JIS News

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  • The National Quality Policy is expected to lead to a more structured accreditation environment, requiring conformity assessment bodies (CABs) to become accredited by the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC).
  • Chief Executive Officer of JANAAC, Sharonmae Shirley, said the policy, which is being finalised for gazetting by end of the fiscal year, will include requirements for CABs to implement management systems that conform to international standards.
  • Mrs. Shirley was addressing a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank on Wednesday (September 5).

The National Quality Policy is expected to lead to a more structured accreditation environment, requiring conformity assessment bodies (CABs) to become accredited by the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC).

Chief Executive Officer of JANAAC, Sharonmae Shirley, said the policy, which is being finalised for gazetting by end of the fiscal year, will include requirements for CABs to implement management systems that conform to international standards.

Mrs. Shirley was addressing a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank on Wednesday (September 5).

CABs are testing and medical laboratories and inspection bodies, and individuals who perform services typical of inspection bodies, such as loss adjusters or valuators.

“They provide a service, but how do you know that this service meets the requisite scrutiny? If they are accredited, then you know there is a layer of trust that is established,” Mrs. Shirley pointed out.

The JANAAC CEO said it is important that Jamaica adopt the policy measures, which are similar to those already implemented in developed countries.

“Some countries have established some amount of legislation and policy that require some labs to be accredited. We don’t have that in Jamaica yet, and it is something we [must work to establish],” the JANAAC CEO said.

Mrs. Shirley noted that case studies presented at the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) 23rd Annual General Assembly held recently in Montego Bay, St. James, showed that even without legislation, requiring certain manufacturers to use accredited labs can have a positive impact on the economy.

“A paradigm shift may be required, but it is something that is necessary for growth and development,” Mrs. Shirley pointed out.

The National Quality Policy is guided by current global standards and quality requirements in keeping with the World Trade Organization-Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO-TBT).

It provides the framework that will support the pillars of the National Quality Infrastructure. These are standards development; conformity assessment, which involves testing, inspection and certification; metrology, the science of measurement; and accreditation.

“The National Quality Policy will require all manufacturing and exporting entities to embrace a quality ethos and to have quality as a core in all operations. It’s for all Jamaicans, as it enables us to understand why quality is important and how it impacts us as individuals and how it impacts Jamaica. It can be the game changer for Jamaica as a small developing state,” Mrs. Shirley said.