The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) upgrade from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 certification prompted the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to likewise upgrade its services by adopting the improved ISO standard.
RITM through the global provider of technical, safety, and certification services, TÜV Rheinland, went through a meticulous and extensive three day quality audit of its processes last May 3-5.
According to Quality Assurance Office (QAO) Head Dr. Edison Alberto, ISO standards are continually evolving, and organizations must follow and go through re-accreditation whenever ISO standards are amended.
“Compliance to and accreditation from ISO is significant to the Institute, because this testifies our commitment to ensure improvement in the services we provide to our customers,” said Dr. Alberto as he explained the importance for RITM to receive the new ISO certification.
Overall, during the audit closing meeting, the auditors concluded that the RITM Quality Management System is in place and complies with the ISO 9001:2015 standards.
Only two non-conformities were identified: (1) Ensure timely calibration of equipment; and, (2) Ensure performance evaluation of external providers.
QAO was quick to submit the root cause analysis and the corrective action plan to TÜV Rheinland to show its commitment to improve its services based on the findings.
“We are very happy and fulfilled that RITM successfully finished the external quality audit, and aspired to receive the new ISO accreditation this early,” said Dr. Alberto.
RITM’s preparation for the audit
QAO, led by Dr. Alberto, laid the groundwork in guiding the Institution towards preparing for the quality audit.
Starting June last year, QAO led RITM through a series of capacity building trainings that included raising awareness about the ISO 9001:2015 certification, revising documents, and revisiting processes in compliance to the new standard.
More importantly, QAO conducted an internal quality audit to ensure that the quality management system as per ISO 9002: 2015 standard is in place prior to the external audit by TÜV Rheinland.
Dr. Alberto shared that “some issues were detected during the internal audit – which was really the intention, because we were able to address the issues before the external quality audit in May.”
He also expressed his gratitude and appreciation to everyone in the Institution who cooperated and gave their time in preparing for the internal and external audit.
Emphasizing that receiving the accreditation as an Institutional effort, Dr. Alberto hopes for the unwavering support and engagement of RITM staff to continuously demonstrate the Institution’s ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable international standards and local statutory and regulatory requirements.
by Allenor Enciso