Legal Document

Title: National Quality Policy of Jamaica
Type: Policy
Issuing Agency: Ministry of Justice
Responsible Agency: Ministry of Industry, Commerce Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF)
Issuing Date: 01-01-2015

NATIONAL QUALITY POLICY OF JAMAICA

2015


1. Introduction

1.1 Jamaica’s domestic production and international trade is crucial for the country’s economic future. The global acceptance of Jamaican goods and services is dependent on an infrastructure which is built on credible and accurate measurements based on internationally recognized calibration and measurement capabilities, documentary standards that reflect international consensus as far as possible and an accreditation based conformity assessment system (ABCAS) that satisfies international requirements. These prerequisites for expanding international trade in Jamaican goods and services and expanding the quality support base for domestic industry dictate that Jamaica’s economic development path must be based on policies and programmes that are "Standards Lead and Market Driven”

1.2 In expanding trade, in particular, a national system of standards and technical regulatory regimes are essential for market access. Standards (voluntary) and technical regulations (mandatory) define what goods and services can and cannot be exchanged, and outline procedures under which such exchanges are and are not permissible. Standards, technical regulations and the methods to ensure compliance are critical to domestic and global trade. Producers must understand the technical requirements governing their products in target export markets; and importers must ensure goods they import comply with relevant standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment requirements. In turn, conformity assessment results can only be accepted as credible if generated through a system in which the competence of organizations which carry out these assessments is established by appropriate accreditation.

1.3 This means that for Jamaica to successfully compete in the global market, traders, producers and suppliers must not only find a buyer, but they must also ensure that their products meet the importing country’s quality and safety requirements, as well as the customers’ expectations.

1.4 To facilitate trade, industrial growth and the protection of health and public safety, the government of Jamaica must develop and implement an effective National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) that meets the needs of domestic industry and is fully compliant with the country’s international and regional trade commitments. This will minimize costly duplications and eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade and market access delays.

1.5 Developing and implementing a National Quality Infrastructure enables Jamaican enterprises to meet the demands of a multilateral trading system and provide credible proof that their products conform to international standards. This is extremely important for both purchasers and regulatory authorities. This is a complex challenge that has to be met in several organizational dimensions including the public and private sectors, academia, trade associations, and other stakeholders. Private sector involvement is crucial to the overall success of a national quality programme as they are the ultimate beneficiaries of such a programme.

1.6 Because of the complexity of the challenge to meet all the requirements in the international marketplace as well as the need for quality services in the fields of justice and environmental protection, a multi-sectorial, multi-stakeholder approach is vital to the successful development and implementation of the national quality infrastructure.

1.7 The development and implementation of the NQI shall be based on a thorough assessment of national imperatives. While it is recognized that there is no ready-made model, international best practice and success stories shall be taken into account in establishing the appropriate model for Jamaica. Specific national needs, are to be carefully considered and prioritized so that the implementation of the national quality infrastructure will proceed on a phased basis with particular attention to ensuring its sustainability. Against this background the government gives its commitment to provide the necessary resources and to institute the changes required to make the NQI effective in driving and supporting economic development.

1.8 The National Quality Infrastructure ensures consistency and economy in the technical regulatory and conformity assessment regimes applied across different arms of government. The government through the respective line Ministries is called upon to define the technical regulations relating to goods and services within their portfolio and to establish systems to enforce these regulations. The National Quality Infrastructure will guide Ministries in the execution of these functions. The BSJ in particular can be utilized as a technical arm of the Ministries for the development and/or implementation of technical regulations. This joint approach allows the concerned Ministries to make better use of their resources by not duplicating capabilities which are available from the NQI.

1.9 In facilitating sustainable development and competitive trade it is important for the government to ensure that organizations and industries in Jamaica have access to a national quality infrastructure that is able to address their specific needs in relation to market access and the requirements imposed by the multilateral trading system. The building-up of the NQI shall therefore take the following into consideration:

(i)  The implementation of the elemental activities of a programme which is developed and planned as a result of a thorough needs assessment of all parts of the economy;

(ii)  The development of a prioritized schedule of joined-up efforts and strategies aimed at ensuring the achievement of the goals of the National Development Plan;

(iii)  The understanding that there is no ready-made model for a quality infrastructure;

(iv)  The necessary support to ensure that Jamaica makes the required policy decisions and provide an ongoing political and financial commitment to those decisions;

(v)  The prioritization of the assessed needs to ensure that the technical infrastructure is built in phases in a planned and sustainable manner;

(vi)  The resources that will be required to sustain the national quality infrastructure.

