PAB Director, Engr. James E. Empeño delivers his oral presentation on September 6, 2023, Day 3 of the 20th APCChE Congress and 84th PIChE National Convention at the SMX Convention Center, Manila.

The 20th Asia Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineers (APCChE) Congress, held in conjunction with the 84th Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers (PIChE) National Convention has recently culminated, leaving a lasting impact of knowledge and inspiration. One of the notable presentations during the event was Engr. James E. Empeño’s take on “Transformational Leadership Principles for the Engineer.”

Engr. Empeño, as the Director of the DTI-Philippine Accreditation Bureau and an engineer himself, delivered a session that shed light on the significant role that accreditation and conformity assessment services play in embracing transformational leadership within the field of engineering. He presented his perspective from the vantage point of an accreditation body, emphasizing how accreditation and conformity assessment services can catalyze revolutionary changes within organizations. These services include testing, calibration, inspection, and certification, all of which are instrumental in ensuring quality and safety—aspects that engineers and leaders should uphold.

The discussion resonated with the attendees who recognized the transformative potential of effective leadership in the engineering field. Engr. Empeño’s presentation underscored the significance of leadership that not only guides but also empowers engineers to make meaningful contributions to the industry while upholding the highest standards of quality and safety.

The Essence of Transformational Leadership

The principles of Transformational Leadership lie in its ability to inspire people to achieve extraordinary tasks and to do so with unwavering personal integrity and professional qualifications. This transformative leadership process is an ongoing journey, marked by the daily application of three core principles: integrity as the foundation, competence as the affirmation, and energy as the inspiration.

Engr. Empeño introduced the “ICE Squared” concept encapsulating integrity and impartiality, competence and consistency, and energy and enthusiasm. He emphasized that transformational leaders excel at encouraging, inspiring, and motivating employees, leading to optimized performance and meaningful change within the organization. Transformational leaders are individuals whom others eagerly follow, trusting them to lead toward success. He stressed that, trust is built through a life of integrity and with impartiality, ensuring that decisions are based on objective criteria rather than bias or preference.

In the context of accreditation, international standards such as ISO/IEC 17011, 17020, 17021, and 17025 mandate impartiality to maintain compliance. According to these standards, accreditation bodies must not allow commercial, financial, or other pressures to compromise impartiality.

Engr. Empeño highlighted that competence is key to effective leadership and in instilling confidence in one’s actions. Competent individuals are unafraid of the challenges that arise. For example, the engineering profession encompasses a wide range of competencies, making it vital to maintain continuous learning programs, like regular attendance at events such as the annual PIChE National Convention. Additionally, continuing professional education (CPE) credits are earned by participating in specialized training activities and count toward certification programs that enable professionals to maintain or upgrade their credentials.

Accreditation and Conformity Assessment as Catalysts for Transformation

Accreditation and conformity assessment services emerged as key catalysts for the transformational leadership that Engr. Empeño advocated. These services provide a structured framework supporting organizations in adhering to international standards, ensuring consistency, reliability, and safety in their operations.

Accreditation not only validates an organization’s competence but also enhances its credibility in the eyes of stakeholders. By adhering to rigorous standards and subjecting their processes to objective evaluation, organizations can build trust and confidence among clients, partners, and customers. Conformity assessment services further reinforce this commitment by ensuring that products and services meet predefined quality benchmarks.

In the context of transformational leadership, the adoption of accreditation and conformity assessment services reflects an organization’s dedication to excellence and its pursuit of continuous improvement. This aligns with the overarching theme of the 20th APCChE Congress, “Revitalizing Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development,” as organizations committed to transformational leadership actively contribute to the sustainable growth and development of the engineering sector.

Reflection on the 20th APCChE Congress and 84th PIChE National Convention of Someone from an Accreditation Body

L-R: Engineers and Accreditation Officers, Engr. Isaiah Dale B. Lim, Engr. Mary Joan D. de Pablo, Engr. Estrella P. Abejero (PAB-MSAD SupTids), Engr. James E. Empeño (PAB Director), Engr. Ma. Juanita P. Carpio (PAB-MSAD Division Chief), and Engr. Katrina A. Talle, pose for a photo opportunity as they attended the 20th APCChE Congress and 84th PIChE National Convention from 04-09 September 2023.

The 20th APCChE Congress and 84th PIChE National Convention have not only provided a platform for the exchange of ideas but have also ignited a spark of transformation within the hearts and minds of attendees. As the engineering community continues its forward journey, it carries with it the principles of transformational leadership and the awareness of the crucial role that accreditation and conformity assessment services play in shaping a brighter, more innovative, and more sustainable future for all.

Release Date: 12 September 2023.