What does ISO certification mean, and why it’s such a big deal

Published February 12, 2021, 2:52 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The Department of Energy (DoE) recently trumpeted the National Electrification Administration’s achievement of passing the “recertification audit” and obtaining the “ISO 9001:2015 certification” from TÜV Rheinland Philippines, Inc. But what does this mean? And why all the fuss?

Department of Energy (DoE) (MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Energy (DoE) (MANILA BULLETIN)

A quick check with Wikipedia defines the ISO 9000 family of quality management systems as “a set of standards that helps organizations ensure they meet customer and other stakeholder needs within statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service.”

ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. It is an independent, non-governmental, international organization that develops standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems.

“ISO certifications exist in many areas of industry, from energy management and social responsibility to medical devices and energy management,” wrote Jim Wilbur in an article on Mead Metals, Inc. dated June 17, 2020.

“ISO standards are in place to ensure consistency. Each certification has separate standards and criteria and is classified numerically,” Wilbur said.

He noted that ISO certification “certifies that a management system, manufacturing process, service, or documentation procedure has all the requirements for standardization and quality assurance.” In short, it’s a third-party stamp of approval on the way an entity has been conducting its service.

NEA, headed by its administrator Edgardo Masongsong, said it received its ISO 9001:2015 certificate on January 27, after passing the recertification audit conducted by TÜV Rheinland on December 11, 2020.

“The scope of certification was focused on the provision of ‘financial, institutional, technical, and legal assistance to the electric cooperatives (ECs) which in turn undertake power distribution on an area coverage basis,'” said the agency, the mandate of which is to pursue the total electrification of the country through the ECs by way of enhancing distribution development.

In its recertification audit report, TÜV Rheinland noted that “the organization has established and maintained an effective system to ensure compliance with its policy and objectives.” NEA also registered zero nonconformity in the processes surveyed, and showed a number of positive findings in management initiatives.

DoE Secretary Alfonso Cusi hailed the development in his letter to Masongsong last February 9.

“This milestone is another testament to the NEA’s solid commitment to exceptional public service. We commend your consistent adherence to international standards, most especially since our electric cooperatives consider your agency as the vanguard of countryside electrification,” wrote the Energy chief.

Masongsong told lawmakers last on June 5, 2020 that, as of December 2019, only 1.8 million households in the country remain unenergized. He said this represents just five percent of Philippine homes, meaning the other 95 percent have already been given access to electricity.