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Harmonization of the PGS and the ISO: Highlights from our April Skills Lab

Following the success of its first two runs in 2020, the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) once again conducted its Skills Lab course on the Harmonization of the PGS with the ISO, one of the institution’s most in-demand courses yet. 

Held last April 15 to 16, 2021, the course was facilitated by management systems consultant and ISA’s go-to ISO expert, Ms. Darlene Page-Elnar. This online Skills Lab course aimed to give participants an overview of the ISO 9001:2015, its requirements, and how it can be integrated with the Performance Governance System (PGS). Attended by a total of 90 delegates during its first two runs combined, the highly-anticipated course this year gathered 37 delegates from national government agencies, local government units, and hospitals across the country. 

A quick refresher

During the first day of the two-day course, Ms. Page-Elnar gave the participants a quick refresher on the nine elements of the PGS, detailing each stage from designing, executing, to sustaining. She then tackled the history of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), underlining the existing ISO standards worldwide and the most well-known standards in the Philippines.

Following the history and basic principles of the PGS and ISO, Ms. Page-Elnar discussed the Quality Management System (QMS) concepts and introduced the Plan, Do, Check, and Act approach composed of nine sections that will help practitioners manage their processes and systems in their respective institutions. 

In the third module, the management expert presented the PGS and ISO Integration Matrix, which showed the nine PGS elements alongside their pertinent ISO clauses, giving the delegates a clearer view of how they can seamlessly integrate both sets of requirements. 

To help keep practitioners on the right track, Ms. Page-Elnar introduced the five elements of Objective and Key Results (OKRs), which suggest making goals clear, inspiring, and public, and reminding practitioners to measure their progress.

“When you talk about OKRs, we should think about GPS (global positioning system). The objective is where you wanna go, the KPIs (key performance indicators) are ‘are we there yet?’, and the initiatives are the road signs and pit stages,” she said. 

To end the first day, Ms. Page-Elnar answered questions from the delegates concerning integrating the PGS and QMS, certification of core processes, and more. 

Putting learning into practice

It was the turn of the delegates to shine on the last day of the Skills Lab and apply what they learned during the workshop. Each organization was tasked to develop a unit scorecard that reflected both the strategic objective and the KPIs required by the QMS. The delegates were recognized for their presentations and received comments and brief coaching from the speaker. 

The workshop concluded shortly after Ms. Page-Elnar addressed questions during a short open forum. With more partners eager to improve their processes through integrating ISO with the PGS, this Skills Lab course continues to stand the test of time and prove its significance in meeting quality standards for every institution.

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