1.10 Accreditation, standards, metrology, and conformity assessment are separate but interdependent and interlinked “pillars” of knowledge and competence and are essential for the development of Jamaica’s NQI. These technical pillars are used by business and government to optimize production, health, consumer and environmental protection, security and quality. Their effective implementation supports sustainable development and social welfare, and facilitates trade.

1.11 Based on current institutional arrangements, Jamaica’s economic size and some identified needs of the public and private sectors, the NQI for Jamaica is to be established around a core made up as follows:

(a)  TheNationalAccreditationBody

(b)  The National Standards Body

(c)  The National Metrology Institute

(d)  A National Conformity Assessment Cluster

1.12 The National Accreditation Body is already established as an independent entity under the Ministry of Industry Investment and Commerce.

The National Standards Body and National Metrology Institute can continue to operate as divisions of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica but with sufficient autonomy to be able to perform all their functions under this policy and new/revised legislation.

1.13 The National Conformity Assessment Cluster is built up comprising:

(a)  ANationalCertificationBody,

(b)  Inspection and testing departments within Ministries Departments and Agencies,

(c)  Private inspection, sampling and testing entities

(d)  Private certification bodies with appropriate accreditation as may be established from time to time

2 Government Commitment

The Government of Jamaica:

2.1 recognizing that
(a) the services sector, as the major contributor to Jamaica's GDP, will continue to be a

major focus area for sustainable development of the Jamaican economy and

(b) the sustainable production of goods and services to meet global market demands is critical to National development and

(c) the production of goods and services which meet internationally accepted quality standards is the only platform on which Jamaica can compete and take its place as a strong player in the global marketplace; and

(d) quality includes both stated and implied characteristics required for meeting customer satisfaction; and

(e) quality is an important issue for the Jamaican people and that there is often an inconsistency in the delivery of quality to the domestic and international markets; and

(f) there is a need to improve quality and productivity through the participation of all stakeholders in such a way as to enhance the quality of life of the Jamaican people and improve export performance; and

2.2 is cognizant of the need to:

(a) develop and maintain an internationally acceptable National Quality Infrastructure and support systems through which Jamaican goods and services can be determined to be compliant with international quality, environmental and other standards and
(b) ensure the development and maintenance of an internationally acceptable technical regulatory regime to:

  1. (i)  facilitate fair trade

  2. (ii)  ensure protection of the environment,

  3. (iii)  ensure health and safety of human, animals and plants,

2.3 declares its commitment to ensure the development and maintenance of:

(a) a modern and robust National Quality infrastructure and system (b) adequate National quality capabilities and competences and

(c) a competitive trade environment,
which are based on internationally accepted standards and principles, as well as National

development imperatives and to promote and foster a culture of quality in Jamaica; and

2.4 resolves that:

  1. (a)  a national quality culture be developed and maintained with purpose and

    determination through the use of suitable strategies and programmes in line with the

    Strategic Quality Infrastructure Plan and other documents;

  2. (b)  metrology, standards and accreditation based conformity assessment procedures shall:

  1. (i)  be in accordance with internationally accepted principles and requirements,

  2. (ii)  allow for improvement in efficiency and productivity and

  3. (iii)  ensure the delivery of quality goods and services to consumers;

(c) a National Quality Council with membership from public and private sector interests and NGOs shall be established within the Ministry with portfolio responsibility for commerce.

  1. (d)  the Government of Jamaica shall ensure that its Ministries, Departments and Agencies implement and demonstrate, through certification or accreditation, the use of quality and other management standards in their operations.

