MBS trains staff on new accreditation standards

May 29, 2014

MBS staff that attended the training. Photo: Moses Gwaza, MBS

The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has trained its staff members on the requirements of the newly published international standard of product certification called ISO/IEC 17065:2012.

The training which mainly centred on conformity assessment and highlighted the fundamentals and guidelines for product certification schemes took place on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at Malawi Sun Hotel in Blantyre.

Speaking during the official opening of the training, the MBS Director General, Mr Davlin Chokazinga, said the organisation as a certification body needs to be accredited so that it is in line with international standards and ways of doing things.

“This training is very important. We need to be accredited in product certification. I therefore expect that you will take this training very seriously.

 “We must implement product certification systems according to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17065 and therefore we need to understand the standard fully,” said Mr Chokazinga.

The training has been organised under the Standardization, Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM) project which is being implemented by the MBS with financial and technical support from the European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

The Project is designed to enhance the ability of export goods from Malawi by reducing the need for re-testing, re-inspection and re-certification abroad through acceptance of measurements, tests and conformity assessment results issued in the country. The establishment of a modern and robust SQAM infrastructure is poised to make Malawi’s exports competitive, increase the level of exports in the non-traditional sector and improve consumer protection.

According to Mr Francois Denner, Chief Technical Advisor at UNIDO, “MBS is at this time not an accredited product certification body, resulting in questions being raised about the integrity of the services of the MBS. A very important element for the eventual accreditation of the MBS to this standard is for MBS to demonstrate the competence of the officers and systems concerned with product certification services.”

ISO/IEC 17065 is an international standard that provides rules for organizations that certify products. Organisations that offer product certification services are accredited by international bodies in terms of these standards. This ensures that the resulting product certifications are impartial, consistent with international norms, and based on objective testing.

The training was facilitated by Mr Sohrab, a consultant appointed by UNIDO.

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