Monday, November 23, 2015

BU passes audit towards maintaining ISO certification for excellence

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 22 (PNA) -- The Bicol University, the premiere government-run higher education institution with main campuses here, has successfully hurdled the recent surveillance audit on its way to maintaining its certificate of excellence at par with international standards from the Organization for Standardization (ISO).

“We passed the two-day audit made last Nov. 16-17 by one of the leading international certifying bodies and satisfactorily complied with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 in our campaign to retain the certification we first obtained five years ago,” Dr. Arnulfo Macariñas, the university president, over the weekend said.

The audit was conducted through campus visitations by a team from TÜV SÜD PSB Philippines, an internationally recognized certification body with accreditation by Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) and Philippines Accreditation Office (PAO).

Visited for the audit were the BU main campuses here, in Tabaco City hosting the College of Fisheries (BUCF) and in the Albay municipalities of Guinobatan and Polangui, which are home to the BU College of Agriculture and Forestry (BUCAF) and the annex campus, respectively.

The ISO 9001:2008 certificate, which was awarded to BU in 2011 to become its first recipient among state universities in the Philippines, is a global symbol affirming the university’s processes and standards are at par with international management systems.

Its first recertification was received in 2013 and the second coming soon as head TÜV SÜD PSB Philippines auditor Erveene Zoleta said they will recommend to TÜV SÜD International headquartered in Munich, Germany that the ISO certificate of BU be maintained.

The scope of the audit leading to the possible renewed certification includes the provision and development of tertiary and graduate education degrees and non-degree courses, as well as research and extension services, according to Macariñas.

The survey visit, he said, was meant to evaluate not only the conformity of the management system with the audit criteria, but also the effectiveness of the management system to ensure that the organization is capable of meeting applicable statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements.

It also determined the effectiveness of the management system in ensuring that the organization is able to meet its specified objectives.

ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality.

For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity.

Educational institutions are increasingly recognizing these benefits and international standardization features in many curricula being recognized as the vital contribution that educational institutions bring to raising awareness of standardization and its benefits.

The ISO Award for Higher Education was started in 2007 to promote and support higher education institutions running successful programs that raise awareness of the benefits of international standards.

Every two years, a selection panel including representatives from academia, economics and the media, choose a higher education institution that is leading the way in education about standards.

To be an ISO-certified educational institution, a school, particularly high education level, should have a repository of resources and teaching materials, a list of existing teaching materials on standardization, with details of the authors and publishers.

Teachers and standards professionals can use this tool to access information that can help them in designing and delivering courses on standards matters.

In addition, the repository will help optimize the use of resources, facilitate the re-use of existing materials and highlight new subject matters to be ISO also requires documents on standardization in education systems which is a collection of articles, policy documents, academic research articles and others that describe how standardization is integrated into education in various countries.

The ISO Award for Higher Education was started in 2007 to promote and support higher education institutions running successful program that raise awareness of the benefits of International Standards.

Mascarinas expressed satisfaction with the results of the recent audit as the university that did not incur any non-conformity findings as he announced that the ISO surveillance audit will be on a yearly basis in his term as it is vital in achieving the university’s vision.

“We want to continue this audit system because I believe that our vision of becoming a world-class university would need an affirmation that can only be done part and parcel through the conduct of activities such as this,” he stressed.

The ISO audit system, Macariñas said, is just one of the quality assurance mechanisms utilized by BU to ensure the efficient performance of the university in meeting its goals such as commitment to quality and client satisfaction.

BU’s commitment to implement quality assurance methods in both the academic and support services and its zeal to build procedures for its maintenance is anchored on the BU vision to be a world-class university, he said.

The university is the oldest state-owned higher education institution in Bicol which has been on the lead in producing globally competitive graduates imbued with the highly held values of scholarship, leadership, character and service toward generating and disseminating new knowledge and technologies beneficial to all stakeholders and to improve the well-being of the community.(PNA) CTB/FGS/DOC/CBD/PJN