Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards (SKNBS) continues to work assiduously to identify training opportunities for its staff and other key stakeholders who will be tasked with implementing the National Quality Policy for the Federation.
The National Quality Policy is the basic government instrument that sets out the objectives of the Quality Infrastructure in relation to Metrology, Standardization, Accreditation and Conformity Assessment to build the foundation for effective trade.
“Currently, some of my staff… are engaged in training and they are looking at ways to determine how we can spot an agency that is doing accreditation. If they are linked back to ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation), that would determine whether you are indeed authorized to issue a certification,” said Stuart Laplace, Director of St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards, on Working for You on February 09. “When you do that level of traceability you are able to see when that certification was issued when it is going to expire and what scope you can offer that level of accreditation service, and we have staff trained now to look for a lot of those nuances.”
Mr. Laplace added that if the SKNBS receives a call to investigate a particular agency that is distributing accreditation or certification, the department will be able to track the company “to see if it was really certified, under what scope and who offered that certification.”
Equally important, Director Laplace noted that “regulators would also have to be trained in terms of how to issue a certificate, what information should be in a certificate, who would be qualified to issue one, the type of knowledge, infrastructure and qualifications one would need to issue a certificate.”
“There is a lot of training that goes into this development, as well as the maintenance of this because this is not a one-off where we are doing it this year and then next year that is the end of it. This is something continuous and we have to always be a step ahead because when it comes to trade we are the technical arm for the ministry so we have to also be aware of the stuff that is coming in and the potential of the things that need to leave the country in terms of what markets they could access, what needs to be in place, which companies on the island we can help in terms of boosting their trade value,” he said.
Director Laplace encouraged the general public to reach out to the SKNBS for consultation purposes regarding any goods or services that persons are desirous of engaging in or that they already have “to see if there is anything in place” that SKNBS can assist them in getting to the next level. He added that at the end of the day it all boils down to partnership and consultation between the public and private sectors.