  2. (e)  The Government shall provide the requisite funding for establishing a modern National Quality Infrastructure and shall ensure the existence of financial systems that will sustain that infrastructure;

  3. (f)  the framework and content of the National Quality Policy and Strategic Quality Infrastructure Plan will inform the quality policies for public and private sector and non-governmental organizations to create and sustain a quality culture, which embraces international requirements;

  4. (g) the National Quality Policy shall inform and facilitate the setting and achievement of the quality goals and objectives of all other relevant national policies and plans, thus facilitating a joined-up governance approach in implementation, and minimization of duplications and overlaps in the integration of quality at the national level.

3. Vision

Jamaica has a national framework for the development of a sustainable “Standards Led, Market Driven” economy supported by a culture of quality to achieve global competitiveness and consumer protection.

4. Policy Statement

The National Quality Policy establishes a National Quality Infrastructure and provides for the development of a national culture of quality through which both market place.public and private sectors in Jamaica can achieve excellence for the benefit of society. This policy is also intended to enhance Jamaica’s reputation as a provider of quality goods and services in the global

5. Objectives

The National Quality Policy objectives are:—

  1. (a)  To clearly define the government's commitment to create an environment that allows for the spawning of initiatives, which promote the best quality practices in all sectors of the economy.

  2. (b)  To provide the policy level basis for strengthening and upgrading of metrology, standards, accreditation, and conformity assessment systems together with effective enforcement of technical regulations as part of the process of building a sustainable national economy.

  3. (c)  To facilitate the implementation of a coordinated programme to build, support and sustain a national quality culture

  4. (d)  To establish a framework of enhanced coordination and collaboration among the core National Quality Infrastructure institutions.

  5. (e)  To create awareness and promote the use of standards

  6. (f)  To develop and implement a national quality promotion strategy that builds on the NQI and assists Jamaican enterprises in becoming globally competitive.

  7. (g)  To facilitate measures to improve the quality of goods and services in the marketplace.

  8. (h)  To facilitate improvement in productivity through education and training and the establishment of data banks.

  9. (i)  To facilitate the development/enhancement of technology, goods and services through Research and Development,

  10. (j)  To enable the protection of the rights of consumers through developing an effective technical regulatory mechanism, product certification and other conformity assessments schemes.

  11. (k)  To ensure that goods and services produced in Jamaica and supplied in local, regional and international markets meet the stated and intended quality requirements.

  12. (l)  To develop and implement a sustainable National Quality Infrastructure and Code of Practice for the preparation, adoption and implementation of Technical Regulations aligned to and consistent with international best practice and international agreements to which Jamaica is a signatory

  13. (m) To facilitate the strengthening of human resource capacity in standards, metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment as well as technical regulatory practice.

  14. (n) To ensure support for the quality infrastructure requirements of other national policies

6 Current Institutional Arrangements for the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI)

The NQI comprises various organizations each of which plays a role in establishing standards; evaluating whether goods, processes, or services fulfill specified technical requirements; and confirming that these requirements are met.1
The primary ministry and agencies responsible for the NQI are the Ministry with responsibility for Commerce, Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC).

6.1 Ministry with responsibility for Commerce

The Ministry with responsibility for Commerce has oversight responsibility for the National Quality Infrastructure

6.2 Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation

Accreditation is the procedure by which an authoritative body (the accreditation body) formally recognizes that an organization is competent to conduct specified conformity assessment services (testing, inspection, or certification). The accreditation body evaluates the personnel and supporting management system of the candidate organization and can request practical tests for laboratories when relevant.

The Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) is an agency under the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, incorporated in 2007 to provide accreditation services to conformity assessment bodies such as laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies. In January 2014, JANAAC became a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement. The ILAC MRA facilitates global acceptance of the results generated by the conformity assessment bodies which are accredited by JANAAC. This recognition helps reduce cost for manufacturers and exporters and eliminates the need for redundant testing of products being exported.

6.3 Bureau of Standards Jamaica

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) is a statutory body established by the Standards Act in 1969 to promote and encourage standardization in relation to commodities, processes and practices. However, over the years, its role has expanded to include the provision of services in relation to conformity assessment (certification, inspection and testing) and metrology under the authority of the Processed Foods Act and the Weights and Measures Act.

