Director James E. Empeño shares an overview of Philippine Accreditation Bureau and its services during a TV interview with TV anchors Ms. Cheryl Cosim and DTI Undersecretary Ireneo V. Vizmonte on Perfect Morning
TV 5 Network’s Perfect Morning was the perfect vehicle for Director James E. Empeño to promote the services of the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) on national TV, through the Trabaho Negosyo Konsyumer (TNK) of the Department of Trade and Industry. Perfect morning which airs on Wednesdays from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM is hosted by Ms. Cheryl Cosim and DTI Undersecretary for Management Services Group, Ireneo V. Vizmonte which features topics relating to DTI’s programs and services.
Director Empeño guested during the 14 August 2019 episode to talk about the important role of PAB, as the national accreditation body by virtue of the Executive Order 802. PAB accredits testing laboratories, inspection bodies, certifying bodies, and other bodies collectively referred to as the Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) offering conformity assessment services to ensure that products, services, processes and persons comply requirements of international standards on safety, quality and competence.
When asked on the difference between accreditation and certification, Director Empeño remarked that these terms are loosely used and are not synonymous. While accreditation and certification occupy layers of conformity assessment, their roles are different. Certification ensures that products or services conform to the specified processes, audit systems and requirements. On the other hand, accreditations done by an independent party like PAB, checks if these certification bodies are doing their work correctly, impartially and competently.
The layers of conformity assessment is further demarcated with accreditation because PAB as an accreditation body also undergoes assessment to ensure that it adheres to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011, the international standards for accreditation bodies. This process called peer evaluation carried out every four years is governed by the international organizations which PAB and other accreditation bodies are signatory members. International organizations like the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF) have mutual recognition arrangements that benefit everyone.
To illustrate, Director Empeño cited food products as an example where accreditation plays an essential role. In examining food, there is a need for a testing facility to conform to standards to ensure accuracy and reliability. Accreditation checks the impartiality of the testing laboratory to carry out the test in creating public trust that food products are safe for consumption and are of high quality. The same is also true with calibration laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies.
Accreditation also helps in the ease of doing business. Because accreditation bodies have mutual recognition arrangements, the test results for products issued by PAB-accredited laboratories are readily accepted in the countries of other signatory members in these international arrangements. Thus, businesses can easily enter the international market. Similarly, in the local market, accreditation builds trust by ensuring that consumers can depend on the quality and safety of these products.
Director Empeño also explained the relation of standards and accreditation. Conformity assessment bodies like testing laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies use standards from International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). These standards are adopted by the country through the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) as Philippine National Standards (PNS) which serve as bases in conformity assessment activities in the Philippines.
Accreditation fees and processes were also discussed. Accreditation is a rigid process of assessment done by experts in various fields. It takes about 6 months to 1 year to complete the entire accreditation process. Accreditation is voluntary in nature but becomes indirectly mandatory when regulators impose accredited conformity assessment activities in their policies.
PAB has accredited more than 250 conformity assessment bodies. CAB accreditation is valid for 5 years subject to surveillance visits to ensure that the systems they implement continuously comply with the requirements of relevant standards based on their scope of accreditation. If the assessment team found non-conformities during the process of accreditation, CABs are allowed to submit corrective actions. List of PAB accredited conformity assessment bodies are found in the PAB website: https://www.dti.gov.ph/cabs#search-for-cabs.
|Release Date: 15 August 2019|