It is efficient, effective, and coherent—but meeting the requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 can often be an uphill climb for many organizations. To help participants understand the requirements of the ISO and the benefits of integrating it with the Performance Governance System (PGS), the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) conducted a Skills Lab on Harmonization of the PGS with ISO from September 30 to October 1.

Currently on its second run this year, the partner favorite Skills Lab course was attended by 50 delegates from 17 organizations and facilitated by Ms. Darlene Page-Elnar, ISA’s go-to ISO expert.


Here are five key steps you must remember for a successful harmonization of the PGS with ISO:

1. Memorizing the requirements of ISO isn’t mandatory.

As her introductory remark during the first day of the Skills Lab course, Ms. Page-Elnar reminded the delegates to understand the ISO requirements by heart, instead of merely memorizing. 

“Don’t memorize and do not attempt to because chances are, you will be lost in this very technical document,” she said.

2. The PGS & ISO Integration Matrix is your guide to seamless harmonization.

Developed by Ms. Page-Elnar, the PGS and ISO Integration Matrix shows the requirements of the ISO Clauses and components of the PGS Elements. The matrix serves as a clear and helpful guide on translating one to the other.

3. Remember your OKRs.

In integrating the PGS and the ISO, coming up with an extensive quality policy or strategy roadmaps are not enough. The management systems consultant said that it is crucial for organizations to measure and ensure that their targets are in sync with their visions and ultimately achieved.

The five elements of the OKR, which stand for Objective, Key Results, and Initiative, suggests making clear, inspiring, and public goals, consistent measurement of progress, and accepting that failure is always a possibility during the process.

4. Data monitoring and management are no magic.

Subclause 9.1.3 in the Quality Management System Guidelines of the ISO 9001:2015 was intended for the organization to analyze and evaluate data from results of monitoring and measurement. 

“If you did not monitor, there is nothing to measure,” Ms. Page-Elnar emphasized. “If minagic mo lang ‘yung data, you’ll stop doing what you need to do, most likely you will be like using your magic wand.”

5. Streamline your processes using PCDA.

Upon discussing the Quality Management System (QMS), Ms. Page-Elnar introduced the PDCA concept, which stands for Plan, Do, Check, and Act. Ms. Page-Elnar advised the participants to determine the different processes in their respective organizations and apply risk-based thinking for each process, understand the cause and effect, and identify the steps for an amendment if the plans are not achieved.

The two-day workshop ended with the presentation of scorecard outputs of the six organizations namely the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Southern Isabela Medical Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, Zamboanga City Medical Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, and San Lorenzo Ruiz Women’s Hospital.

With her comprehensive and detailed discussion on the harmonization of the PGS and ISO, the participants expressed satisfaction in the two-day program, calling the Skills Lab course “an online skills lab that everyone should take.”