MESSAGE DELIVERED BY THE CHAIRMAN, BARBADOS NATIONAL STANDARDS INSTITUTION ON THE OCCASION OF WORLD ACCREDITATION DAY 9th JUNE, 2022 By Mr. Ryan Brathwaite
Fellow citizens and clients of the Barbados National Standards Institution.
I greet you on this the 9th day of June 2022, celebrated globally as World Accreditation Day.
The work of the BNSI focuses on five (5) pillars, those are Standardization, Metrology, Conformity Assessment activities, Cerification and Accreditation. Accreditation is the primer level of award that verifies the competence of an organisation to perform a specific task to International Standards, thereby paving the way for improved market competitiveness of goods and services. It is this pillar of accreditation that provides the comfort of knowing that those who provide testing, inspection and certification services are competent, impartial and have the capability to deliver results that are accepted globally. The slogan, “Accreditation: Tested Once Accepted Everywhere” truly defines the value of accreditation in our world.
Patients who utilise our private or public medical laboratories that are currently accredited to conduct medical tests, would be delighted to know that those test results can be used overseas without having to be retested! Whether the patient’s final medical intervention is at a hospital in Florida, USA, or Europe or anywhere in the world, our accredited medical laboratory test result are accepted without question because the medical laboratory is accredited. “Tested once, accepted everywhere”! As Chairman of the BNSI I am proud to indicate that some of our medical and clinical laboratories have received technical and financial assistance, and hand-holding from the BNSI, and our colleagues at the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) to achieve this prestigious accreditation honour.
And so, in recognition of the hard work and skillful application of measures to meet accreditation requirements, I wish to salute and honour all of our accredited businesses. Your enterprise significantly contributes to the establishment of a quality culture in Barbados. And for that we appreciate your efforts and wish for you to maintain your accreditation status despite the challenges that are present with us today and those forthcoming on the horizon.
This year’s theme, “Accreditation: Sustainability in Economic Growth and the Environment” is applicable for now and the future. The theme brings attention on how accreditation can authenticate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including (SDGs) 6 – Clean water and sanitation, SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy, SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth, SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities, SDG 13 – Climate action. As Barbados strives to recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic, climate change impacts, supply chain disruptions and more recently increasing inflation, the twin goals of economic recovery and environmental performance are key to Barbados’ prosperity and sustainability. Accreditation services, with the assistance of conformity assessment, play a significant role as enabler in assisting our productive enterprises to be able to export quality Barbadian goods and services.
With respect to environmental performance, accreditation helps support public policy such as the Control of Disposable Plastics Act which was promulgated in 2020 and the Control of Inefficient Lighting Act where regulation commenced on 1st January this year. When private importers present their certificates indicating the plastic products on hand are petroleum-free and in accordance with Control of Disposable Plastics Act, accreditation of those testing institutions tells us whether these petroleum-free certificates are credible or not.
Moreover, I am pleased to report that the BNSI has recently introduced the Petroleum-free Plastic Assessment (PPA) service to our stakeholders who wish to definitively determine whether the plastics they have, or about to procure are indeed petroleum-free. The service offers value for money for those in the sector and turn-around time is within a few business days. Keeping single-use petroleum plastics out of our environment improves Barbados’ environmental performance and assures the stainability of our land and marine resources, particularly our gullies and coral reefs where they are known to cause blockages and damage due to fact they do not readily decompose.
Similarly, the Control of Inefficient Lighting Act seeks to remove inefficient lights from our market, saving consumers money and improving the efficiency of use of electricity. Once the Minimum Energy Performance standard within the law is met, Barbados would once again have improved its environmental performance. The BNSI stands ready to assist local manufacturers of lighting products, traders and importers with quality infrastructure services to verify that their lighting products meet the minimum requirements given in the law.
The BNSI is able to provide accreditation services to our stakeholders through our National Accreditation Focal Point (NAFP) service. The NAFP service seeks to match clients’ accreditation needs to potential service providers in an efficient manner. For those in the market seeking accreditation services or want to find out more, they should contact us at the BNSI.
The Accreditation Focal Point service works closely in the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market through a regional collaborative mechanism known as the Caribbean Cooperation for Accreditation (CCA) scheme. The CCA scheme was developed to provide those conducting testing, inspection and certification activities with opportunities to access affordable and readily available accreditation and developmental assistance on their road to accreditation.
The BNSI has worked closely with medical and testing laboratories to assist them in achieving this highest award of quality assessment. The Hematology laboratory of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is one laboratory that has benefited from the assistance of the BNSI and CROSQ on its journey to accreditation. Our citizens and residents can now rest assured of the quality of test results given by the Hematology laboratory. A feat not many laboratories around the world can claim.
Our economic recovery lies in improving the industrial development of Barbadian goods and services, and the quality-competitiveness of our exports. These improvements are facilitated by testing, inspection and certification to give assurance to consumers that our products are world class and quality-made. Supported further by accreditation demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that Barbadian-made products are ready to compete globally and are available to insert themselves into the global value chain – a goal all productive enterprises should seek to improve their viability and the economic performance of the Barbados economy.
Studies have shown, that the economic benefits of standards implementation contribute anywhere from a conservative 0.25 % of GDP up to 1.0 % of GDP. Last year, the Central Bank of Barbados reported the nominal GDP for the Barbados economy as 9.8 billion Barbados dollars. It is assumed, therefore, based on these global studies that the quality infrastructure of Barbados would have contributed over 24 million dollars to the Barbados economy. Our drive at the BNSI is to further establish and build out our national quality infrastructure so that Barbados becomes more productive, more quality driven and more innovative in our productive enterprises giving support to the national economy.
Finally, I take this opportunity to inform you that the BNSI has published standards on accreditation and environmental management. These standards are business tools that can be used to improve local production or even open up market access opportunities. I therefore encourage, business, government and our society to make use of these standard-solutions as we travel on this road to economic and environmental recovery.