Conformity Assessment Crucial for Consumers and Businesses

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Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn (front left) and ISO Expert, Iain Muir (front right) stand with represtatives from BNSI, CROSQ and participants of the Conformity Assessment Workshop. (N. Hutchinson/BGIS)
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Conformity assessment – the process which determines whether products, services or systems meet specified requirements – was the topic of focus when the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) launched their workshop today at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church.

The three-day event, which will examine ISO/IEC 17021:2011 – Requirements for Bodies Providing Audit and Certification of Management Systems, was lauded by Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn.?? During his feature address, Mr. Benn noted that "conformity assessment provides a number of benefits to everyone in the supply and demand chain" and observed that testing, inspecting and implementing were crucial activities which, in turn, provided benefits for various stakeholders.

"Consumers benefit… because it [conformity assessment] provides confidence that the products and services they purchase are fit for the purpose…For manufacturers, it allows them to have peace of mind that they have implemented systems within their own organisations to ensure that the products and services they deliver meet the necessary criteria… [and it] also gives them a competitive edge over those that do not.?? For regulators, it allows them to…ensure health and safety," he said.

While urging participants to interact with the workshop’s ISO expert Iain Muir, the Commerce Minister also commended the BNSI and CROSQ for the forum, which highlights the importance of international standards benchmarking for the region.

The workshop is part of the ISO Action Plan for developing countries 2011-2015, which encompasses improving awareness on the role, benefits and use of International Standards.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is a non-governmental consortium of national institutes, which develop and publish international standards.

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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