Standards have been widely used as government and regulators are constantly called upon to make decisions related to the health, environment, and welfare of consumers which may entail the development or update of regulatory and legal requirements.
Similarly, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) of the Philippines has released the MARINA CIRCULAR NO. 2018-02 stipulating that, “All MARINA-Registered Shipyards licensed under this Circular shall be required to secure ISO 9001:2015 on Quality Management System and its latest amendments from a certification body accredited by the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB).”
Many of us may ponder upon the relevance of ISO 9001 in the Shipbuilding and Ship Repair (SBSR) sector. This question was answered when Engr. James E. Empeño, Director of the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) was invited by MARINA on 01 September 2021 to discuss the significance of quality management systems in this highly-specialized industry.
During the 7th Philippine Marine 2021 Virtual Expo’s SBSR Technical Conference, Dir. Empeño explained that ISO 9001 is a standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system. It helps businesses and organizations to be highly efficient and more customer-focused.
“ISO 9001 is suitable for organizations of all types, sizes, and sectors. One of the key improvements of ISO 9001:2015 was to make it more applicable and accessible to all types of enterprises,” said Dir. Empeño.
A well-implemented quality management system helps organizations to clearly define their objectives and identify business opportunities while making their customers a top priority. Apart from these benefits, it also aids businesses in ensuring that works are done efficiently, statutory requirements are met, organization-associated-risks are addressed, and markets are expanded because of the use of internationally-accepted standard.
Dir. Empeño’s discussion included some useful tips that would guide organizations in getting started with the implementation of ISO 9001. He also presented some success stories in adopting the said standard to provide further inspiration to those who are yet to pursue certification.
The demand for the certification in the SBSR and other sectors is expected to increase in the coming years due to the continual push of some regulators to conform to international standards.
As of writing, there are already 12 shipyards certified to ISO 9001:2015 apart from the 58 SBSR facilities with ongoing applications for ISO certification in the Philippines.
According to MARINA, the 7th Edition of Philippines Marine (PHILMARINE) 2021 is the only specialized maritime, shipbuilding, and offshore event in the Philippines that brings together an international congregation of maritime, shipbuilding, offshore, and their supporting industries to showcase the latest developments in the maritime industry. It aims to improve the current shipbuilding technology and equipment to help maintain the Philippines’ current status as the world’s fifth-largest shipbuilding industry.