The BSJ is the country's leading authority in the area of standards, metrology, conformity assessment and related activities. Its main activities include: facilitating the development of standards and other requirements to which particular goods, services, practices and processes must comply; monitoring for compliance; conducting tests and calibrating instruments; certifying products and quality management systems.

The BSJ is also the major government agency directly involved in enforcing the current compulsory standards as required by the Standards Act. In carrying out its regulatory functions, the BSJ conducts inspections and investigations in the marketplace and at ports of entry; and conducts related regulatory laboratory testing and product certification under its Standards Compliance/Import Monitoring Programme.

Recognizing that, internationally, National Metrology/Standards Institutes are not regulatory or enforcement agencies and that their primary function is that of providing needed technical services to support industrial growth, the BSJ will be restructured to remove its current inspection and regulatory functions from its portfolio of responsibilities.

The BSJ operates as an agency under the Ministry with responsibility for Commerce and is responsible for the standards and metrology portfolios of the NQI.

6.3.1 Standards

Standards define how products, processes, and people interact with each other and their environments. They enhance competitiveness by offering proof that products and services adhere to requirements of governments or the marketplace. When used effectively, they facilitate international trade and contribute to technology upgrading and absorption.

6.3.2 Metrology

Metrology is the science of measurement. It can be subdivided as follows:

(a) Scientific metrology is the development and organization of the highest level of measurement standards.

(b) Legal metrology is the assurance of correctness of measurements where these have an influence on the transparency of trade, law enforcement, health, and safety.

(c) Industrial metrology is the satisfactory functioning of measurement instruments used in industry, production, and testing. 

A national metrology institute maintains the national measurement system, establishes traceability to the international system of measurement (SI), and disseminate measurement standards for base units and metrological expertise to the economy. These institutes operate in the primary calibration market: they disseminate measurement standards by providing calibration services to independent calibration laboratories and other organizations responsible for regulations and standards.

6.4 National Certification Body of Jamaica

The National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ) was established in 2007 as a Certification Unit of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica. The NCBJ's core mandate is to provide certification of management systems to ISO standards.

In addition to enhancing the competitiveness of local businesses through certification the NCBJ plays an integral role in the institutional strengthening and promotion of the national quality infrastructure. The NCBJ is accredited by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board and meets the requirements of the ISO/IEC 17021 and ISO/IEC TS 17021-3 standards. In 2014 the NCBJ was re-accredited to certify management systems to ISO 9001:2008, for fifteen (15) IAF scopes or industry codes including; Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Food Products, Beverage and Tobacco, Paper and Paper Products, Chemical and Chemical Products, Information Technology, Education, Printing, Public Administration, Concrete, cement and Engineering services.

The NCBJ works closely with the manufacturing and service industries, public and private sectors, exporters, food processors from the SME sector as well as large enterprises.

7. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development

Changing global trade flows have enhanced the role of quality standards in economic development over the past decade. Quality upgrading by producers not only improve products and services to meet increasingly demanding customer expectations but also enhances opportunities for expansion into new markets. Increasingly, participation in world trade in a variety of sectors requires that suppliers comply with standards determined by lead buyers in global value chains.

The international community recognizes that in most if not all global value chains, the Micro, Small and Medium enterprises sector is a major supplier of goods and services. In addition, the successful economies of the world seem to be those which devise appropriate means through which to support the integration of their MSMEs into global value chains. The Government shall therefore develop appropriate mechanisms to identify the standards and quality needs of the MSME sector and shall establish initiatives for NQI support to this sector in line with the National MSME policy

8.  Current Legislative and Regulatory Framework

The current laws and agreements which impact the National Quality Infrastructure are:

  1. (a)  The Standards Act,

  2. (b)  The Weights and Measures Act

  3. (c)  The Processed Foods Act

  4. (d)  The CROSQ Act

  5. (e)  WTO/TBTAgreements

  6. (f)  The International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)

9. Policy Commitments

9.1 Consultations

  1. (a)  The Government through the Ministries Departments and Agencies shall ensure that all relevant stakeholders are consulted in activities related to the implementation of the National Quality Policy, the building up of the National Quality Infrastructure and the establishment of technical regulations.

  2. (b)  Public consultations shall be conducted as appropriate.

