Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has urged local laboratories to become accredited in order to meet international standards.
He expressed concern that only one of the more than 80 laboratories in the country has so far been accredited to internal standard.
“I am concerned because…we have 83 labs in the country and none of them are accredited….only one has so far reached a level of accreditation, that is the Scientific Research Council (SRC), which is quite incredible,” he said.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda (2nd left), speaks with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), Marguerite Domville (right), and President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, Omar Azan (2nd right) during JANAAC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Breakfast held in commemoration of World Accreditation Day, at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday, June 9. At left is Chairman of the JANAAC Accreditation Council, Simon Roberts.
He was speaking at the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation’s (JANAAC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Breakfast held today (June 9) at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel in Kingston in commemoration of World Accreditation Day.
Mr. Samuda said local agencies need to be made aware of the importance of being accredited, noting that this will facilitate trade and “enable us to demand our place in the international markets.”
“When we are all accredited, then the products can flow more freely and facilitate (fair) trade,” he added, noting that the process signals that products are of a high international standard and were manufactured in an environmentally-friendly manner, and with the highest health and safety standard.
In commending JANNAC, the Minister noted that the work being carried out by the agency is important in enhancing the country’s competitiveness and creating opportunities to enter foreign markets.
He urged laboratories to take advantage of the inspections and technical training provided by the agency to “get up to speed” and become accredited.
Accreditation is the process by which an authoritative body, such as JANAAC, provides formal recognition that an organisation is competent to perform specific processes, activities and tasks in a reliable, credible and accurate manner.
Accreditation is internationally accepted and provides confidence in the accuracy and reliability of testing, inspection and certification.
JANAAC, an agency of the Industry, Investment and Commerce Ministry, was incorporated in March 2007 to provide accreditation services to Commodity Assessment Bodies (CABs) such as laboratories, certification and inspection bodies.
The agency plays a very important role in facilitating trade between Jamaica and its trading partners, and among other things, it helps to eliminate some technical barriers that have affected manufacturers and exporters for many years.
World Accreditation Day is being celebrated under the theme: ‘Global Acceptance’. It is a worldwide initiative jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation. Jamaica is a member of ILAC.
During the ceremony, JANAAC awarded its first accreditation certificate to the Analytical Services Department of the SRC.