Statement by Mr. Ryan Brathwaite Chairman of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) World Metrology Day May 20, 2022
Theme “Metrology in the Digital Era”
Today I greet you, on a very special day for all Barbadians, as we join with countries around the globe to recognize the 20th of May, every year, as World Metrology Day. In my capacity as Chairman of the Board of Directors, of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), I would firstly like to congratulate the management and staff of the Institution for leading the charge in developing our country’s Metrology systems and for their continued dedication and commitment to building the country’s National Quality Infrastructure (NQI), in an effort to rebound from the crippling effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
World Metrology Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention of 1875, which provides the basis for a worldwide coherent measurement system that supports scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade. This year’s theme, “Metrology in the Digital Era”, has great significance for us as an Institution and as a country on a whole, as we increase the use of digital technology, as a major tool to improve on our efficiencies and innovations. Indeed, the BNSI functions as the designated National Metrology Institute, which is recognised globally and is part of an international system, which facilitates the recognition of national measurement standards and measurement capabilities. National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) have the responsibility of maintaining national measurement standards and disseminating the international System of Units nationally. The impact of the pandemic on BNSI has propelled us to incorporate digital platforms, in order to maintain its operations. I am pleased to report that despite reduced face-to-face interaction last year in 2021, we were able to publish forty-six (46) key standards, supporting the country’s national priorities in the areas of Renewable Energy, Food, Agriculture, Tourism, Health & Safety and Agriculture.
In support of the anticipated increases in construction activity and capital works projects in Barbados, the BNSI was able to procure specialized equipment in 2021, within the BNSI Metrology Laboratory Services, to perform digital compression testing of material used in the construction sector, including concrete cubes, blocks and columns, ensuring compliance to international building standards and requirements. Capabilities were also developed for the BNSI Laboratory to perform digital calibrations of compression units used in the sector, where international traceability is offered to ensure all pressure compression testing machines used in the country are accurate and produce reliable results, safeguarding the strength, safety and resilience of all structures built in Barbados.
Over the past twelve (12) months, all BNSI Laboratory technicians were trained by external regional and international experts, utilising digital training techniques. Several training initiatives were capitalized on, provided by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), the International Accreditation Service (IAS), the Inter-American Metrology System (SIM), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Programme called Strengthening the Regional Quality Infrastructure Programme and the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). The training not only made use of modern digital technologies, but virtual, real-time demonstrations of the correct way to use and operate equipment was also provided, as a solution to troubleshoot any challenges which were encountered by the BNSI staff.
I am also pleased to announce a new initiative by the BNSI called “Get Certified – Get Recognized – Get Global Business”. Through the initiative, which is scheduled to commence in June of this year and will take place mainly on a digital platform, members of the Institution are eligible to obtain international recognition by becoming certified. Members will be trained to implement relevant standards into their business practices, which not only makes them more competitive, but gives them global recognition when building their brands of excellence. The BNSI is in full support of the National Training Initiative (NTI) and its mission ‘to equip every Barbadian in the Informal, Third and Private sectors with the knowledge, skills and values to be citizens of good character and competence in a digital world.’ To this end we will also be taking on board summer attachments for apprenticeship training, in order to build capacity nationally, for competent personnel to work in a metrology laboratory environment and perhaps eventually enter into a career in the wonderful world of Standardization and Conformity Assessment, as we build the country’s National Quality Infrastructure to a point where we are not only a competitive nation, but indeed a country which produces excellent quality in all that we do.