9.2 National Quality Infrastructure (NQI)

9.2.1 General

The Government shall:

  1. (a)  establish a National Quality Infrastructure to support health, safety, fair trade and global competitiveness in compliance with Jamaica’s national and international obligations.

  2. (b)  Ensure that the highest levels of integrity and impartiality are maintained in the structure and operation of the NQI.

  3. (c)  Ensure that the mandate of the NQI institutions are in line with international best practice and does not include regulatory functions

  4. (d)  ensure that the National Quality Policy and appropriate guidance are disseminated to all stakeholders;

  5. (e)  provide public education and awareness for the implementation of the National Quality Policy and the building up of the National Quality Infrastructure

  6. (f)  develop and implement national standards, metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment systems

(g) develop and promote a culture of quality in Jamaican society; and

(h) spearhead a national capacity building initiative to affect all institutional levels in order to strengthen and sustain the NQI.

9.2.2 Accreditation

(1) The Ministry with responsibility for Commerce shall provide the resources necessary to maintain and strengthen the National Accreditation Body to ensure the provision of internationally recognized accreditation services.

(2) The National Accreditation Body shall:

  1. (a)  provide accreditation services to conformity assessment service providers such as, testing laboratories including medical laboratories, calibration laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies, in the public and private sectors, in accordance with international standards and guidelines.

  2. (b)  cooperate with other members of the NQI to provide an impartial, non- discriminatory accreditation service in support of the implementation of technical regulations.

(c) honour all its international obligations including contributing and participating in regional and international accreditation activities to ensure the interest of the Jamaican economy is effectively represented and all opportunities for continuous improvement are identified and implemented.

(d)ensure that its operations conform to sound governance practices in keeping with national legislations and international best practices.

9.2.3 Standards
(1) The Government shall:

(a) continue to support the National Standards Body in the execution of its
responsibility for the establishment of voluntary national standards for materials, goods
and services to meet national and international needs.

(b) encourage the adoption of relevant international and regional standards based on needs of industry and the society

(c) ensure that national standards are available to meet national needs.

(2) The National Standards Body shall:

(a) ensure that Standards are developed in conformity with approved guidelines and rules based on the WTO and CARICOM Agreements.

(b) ensure that all standards are periodically reviewed to ensure continuous conformity with technological developments, market trends, national and international requirements.

(c) honour all its international obligations including contributing and participating in regional and international standards activities to ensure the interest of the Jamaican economy is effectively represented and all opportunities for continuous improvement are identified and implemented.

9.2.4 Metrology
(1) The Government shall:

(a) ensure the existence of national metrology legislation that is in line with international best practice

(b)  support the establishment of a National Metrology Institute (NMI) for Jamaica and allocate to it the responsibility for scientific and industrial metrology as well as the facilitation of legal metrology.

(c)  provide the required resources to ensure sustainability of the NMI

(d) implement appropriate measures to ensure that all calibration laboratories and verification facilities utilize measurement standards and devices that are traceable to the national measurements standards kept by the National Metrology Institute.

(2) The National Metrology Institute shall:
(a) assume responsibility for
establishment, maintenance and dissemination of

Jamaica's National Measurement Standards

(b) provide traceability of national measurements to the International (SI) System of measurement through the establishment and continued development of

National Measurement Standards Laboratories.

(c) assume responsibility for the development of national metrology capabilities as needed and for achieving international recognition of its Calibration and Measurement Capabilities (CMCs).

  1. (d)  assume responsibility for type approval of measuring equipment, verification of equipment on placement into service and regular calibration and verification to ensure equitable measurements in trade and correctness of measurements in law enforcement, health services and environmental protection.

  2. (e)  facilitate protection of the rights of consumers of goods packaged at point of sale.

  3. (f)  honor all its international obligations including contributing and participating in regional and international metrology organizations and activities to ensure the interest of the Jamaican economy is effectively represented and all opportunities for continuous improvement are identified and implemented.

9.2.5 Conformity Assessment

(1) General

Conformity Assessment is the internationally recognized procedure for demonstrating that specified requirements in standards and technical regulations are fulfilled, thus determining compliance. Conformity assessment activities include inspection, sampling, testing, certification; management system assessment and certification, and accreditation. A specific conformity assessment process may include one or more of these conformity assessment activities.

