ATI Reinforces its Pool of Internal Quality Auditors

QMS Consultant Alan Fabella discusses methods of root cause analysis at the Training on Internal Quality Audit for ATI staff.

BAGUIO CITY, Benguet – To ensure continual improvement of its Quality Management System (QMS), the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) trained a new batch of internal auditors who will keep track of the agency’s competitiveness and compliance to the ISO 9001:2008 standards.

Some 23 selected staff from the Institute’s Central Office (ATI-CO) and its network of Regional Training Centers (RTCs) were equipped as internal quality auditors in a five-day Training on Internal Quality Audit (IQA) organized by the ATI-CO’s ISO Team.

The participants primarily learned about the audit process and the values and skills it entails. Among the topics discussed were: Quality Management Principles; ISO 9001:2008 Standards; IQA Principles and Concepts; The Audit Process; and Understanding Corrective and Preventive Action. Some mini-workshops were also included in the training that gave the participants hands-on experience of the principles and processes.

QMS Consultant Alan Fabella, who served as the training’s resource person, expressed that internal audit is about keeping the quality management system in line. According to him, “It serves as a check and balance on the compliance of the actual processes to the requirements and standards established under the system.” He added that internal audits, among others, are conducted to confirm the effectiveness of the management system or to obtain information for its improvement.

Fabella likewise underscored that auditing is characterized by reliance on the principles of integrity, fair presentation, due professional care, confidentiality, independence and evidence-based approach. He stressed that internal auditors need to focus only on processes and evidences and ensure that audit findings do not stem from personal biases and assumptions.

Marlyn Necesito, Chief of the Regional Operations Division of the Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA) in Cordillera, shared with the participants their organization’s “quality journey” of being ISO 9001:2008 certified since 2012. She said that the benefits of being ISO certified may not be tangible but will surely bring positive change in the agency’s culture.

Necesito stressed the importance of continuous learning and practice among internal auditors. “While you may think that this is only additional work load for you, you should also bear in mind that audit results are the basis for further improvements. Through regular audits, the culture of an organization becomes preventive,” she imparted.

The participants expressed their gratitude for having the opportunity to contribute to the improvement of the ATI’s QMS and hoped to rise to the challenge of becoming its ‘vanguards’.

ATI-CO received its ISO 9001:2008 certification in 2014. This IQA Training is the first among a series of capability development trainings slated for the new batch of ATI’s internal quality auditors. With participants from the ATI-CO, International Training Center on Pig Husbandry and RTCs in Regions II, VI, VIII, XII, XIII and CAR, the activity was held at the AIM Conference Center, Igorot Lodge in Camp John Hay last December 7 to 11, 2015. (Photo by Yovina-Claire Pauig)