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The Standardization Division formulates national standards with the objective of improving local industrial practices and enhancing trade opportunities regionally and internationally. The Division also facilitates public education by hosting seminars on the various standards developed.
The process of developing national standards involves seeking consensus from a wide cross-section of stakeholders to ensure that their relevant interests are addressed in the final document. The national standards include specifications, codes of practices and test methods. These documents form the basis of the monitoring, testing and certification activities of the Bureau.
Principles of Standards Development
It is well established in the community of nations that standards should meet societal and market needs and should not be developed to act as barriers to trade. In approving the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, WTO members recognized that goal and established globally accepted principles as a framework to promote co-operation and discourage the use of standards as trade barriers. The TTBS standardization system is therefore based on the following set of globally accepted principles for standards development:
Essential information regarding standardization activities is accessible to all interested
Participation is open to all affected interests;
No one interest dominates the process or is favoured over another;
Effectiveness and Relevance
Standards are relevant and effectively respond to regulatory and market needs, as well as
scientific and technological developments;
Decisions are reached through consensus among those affected;
Standards are performance based (specifying essential characteristics rather than detailed
designs) where possible;
The process encourages coherence to avoid overlapping and conflicting standards;
Standards development accords with due process so that all views are considered and
appeals are possible.
Flexible allowing the use of different methodologies to meet the needs of different technology and product sectors;
Timely so that purely administrative matters do not result in a failure to meet market expectations; and
Balanced among all affected interests.
Standardization Work Programme
The Standardization Division produces a work programme every six (6) months which illustrates the stage that a standard has reached in its development.
Public Comment Drafts
Prior to the finalization of a standard, the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) attempts to ensure that all stakeholders have a final opportunity to have any concerns regarding the draft standard addressed. This is done via a public comment period.
For draft standards with proposed Voluntary status a period of thirty (30) days is given to submit comments, commencing on the first day in which the advertisement appears in the print media. A sixty (60) day period is allowed for commenting on draft standards with proposed Compulsory status. During this period copies of the draft standard are available for viewing by the public in the Standards Information Centre.
The draft standard is advertised in the daily newspaper three times in a one week period.
To obtain maximum input from key stakeholders in industry, businesses, academia etc, we communicate information on the draft standard in several ways:
On the TTBS website
Through Public and Stakeholder Consultations
Hard copies are mailed to key stakeholders
Features on the TTBS Newsletter
Click here to download Public Comment Drafts.
Trinidad and Tobago standards can be recommended for CARICOM status through CROSQ, (Caribbean Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality). This means that the standard will become a regional standard and will be used by the CARICOM member countries.
The standard is sent to CROSQ and then sent to each CARICOM member state for comment. When the standard (with any amendments) has been agreed to by the member states, CROSQ declares the standard, a CARICOM Standard.