(2) The Government shall:

  1. (a)  ensure the continued development, maintenance and strengthening of a National Certification Body with the required capabilities to obtain the appropriate accreditations to ensure that internationally recognized certification services are available to the Jamaican Public and Private sector at all times.

  2. (b)  promote the establishment of a sustainable, accreditation based conformity assessment system (ABCAS) that meets international requirements, to ensure that conformity assessment activities are performed by entities with appropriate accreditation.

  3. (c)  ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies implement international quality system standards and utilize the national conformity assessment system to obtain certification or accreditation to the relevant international standards.

9.3 Technical Regulations

9.3.1 General

The WTO TBT agreement defines a "Technical Regulation" as a document which lays down material, product or service characteristics or their related processes and production methods, including the applicable administrative provisions, with which compliance is mandatory. It may also include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labeling requirements as they apply to a material, product, process or production method. Technical regulations shall not result in unnecessary barriers to trade.

9.3.2 Technical Regulations Code of Practice

  1. (a)  The Government shall ensure the development of a technical regulation regime that complies fully with WTO /CARICOM Agreements and ensure that the industrial commercial and economic impacts of all technical regulations are carefully considered and appropriately addressed.

  2. (b)  The Government through the Ministry with responsibility for Commerce shall ensure close cooperation and collaboration between Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to coordinate the development and implementation of a Code of Practice for the preparation, adoption/adaptation, publication, application and enforcement of technical regulations.

  3. The BSJ shall spearhead the development of the Code of Practice for Technical Regulations in cooperation with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

9.3.3 Regulatory Authorities

(a) Ministries, Departments and Agencies are the designated regulatory authorities responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining technical regulations within their sphere of responsibility. The MDAs, are required to demonstrate through a regulatory impact assessment that technical regulations are only established to meet legitimate objectives such as the protection of human health and safety, animal and plant life and health, the environment, the prevention of deceptive practices or for national security.

(b) All regulatory authorities shall have the responsibility to ensure the required approval of regulated goods, processes, and services. In all cases, regulatory authorities shall be responsible for market surveillance, compliance verification and the imposition of sanctions where necessary.

(c) All regulatory authorities shall be responsible for ensuring an efficient and effective programme for identifying and reviewing all the technical regulations currently on the statute books to ensure they comply with the Code of Practice for technical regulations.

(d) In order to avoid the duplication of capabilities, the Ministries, Departments and Agencies may delegate the development and/or implementation of the technical regulations in their portfolio to another entity with the relevant capabilities and accreditation /certification.

9.3.4 Coordination of Technical Regulations

In order to foster coordination of technical regulations all regulatory authorities shall:

(a) work with all relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to promote the Technical Regulation Code of Practice and provide training for officials responsible for technical regulations

(b) provide all necessary information to assist public and private sector entities as well as NGOs to comply with technical regulations.

9.4 Private Sector

The private sector has a very prominent role in the implementation of the Quality Policy, and its participation in the development of the national quality infrastructure is absolutely essential. In order to achieve the maximum benefit from the quality infrastructure, the private sector, shall be encouraged to avail itself of the information and services to be provided by the NQI. In particular, the private sector shall be encouraged to:

(a) Utilize the services and information from the NQI to improve the quality of its goods and services, utilizing international best practices and so contribute to the competitiveness of Jamaican goods and services;

(b) Participate actively in representative structures such as technical committees dealing with standards, accreditation, metrology, conformity assessment or related activities;

(c) Participate in and promote national quality programmes and events including national quality awards;

(d)  Participate in and promote quality dissemination activities, such as conferences, workshops, seminars and publication of information in journals, magazines and other suitable means of communication;

(e)  Develop human resources capabilities needed for improving the quality of goods and services;

(f)  Invest in the development of a national quality culture and infrastructure, thereby benefiting from the improved economic opportunities that result from the implementation of the quality policy; and

(g)  Participate in public-private partnerships for the funding and execution of activities and initiatives that support and enhance the quality of Jamaican goods and services.

