Date: 15th March, 2023
Local businesses stand to benefit from a new National Quality Award which is being rolled out by the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS).
Officially launched on 15th March, 2023, the National Quality Awards Recognition Programme recognises businesses, no matter their size, that apply standards and quality management practices to deliver goods and services that lead to customer satisfaction. The prize giving ceremony for the National Quality Award (NQA) is expected to take place in November, 2023 during National Quality Month.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of Trade and Industry, the Honorable Paula Gopee-Scoon said, “The National Quality Awards Programme will recognise quality driven businesses involved in the Manufacturing, Agriculture and Agro Processing, the Services sectors, including Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) that have successfully demonstrated the adoption and use of standards in their processes and operations and have a robust quality management system in place.
Nominees and recipients of an Award in any of the categories would benefit from global brand recognition, enhanced consumer confidence and increased competitive advantage. This, in turn, will reinforce the importance of quality and performance excellence in Trinidad and Tobago. It is my expectation that this recognition will motivate other companies to increase their focus on Quality Management issues within their respective businesses. Therefore, I take this opportunity to invite all eligible businesses to be part of the Programme to be recognized as a leader in quality management in Trinidad and Tobago.”
The NQA is being supported by the CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement Technical Barriers to Trade Programme with the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality(CROSQ). It also supports the “Building a Quality Culture in Trinidad and Tobago Project – Implementation of the National Quality Policy” which is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)s CSME Standby Facility.
The project supports Trinidad and Tobago’s National Quality Policy (NQP) which is the country’s plan of action for increasing trade competitiveness by implementing activities which raise standards utilised within the economy. It sets out the objectives and strategies regarding the development and use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) in relation to economic and societal needs, and establishing the requisite quality culture.
Application Criteria for NQA
The criteria for the NQA are primarily based on the Quality Management Principles of International Organization for Standardization (ISO), requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 Standards, Environmental guidelines, Health and Safety Guidelines. Companies involved in the manufacturing, services, micro, small and medium business, agriculture and agro processing, sectors are eligible to participate.
The deadline for all applicants is 16th June, 2023. There is no cost attached or application fees to participate. They must be majority owned Trinidad and Tobago entities. Persons/companies do not have to be certified or accredited. They just have to be willing to have their businesses assessed. Interested persons can visit https://gottbs.com/nqa/ to find out the details of the application process.
Presentation of Accreditation Certificates to Public Laboratories
Also taking place at the NQA launch was the presentation of accreditation certificates to the laboratories of the National Petroleum Marketing Company Limited (NP) and the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA). Both labs successfully attained ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation – the primary international standard for testing and calibration laboratories.
This accreditation signals that NP and IMA have a well-structured quality management system in place to minimise risks and support quality and proficiency. Meeting this international standard and achieving the accreditation is of strategic importance for public laboratories since it provides a basis for the readier acceptance of test results in foreign markets thus minimizing technical barriers to trade.
The Accreditation of Public Laboratories Programme was launched in 2019 with an aim to build and then recognise the competence of public laboratories to conduct specific tests, one of the challenges identified in the development of the NQP.
Minister Gopee-Scoon noted, “Accurate test results and reports are vital not only for the wellbeing of citizens but various stakeholder groups who use them every day as the basis for making important social and economic decisions. Citizens thus stand to benefit from such an initiative as they can expect a better standard of services offered by public laboratories thanks to this national accreditation programme. This initiative also contributes to improving the quality infrastructure and culture of quality in Trinidad and Tobago to support a diverse and competitive economy as it improves the validity and reliability of testing and calibration services for public laboratories across the nation.”
TTBS is currently working with Cohort 2 of this programme and will be inviting other public laboratories to participate in the programme later on this year. We encourage ALL Public Laboratories to continue to check TTBS website for further details.
For further information, please contact:
Kirk Bhajan, Public Relations Assistant, Marketing Unit
Phone: 662-8827 Ext 2266