The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) recently completed the Stage 1 audit for its application for International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008, a Quality Management System (QMS) Certification.

The certification aims to implement and maintain a management system designed to continually improve the MGB's performance in addressing the needs of its stakeholders. For this purpose, the MGB commissioned the SGS Philippines, Inc. (SGS) as the Certifying Body for ISO 9001:2008.

The MGB's QMS will cover frontline services including: (1) Processing of Exploration Permit Applications; (2) Approval of Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program, and Final Mine Rehabilitation and/or Decommissioning Plan; (3) Geological Laboratory Services; and (4) Metallurgical Laboratory Services.

To oversee the application process, a team of Document Controller Officers or Internal Auditors, comprised of 24 personnel from the MGB, was formed. Said Auditors, composed of two personnel each from MGB's 12 divisions, underwent trainings on QMS Foundation, QMS Documentation, and Internal Quality Audit Courses.

Last September 16-18, the SGS Auditors conducted a pre-assessment audit to confirm that the management system has been established and implemented in accordance with the requirements of the audit standard.

The MGB Internal Auditors, in turn, conducted an Internal Quality Audit (IQA) last September 30, which is one of the requirements before the first stage audit is conducted. The IQA was conducted to check if the procedures submitted by each Division were in order and in accordance with ISO Standard.

A management review was also conducted last October 1 to inform the MGB management of the progress of the certification process and the findings of the IQA.

Last October 2, the SGS Representative Auditor conducted the Stage 1 audit that was focused on the documentation process, including the preparation of QMS Manual, six mandatory procedures and other related documents.

As a Quality Policy, the MGB is committed to establish, maintain, review and continually improve the effectiveness and suitability of the QMS. It should ensure that said Policy and Objectives are aligned with the requirements stipulated in ISO 9001:2008 Standard.

Presently, the MGB is preparing the pertinent requirements for the Stage 2 Audit to be conducted this December.

By: Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division

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