9.5 Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

The successful implementation of the Quality Policy will require the active involvement of all of society, such as associations for the promotion of quality and excellence, chamber of commerce, manufacturers association, trade associations, MSME sector associations, consumer organizations, civil society etc. and the media in order to realize the stated objectives.

Within the implementation process of the Quality Policy, NGOs and consumer organizations in coordination with relevant partners will be encouraged to undertake the following:

- Promote and participate in quality education and training activities;

- Participate in the dissemination of quality related information;

- Implement activities that promote quality;

- Represent relevant bodies on the technical committees in the field of standards, metrology, accreditation and conformity Assessment; and

- Make suggestions on quality policy improvement and better ways to implement the National Quality Policy.

9.6 Financing

It is of vital importance to make public and private financial resources available for the implementation of the Quality Policy. The Government has responsibility for financing the establishment, development and enhancement of NQI institutions (for Standards, Metrology, Accreditation, Conformity Assessment). The financing of private sector institutions and organizations will remain the responsibility of the private sector, as is their involvement in technical committees and similar structures at the national, regional and international level.

In particular, the Government shall be responsible for financing the following:

  1. (a)  The continued development and publication of national standards as well as the maintenance of a standards information centre;

  2. (b)  The continued development and maintenance of the National Accreditation Body, National Metrology Institute, National Standards Body and the public sector part of the National Conformity Assessment Cluster

  3. (c)  The continued development, enhancement and maintenance of legal metrology services

  4. (d) Membership fees and active participation in regional and international quality infrastructure organizations such as International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electro-technical Commission (IEC), CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), International Organization for Legal Metrology (OIML), International Bureau for Weights and Measures (BIPM), Inter American Metrology System (SIM) Inter American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC), International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC);

9.7 Legal framework
To facilitate the implementation of the National Quality Policy, the Government shall:

(a) Ensure that an appropriate and adequate legal framework, is in place to facilitate the effectiveness and sustainability of the NQI and compliance with Jamaica's national, regional and international obligations.

(b) Actively pursue the timely development, review and revision of all legislation governing or affecting the structure, mandate and operations of the NQI to ensure adequacy for current and new mandates within the framework of national development imperatives.

9.8 Implementation


(1) The National Quality Council

The Ministry with responsibility for Commerce is given oversight responsibility for the implementation of this National Quality Policy. The Ministry shall establish a National Quality Council with representation from other relevant Ministries, Chairmen of Boards of NQI institutions, Private Sector, Consumer groups, Academia and Regulators as members. The Minister with responsibility for Commerce is the designated Chairman.

The National Quality Council is established with the main objective of providing the policy oversight and governance required for the NQI to be able to provide reliable, competent and essential services/support to industry, government and other stakeholders in line with international norms and best practices as well as the Technical Regulations Code of Practice. In discharging its functions, the National Quality Council shall:

  1. (a)  Provide ongoing guidance and support for the operations of the NQI as well as the institutional and legal modernization of the NQI

  2. (b)  Review and adopt findings of investigations on the current status of the national quality infrastructure

  3. (c)  Commission studies, request information from concerned institutions and conduct research to obtain information

  4. (d)  Develop and endorse recommendations in relation to:
    (i) establishing policies, functions
    and roles of the institutions concerned and (ii) developing or revising the enabling legislation for the national quality

    infrastructure

  5. (e)  Adopt plans for the modernization of the national quality infrastructure and assign implementation to specific institutions

  6. (f)  Advance the decisions and recommendations made to the highest level of the Government for modernizing the legislation, rules and procedures for the operation of the NQI and regulatory bodies

  7. (g)  Monitor and oversee implementation plans on a regular basis until successful implementation is achieved.

(2) Strategic Quality Infrastructure Plan (SQIP)

  1. (a)  The Government shall ensure the development of a Strategic Quality Infrastructure Plan (SQIP) for the implementation of the National Quality Policy.

  2. (b)  The SQIP shall provide details of the implementation of the NQP over a five(5) year period and shall be revised as required based on national development priorities.

  3. (c)  The National Quality Council shall exercise oversight of the SQIP


 

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