A back-to-back awareness webinar on ISO/IEC 17043 – requirements for the competence of providers of proficiency testing schemes, and ISO/IEC 17020 – requirements for the operation of various bodies performing inspection was conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry-Philippine Accreditation Bureau on 26 & 27 August 2021.

The activity aimed to provide the participants with an overview of the standards, and help them better understand the role of an accreditation body, PAB accreditation process, and benefits of accreditation.

ISO/IEC 17043 – Requirements for the competence of providers of proficiency testing schemes

The basic purpose of proficiency testing is to assess the performance of laboratories for their conduct of specific test, measurements or calibrations. As many laboratories operate in isolation from other laboratories and do not have ongoing opportunities to compare their data with others, there may be risk of data errors, biases or significant differences compared to similar laboratories.

Proficiency testing provides an opportunity to undertake such comparisons and to have an independent appraisal of the laboratory’s data compared to reference values or to the performance of similar laboratories. The results from such participation provide laboratory managers with either a confirmation that the laboratory’s performance is satisfactory or an alert that an investigation of potential problems within the laboratory is required.

Hence, accreditation of proficiency testing provider is vital to ensure that international guidelines are followed in the production, labeling, and assignment of property values to materials, including stability and homogeneity determinations that are then factored in the proficiency testing results reported. Accreditation involves assurance of technical competence, and good quality management practices of the proficiency testing provider.

The Philippine Accreditation Bureau’s (PAB) implementation of accreditation scheme for Proficiency Testing Providers was approved on January 04, 2021 with the issuance of Department Order No. 21-01. With this development, testing laboratories and other bodies that participates in proficiency testing programs will now have the opportunity to participate in a more trusted and cost-friendly PT programs.

ISO/IEC 17020 – Requirements for the operation of various bodies performing inspection

Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020, Conformity assessment – Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection is gaining momentum in industries around the globe. The broad definition of inspection in the standard allows great flexibility in application from systems to services and raw material to finished products.

ISO/IEC 17020 incorporates same level of requirements for the organizational quality management system as ISO 9001 and other international standards, however, it puts greater emphasis on organizational ability to manage impartiality and conflicts of interest as well as the technical competence of people, inspection processes, and equipment.

Accredited inspection bodies provide assurance of technically competent service and consistently reliable results that reduces costs and lowers risks. It is key in demonstrating that products, equipment, structures, and systems meet required specifications.

Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020 allows an organization to demonstrate integrity, reliability, and technical competence as well as compliance to internationally-recognized good practices. DTI-PAB’s accreditation scheme for Inspection Body is now recognized internationally through its signatory membership to Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement (APAC-MRA).  Under these arrangements, inspections performed or inspection results from Inspection Body accredited by PAB are readily recognized by fellow APAC-MRA signatories.

Both events were graced by Dr. Napoleon K. Juanillo, Jr., Assistant Secretary for the Competitiveness and Innovation Group, PAB Director James E. Empeño, PAB Asst. Director Ernani M. Dionisio, DOST-FNRI Senior Science Research Specialist Ms. Leah Castillo-Dajay, Engr. Aldwin B. Tagapan, and participants from different government and private organizations, Proficiency Testing Providers, Testing/Calibration Laboratories, and Inspection Bodies.

DTI-PAB will continue to promote accreditation and its benefits by providing free webinars to its stakeholders.

To know more about PAB’s accreditation services and upcoming events, please visit our website: www.dti.gov.ph/pab or e-mail at pab@dti.gov.ph.

Release Date: 06 September 2021.