DEVELOPING STANDARDS – A PRIORITY FOR NAMA IN 2021
Kaieteur News – The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) is mandated to facilitate the development of standards. In 2021, essential standards, which may affect the different sectors, will be considered for development and review.
Standards are rules and / or guidelines that are developed for use in various areas of practice as required. Most standards apply only to products, processes or production methods that may include or deal with terminologies, symbols, packaging, marking or labeling requirements.
Eight standards were developed last year (2020) by GNBS, relating to mobile phones, Laboratories, household electrical appliance labeling, BRC Steel Fabric, Used Motor Vehicles and Concrete masonry units.
In order to develop any standard, consensus is essential as it has the support of all parties affected by the new document. A proposal for standard development would be considered especially if it addresses the quality, safety or performance of any product, process or service.
It is important to note that any stakeholder, including a member of the public, can apply to NAMA to develop a standard.
First, the standards development process begins with the completion of a New Work Item Proposal (NWIP), which is submitted to GNBS by the bidder. This NWIP documents all the information, which justifies the need for a certain standard.
Second, the completed NWIP and any supporting documents submitted to GNBS, are evaluated and prioritized based on social and economic importance, and perceived and future needs, in accordance with Plans and National Development Policies.
GNBS anticipates the full support of all stakeholders for the standards development process. Apart from the work of the established technical committees, stakeholders raise concerns and make suggestions at the Public Comment stage or at Public Consultation Sessions.
All comments received from stakeholders during the Public Consultation period are reviewed by Technical Committees, which decide (with justification) whether all comments are accepted or rejected. At the end of the process, a final draft is prepared by GNBS and submitted to the NSC for approval as the Guyana Standard.
In addition, to make any Guyana Standard mandatory, a stakeholder must apply with justification. Once the National Standards Council is satisfied, the application is forwarded to the Minister for Tourism, Industry and Commerce with recommendations for the standard to be made mandatory. All mandatory standards are Gazetted.
The Standards Development process is very important to ensure that the quality of products and services are maintained to support the economy. These standards provide a benchmark for quality, consistency and reliability across sectors.
Importantly, apart from the development of new standards, in 2021 approximately forty available standards relating to agriculture, foodstuffs, consumer products, environment and construction will be reviewed and updated to maintain their relevance for use .
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this newspaper.)
For further information, contact GNBS on telephone numbers: 219-0062, 219-0065 or 219-0069. Visit our website: www.gnbsgy.org and like our Facebook page: gnbsgy