PAB ensures that its assessments are calibrated by providing regular policy and standard updates to its assessors and experts through its yearly forum. This year’s Assessors and Experts’ Forum of the Laboratory Accreditation Division (LAD) was held uniquely as LAD collaborated with the Promotion and Documentation Division (PDD) to incorporate a competency-building program for its assessors.

The week-long activity kicked off on April 4, 2022 with focus on addressing assessors’ concerns and challenges faced during assessments. It also served as a venue to receive suggestions to improve PAB’s accreditation processes and system. This was followed by the competency-building activities that included Data Privacy on April 5, 2022, Statistical Tools in the Interpretation of Laboratory Results on April 5-6, 2022, and Risk Management on April 7-8, 2022.

DTI-CIG Asst. Secretary Napoleon K. Juanillo, Jr. highlighted that the forum was aimed at enhancing the assessors’ understanding on PAB’s policies and requirements. He also emphasized that the competency-building activities associated in this year’s forum were carried out to show appreciation for their hard work and dedication in doing service excellence.

As a way of saying thank you for all your hard work and dedication in providing your service as our assessors and experts, we have prepared three competency-building webinars for you.

These competency building activities have been realized because of your suggestions during the previous forums. Therefore, we encourage you to tell us how we could further contribute in your growth as PAB assessors and experts,” Asec. Juanillo said.

With the specificity of the topics, PAB engaged external resource speakers who have proven knowledge and experiences in the said fields.

Statistical Tools in the Interpretation of Laboratory Results

Invited to provide a refresher on Statistical Tools in the Interpretation of Laboratory Results is one of the country’s foremost in instrumentation and analytical chemistry, Dr. Fortunato Sevilla III, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Chemistry, College of Science of the University of Santo Tomas, Manila.

The refresher course involves a review on the application of statistics in various phases of measurement carried out in the laboratory. It also provided review and updates on the methods of mathematical measure of the significance of quantitative laboratory data.

This training was aimed at providing our assessors and experts with statistical tools that can be utilized in interpreting laboratory results. It was also aimed at providing knowledge on the application of statistical tools for the assessment and interpretation of the results in various phases of measurements carried out in the laboratory. Assessors were also refreshed on carrying out statistical procedures using updated techniques as well as in communicating the information derived from the results of the application of statistics in measurements.

Data Privacy Law

With the vast amount of data and information accessed by our assessors during the accreditation process, it is imperative that they stay abreast with the provisions of the Data Privacy Act in order to preserve the privacy of individuals and organizations while performing uncompromised quality assessments during the accreditation process. The knowledge of this law will allow them to ensure compliance with international standards set for data protection through the National Privacy Commission (NPC).

Engr. Janssen Esguerra, Information Technology Officer of the Data Security and Technology Standards Division of the National Privacy Commission emphasized the importance of data privacy, integrity, records and data life cycle, and ALCOA (Attributable, Legible, Contemporaneous, Original, Accurate) – the Key to data integrity, information security management).

He also discussed the system design to ensure data integrity and protection of the rights of the data subjects. He particularly highlighted the legal obligation which must be complied with by the Personal Information Controller (PICs) and the Personal Information Processors (PIPs) in accordance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations which was promulgated in 2016.

Risk Management 

Risk is an integral element of any business process. It is inherent in systems, functions and processes. Therefore, it is crucial for organizations to understand, recognize, analyze and address risks, and pursue opportunities that will affect their business operations, and integrate the risk controls into their management system. Similarly, the assessors and experts should understand the relevant concepts and requirements to enable them to effectively assess the same management system.

This refresher course provided assessors and experts with concepts of risk, and opportunity in any management system in order for them to easily apply the requirements of risk-based thinking in their respective assessments.

Engr. Romeo M. Ramirez touched on topics like risk identification, assessment and control, planning for controlling risk, and on how to integrate risk and opportunities in the quality management system (QMS).

Way Forward

A rerun of the competency-building program is expected to be done within the year to accommodate other assessors, experts, and personnel who were not able to attend any of the refresher courses. A similar program is expected to capacitate PAB’s conformity assessment bodies (CABs) in competently performing their conformity assessment activities.

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Release Date: 25 April 2022.