As the international community celebrates World Accreditation Day (WAD) 2021, the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) and the Trinidad and Tobago Laboratory Accreditation Service (TTLABS) has commenced a five-day webinar series highlighting the significant role accreditation plays in strengthening Trinidad and Tobago’s national quality infrastructure. The webinars commenced on 7th June and will conclude on 11th June 2021.
The webinars also provided the opportunity for TTBS and TTLABS to inform stakeholders, regulators and consumers via practical examples of how accreditation may be applied to meet objectives such as increasing trade, addressing environment and health and safety concerns, and improving the general overall quality of output in Trinidad and Tobago’s economy.
Observed annually on June 9th, WAD is a global initiative which was established bythe International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) to promote the value of accreditation. This year’s theme is Accreditation: Supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Day three of the webinar series focused on the role organizations and various stakeholders play and contribute to the achievement of the United Nations SDGs through the fulfilment of the national goals of Vision 2030.
Whilst virtually delivering the feature address on Wednesday 9th June 2021, Senator The Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry (MTI) thanked TTBS and TTLABS for arranging the week-long celebration. Minister Gopee-Scoon highlighted the important role accreditation plays in creating a strong foundation for international trade outlined in the National Quality Policy 2018-2030.
Minister Gopee-Scoon further added that MTI has embarked on a program for the accreditation of public laboratories in Trinidad and Tobago. She said, “This initiative is currently being implemented and will therefore seek to improve the competencies and reliability of the testing and calibration services of our public laboratories. The intention is to have all public labs accredited by 2030. To date, two public laboratories have benefitted under this program and are currently pursing accreditation assessment. I am pleased to report that a new project call for the lab accreditation programme will be launched soon during the period 2021 – 2023. The aim is to assist at least two additional laboratories to prepare and establish their respective management systems for accreditation.”
One notable achievement during the webinar series was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between TTLABS and the AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Programs LLC (AIHA LAP), which occurred on Wednesday 9th June, 2021.
TTLABS is in the process of transitioning into a new accreditation entity — the Trinidad Tobago Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (TTASCA), which will be the national accreditation body (AB) for conformity assessment services in Trinidad and Tobago and offer services to support the Caribbean. TTASCA will also be preparing to become a signatory of the Inter American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) Multi-Lateral Arrangement and become internationally recognized.
TTLABS requested AIHA LAP’s assistance in helping the new accreditation body meet this goal. Specifically, the cooperation between the two ABs will be facilitating the review of each AB’s operations and processes. This mentoring process will assist TTLABS to apply best practices in its operations as it transitions to TTASCA and thus meet the rigours of becoming of an IAAC MLA signatory.
Managing Director of AIHA LAP, Cheryl O. Morton stated, “AIHA LAP is prepared to help TTLABS become an IAAC MLA signatory and will work virtually with its staff to share knowledge and provide support. AIHA LAP has been an internationally-recognized accreditation body itself since 2010 and has had to establish itself as a separate entity and as such, is well-versed in the processes and impartiality considerations to form a new AB and then achieve international recognition. We are pleased TTLABS approached us to guide them.”
Karlene Lewis, Manager of TTLABS expressed her commitment to forming a new AB and becoming an IAAC signatory, “TTLABS is pleased to announce this MOU with our fellow IAAC member AIHA LAP on this World Accreditation Day since AIHA LAP is an accreditation body that is highly regarded both nationally and internationally. We are excited about becoming an internationally-recognized accreditation body to elevate our already-established reputation in Trinidad and Tobago and expand into the entire Caribbean.”
IAAC is a regional association of accreditation bodies and other organizations interested in conformity assessment in the Americas. Both AIHA LAP and TTLABS are IAAC members.
For further information, please contact:
Manager, Trinidad and Tobago Laboratory Accreditation Service (TTLABS)
Telephone: +1-868-662-8827 Ext. 2250