STANDARDS IN FOCUS…
Kaieteur News – The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) is mandated to facilitate the development of standards. In 2021, crucial standards, which can affect the various sectors, will be considered for development and review.
Standards are rules and/or guidelines that are developed for use within various fields of practice as required. Most standards are applicable to products, processes or production methods that may include or deal exclusively with terminologies, symbols, packaging, marking requirements or labelling requirements.
Eight standards were developed last year (2020) by the GNBS, which are related to cellphones, Laboratories, the labelling of household electrical appliances, BRC Steel Fabric, Used Motor Vehicles and Concrete masonry units.
To develop any standard, a consensus is crucial as it gets the buy-in from all of the parties that will be impacted by the new document. A proposal for standard development would be considered especially if it addresses quality, safety or the performance of any product, process or service.
It is important to note that any stakeholder, including an individual from the public, can submit a request to the GNBS for a standard to be developed.
Firstly, the standards development process begins with the completion of a New Work Item Proposal (NWIP), which is submitted to the GNBS by the proposer. This NWIP documents all information, which justifies the need for a particular standard.
Secondly, the completed NWIP and any supporting documents submitted to GNBS, are evaluated and assigned priority based on social and economic importance, and perceived and future needs, in keeping with National Development Plans and Policies.
The GNBS anticipates the full support of all stakeholders to the standards development process. Aside from the work of the established technical committees, stakeholders raise concerns and submit suggestions at the Public Comments stage or at Public Consultation Sessions.
All of the comments received from stakeholders during the Public Consultation period are reviewed by Technical Committees, which determine whether each comment is accepted or rejected (with justification). At the end of the process, a final draft is prepared by the GNBS and submitted to the NSC for approval as a Guyana Standard.
Additionally, to make any Guyana Standard compulsory, a stakeholder has to make a request with justification. Once the National Standards Council is satisfied, the request is forwarded to the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce with recommendations for the standard to be made compulsory. All compulsory standards are Gazetted.
The Standards Development process is very important to ensure that the quality of products and services are maintained to sustain the economy. These standards provide a benchmark for quality, consistency and reliability across sectors.
Importantly, apart from developing new standards, in 2021 approximately forty available standards relating to agriculture, foods, consumer products, the 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 opinions of this newspaper.)
For further information, contact the GNBS on telephone numbers: 219-0062, 219-0065 or 219-0069. Please visit our website: www.gnbsgy.org and like our Facebook page: gnbsgy
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