presidents, will decide the scope and processes to be covered by the accreditation, provide sufficient financial and facility resources, and demonstrate a decisive leadership with clear set of goals and unified spirit. The QMR serves as the overall project manager who ensures the successful completion of the ISO certification through efficient planning, coordination, and regular updates to the Top Management. Meanwhile, the University Document Controller ensures that all required documents and deliverable are accurate, complete, traceable, and in compliance with the University procedures and ISO 9001:2015 standard. The ISO Coordinator, on the other hand, coordinates with the QMR on all matters related to ISO such as the conduct of training to personnel and information dissemination to all stakeholders, ensures that all logistical materials and resources are readily available during the entire certification, and performs other related tasks. Moreover, the Internal Auditors, who qualified in an examination, ensure that all organizational processes, and the goods and services that result, comply with the requirements of the standard. The Process Owners are composed Deans, Directors, and Heads of offices who shall be responsible in the preparation, implementation, and maintenance of the QMS while the Document Controllers ensure that all processes are accurately documented and all quality document deliverable are produced. Ideally, each office shall have an Internal Auditor and Document Controller to facilitate smooth production of required documents and processes.