Barbados is well on its way to becoming the 12th CARICOM country to develop a national policy on quality.
Director (Acting) of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), Mr. Hadyn Rhynd announced in a live webinar event at the start of December 2021 that the institution would be leading discussions on a draft National Quality Policy (NQP) for which they were soliciting the engagement of all sectors in Barbados.
“The solution to a lot of the economic problems that we have, in part, lies with enhancing our industrial and export activity. This is only possible if the quality of our goods and the quality of our services is improved to meet international standards, so that we can remain… competitive in national and export markets.
“More and more we see that global purchasers demand products and services that meet rigorous and advanced standards. So, we are saying, ‘Look, in order to enter our markets you have to be of acceptable quality and that’s not only to ensure that products and services integrate seamlessly with others in the supply chain, but also to satisfy customer expectations.”
Chief Technical Officer with the BNSI, Mr. Fabian Scott in his early remarks explained that the goal of the NQP was “to improve domestic and international competitiveness of Barbadian goods and services, and to guide the application of a ‘National Quality Infrastructure’ (NQI) to support the economic, social, environmental and sustainable development of Barbados.”
He further noted that the BNSI was leading this charge as the primary institution responsible for the development of the island’s NQI.
CEO of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), Mr. Deryck Omar, congratulated the bureau, which is a member of the regional institution, on taking this step. He noted that with this move, Barbados would be the 12th of the 15 Member States of CARICOM to have so done, to chart the direction of the development of national quality infrastructure.
An NQP, he told the audience, would set out the objectives for the national quality system in relation to standards development; developing a robust measurement system; shaping quality assurance and conformity assessment services such as testing, inspection and certification; and them the promotion of all these elements.
“Among other things, an NQP is expected to address the identified weaknesses in the Quality Infrastructure of Member States, and provide a stakeholder-driven, detailed road map for solving the quality-competitiveness related issues, so that the nation’s private and public sector can take advantage of economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors.”
Mr. Rhynd took the audience, consisting mainly of local business interests, through discussions on what a quality policy is; the BNSI’s vision for such a policy; as well as governance and other aspects that comprise the policy. The discussions that followed heard from both public and private sector individuals who weighed in on the proposed structure of the BNSI; training opportunities on the requirements of the Policy; education on QI, as well as details on access to the draft and submission of comments.
The Acting Director said the policy would be placed online for easy access, or interested people can contact the bureau for more information. Comments should also be submitted to the bureau.