RECENT NEWS!
New Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality Takes Up its Mandate
The Standards Council of the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality held its inaugural meeting…
Bahamas bureau of standards and quality mobilizes
As the Minister of Financial Services with responsibility for the recently established Bahamas Bureau of…

WHAT IS STANDARDISATION?

Standardisation is the process of formulating, implementing and publication of guidelines, rules and specifications (collectively referred to as standards) with the aim to address actual or potential problems. It can also facilitate for common and repeated use, aimed at the achievement uniformity in a given context.

WHAT IS A STANDARD?

A standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.

WHY STANDARDS?

Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality and also level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.

PRINCIPLES OF STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT

There are five key principles of standards development, whether at a national or regional level:

  • openness;
  • transparency;
  • impartiality;
  • stakeholder-driven; and
  • consensus-based.
TYPES OF STANDARD PUBLICATIONS
  • Specification
  • Method of Test
  • Code of Practice
  • Glossary/Vocabulary
  • Guide
  • Labelling

WHAT ARE HARMONISED STANDARDS?

Harmonised standards provide a technical basis to assess the performance of construction products and facilitate market access under the CSME.

Note: CROSQ coordinates the development and harmonization of regional standards in accordance with the WTO/TBT Code of Good Practice for Standards development. There are 14 provisions in the Code including:

  • the principle of National Treatment;
  • standards should not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade;
  • using international standards to develop regional standards;
  • avoid duplication or overlap with other standardisation bodies whether national, regional or international;
  • standards should be based on product requirements in terms of performance rather than design or descriptive characteristics; and
  • publication of work programmes, transparency and consultations.

WHAT IS A TECHNICAL REGULATION?

Technical regulations state product characteristics or their related processes and production methods, including the applicable administrative provisions, with which compliance is mandatory. The term may also include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labelling requirements as they apply to a product, process or production method.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STANDARD AND A TECHNICAL REGULATION

The difference between a standard and a technical regulation lies in compliance. While conformity with standards is voluntary, technical regulations are by nature mandatory. They have different implications for regional or international trade. If an imported product does not fulfil the requirements of a technical regulation, it will not be allowed to be put on sale. In case of standards, non-complying imported products will be allowed on the market, but then their market share may be affected if consumers' prefer products that adhere to standards such as quality or colour standards for textiles and clothing.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS

A. FOR BUSINESS

Standards are strategic tools and guidelines that can assist companies / businesses to:

  • Reduce expenditure, through improved systems and processes
  • Improve customer satisfaction, through enhanced safety, quality and processes
  • Access new markets, through ensuring the compatibility of products and services
  • Diminishes the impact on the environment.
  • Instrument to self regulate
  • Increased market share – through increased productivity and competitive advantage
  • Supports innovation – by providing a platform to build new and exciting ideas

Ensuring that business operations are as efficient as possible.

B. FOR CONSUMER

Standards ensure products are safe, high quality, environmentally sound, and fit for purpose.  Any  products and services  that conform to standardization  gives the consumers’  confidence in their  safety, reliability and quality.

For example, standards on water production/ quality, food hygiene and labelling are just a selection of those that help make the world a safer place.

To make sure that the benefits of Standards are as broad as possible, the involvement of consumers in standard development work is fundamental to the standards development process.

C. FOR THE GOVERNMENT

Standards can be a vital resource for governments when developing public policy through access to expertise and experience on a international and/or regional level.

Governments can use standards to support public policy, including:

  • Opening up world trade– standards (international or regional) are adopted by many governments, so integrating them into national regulation ensures that requirements for imports and exports are the same the world over, therefore facilitating the movement of goods, services and technologies from country to country.
  • Utilizing expert opinion- through integration of standards into national regulation. (thus the governments can benefit from the opinion of experts without having directly solicited their services)
D. DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
  • technical information
  • basis for national regulations
  • safeguarding national interests for imports
  • adapting products for export
  • access to export markets
QUALITY ASSURANCE MARKS
  • A. WHAT’S THE PURPOSE

The aim is to help organizations achieve customer satisfaction by focusing on 'how things are done'. Through certification of the products and services.

  • Services
  • Products
  • B. WHAT TYPE OF MARKS
C. BENEFITS
  • Use of Quality Mark Logo 
  • Competitive advantage
  • Gaining New and Retaining Existing Customers/Clients
REFERENCES
  • A. ISO/IEC 1994 Guide 59 – Code of Good Practice for Standardization
  • B. ISO/IEC Directives Part 1: 2009 
  • C. OP001 CROSQ Regional Standards Development/harmonisation Procedure