RITM completes ISO audit with zero nonconformities
TÜV Rheinland Lead Auditor Maribeth Lucañas (2nd from left) and Dr. Rey Lim (3rd from left) performing a random sampling method of the documents in the RITM Parasitology Laboratory

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) successfully maintained its existing certification of the ISO 9001:2015 standard with zero nonconformities in its first surveillance audit from November 14 to 15, 2022.

RITM’s ISO certification covers the provision of administrative, medical and laboratory services, biologicals production, research and development including knowledge and technology transfer.

TÜV Rheinland Lead Auditor Maribeth Lucañas together with Kharen-Tan Concepcion, Dr. Rey Lim, and Madilyn Plaza spearheaded the two-day audit.

Organizational units and processes were audited through random sampling method, interviews with process owners, observation of processes, and verification of records.

In the audit’s closing meeting, Lucañas reported that RITM has established and maintained an effective system to ensure compliance with its policy and objectives. They also confirmed that the Institution’s management system complies with and implements the requirements of the standard.

While zero nonconformities were reported, Lucañas noted several opportunities for improvement (OFIs) for the audited units. Lucañas emphasized that the OFIs does not require the submission of corrective action but addressing these are encouraged, as OFIs intend to contribute to the continuous improvement of the Institute’s management system.

These OFIs will be reviewed in the following surveillance audit for the succeeding year.

Lucañas also highlighted multiple positive findings in the areas of Internal Audit, Engineering, Dermatology, Health Information and Management, National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory, Personnel Awards, and Continual Improvement.

As the meeting ended, RITM Director Dr. Celia Carlos expressed her gratitude to the audit team for the thorough evaluation of the Institute with respect to the ISO standards and commended the Quality Assurance Office (QAO) and RITM staff for their diligence in providing quality work and services.

“Every year, I see that the culture of quality is gradually imbibed at all levels in RITM. Our zero nonconformance to the ISO standard serves as a testament to this. I firmly believe that the people of RITM earnestly integrate quality into all aspects of their work and services,” said QAO Head Dr. Edison Alberto.

The Institute was recertified with ISO 9001: 2015 this 2022 is valid until 2025. The 2nd surveillance audit for RITM is scheduled on November 17, 2023.

by Allenor Enciso, Communication and Engagement Office