The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) held a breakfast meeting with stakeholders to celebrate its accreditation by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) to offer International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Management Systems Certification.
The SANAS accreditation means that UNBS is now internationally recognised to provide certification services to organisations for Food Safety Management Systems (ISO 22000) and Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001). During the celebrations, UNBS also launched the new systems certification mark.
Speaking at the ceremony, the chief guest, the Minister of Trade Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, said that the UNBS accreditation is important to Uganda because it will enable local companies to get certified to international standards which will allow them access to international markets. “One of the Policy Objectives in the National Standards and Quality Policy Implementation Plan is to support the Private Sector especially MSMEs to conform to set standards and to comply with technical regulations,” said Kyambadde.
According to ISO, a management system is “the way in which an organization manages the inter-related parts of its business in order to achieve its objectives including, among others, product or service quality, operational efficiency, environmental performance, health and safety in the workplace.”
UNBS joins acclaimed multinational service providers of ISO management systems certification that comply with international requirements.
The Chairperson, National Standards Council, Eng. Masitula Munyaami Male, said the accreditation will go a long way increasing the competitiveness of Ugandan products and services in international markets. She callled on the private sector use the accrediation as an opportunity to standardize their systems and processes to conform to ISO Standards, thereby giving customers confidence that you able to meet their expectations.
The UNBS Executive Director, Dr. Ben Manyindo said: “The accreditation means that UNBS has been accepted and recognised at international level to offer ISO management systems certification in a competent, consistent and impartial manner.”
Manyindo He said the accreditation will give Ugandan companies an opportunity to certify their organisational systems and processes at an affordable cost to demonstrate that their services meet international standards and therefore capable of meeting customer expectations.
“The certificates issued by UNBS are now recognised worldwide thereby facilitating international trade. It gives us a competitive advantage in a market dominated by large foreign multinationals. We intend to use this accreditation to expand our market share of ISO certification,” he said.
This accreditation adds to the UNBS chemistry and microbiology laboratories which are internationally accredited by SANAS.
SANAS is a signatory to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) which gives it world-wide recognition as a competent body for carrying out independent evaluation of certification bodies against recognised standards. International accreditation agreements provide a mechanism that allows accredited certificates to be accepted around the world which reduces the risk of products and services being rejected in international markets.