Legal Document

Title: National Quality Policy of Jamaica (Green Paper)
Type: Policy
Issuing Agency: Ministry of Justice
Responsible Agency: Ministry of Industry, Commerce Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF)
Issuing Date: 12-07-2018

NATIONAL QUALITY POLICY OF JAMAICA 

 

MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, COMMERCE, AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES 2017 

 

PREFACE 

The National Quality Policy (NQP) of Jamaica 2017 is a revision of the National Quality Policy of 2001. The revision has become necessary due to the following: 

i. Global advances in science, technology, standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment practices over the last sixteen years.

 ii. Changes in the global trading system including an increased focus on the WTO TBT and SPS Agreements with their attendant verification requirements and the new demands of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

 iii. Best practices that have developed in modern quality policies from other jurisdictions.

 iv. Increased awareness and demand for quality goods and services by regulatory authorities, producers, purchasers and consumers globally. 

A strategic national response to this increased international focus on quality demands adjustments in the national quality policy and infrastructure. This is necessary to drive and facilitate the transformation of the economy to one based on production, export and consumption of quality goods and services. The recognition of this need prompted the Government of Jamaica to include the revision of the National Quality Policy and improvement of the National Quality Infrastructure under the Strategic Public Sector Transformation (SPST) Project which is financed by a loan from the World Bank.

 The initial development of the revised policy was based on research and development in the national quality infrastructure of other jurisdictions1 as well as through consultation with the World Bank Technical Expert under the SPST Project. Further development of the policy was completed through extensive consultations which were driven by a core NQI committee consisting of key stakeholder representatives. Once a suitable draft was developed, a similar participatory process was utilized for consultation with the government ministries, departments and agencies; academia; NGOs and the private sector across the island (see Appendix 1). Following the stakeholder consultations, the final draft policy document was circulated to stakeholders for validation including to the World Bank, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Caribbean Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). The comments arising from this review process were incorporated. 

Arising from the 2001 Policy there were significant adjustments to Jamaica‟s national quality infrastructure to ensure closer alignment with international best practices. Similarly, the revised 2017 Policy will have a positive impact on legislation, regulatory institutions and the institutional policies governing the quality of goods and services produced or imported into Jamaica. It will further seek to influence the Jamaican consumers to demand quality in every sphere of life as the country seeks to build a national culture of quality. The Policy will, therefore, support the national vision by promoting Jamaica as a quality environment to live, work, raise families and do business. 

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1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

The National Quality Policy 2017 articulates the Government‟s position on the subject of quality of goods and services produced and consumed in Jamaica. In layman terms, quality is determined by the „features in a good or service that enables it to satisfy the consumer‟ needs. The Government of Jamaica has an interest in the quality of goods and services produced and consumed by its citizens from the perspective of health, safety, deceptive practices and the environment. The role of the Government, therefore, is to promulgate and enforce laws and regulations focused on the protection of human, animal, plant health and the environment while creating an enabling environment for businesses. At the same time, industry stakeholders collaborate among themselves to establish standards to facilitate trade. Standards can be described as the language of trade. Through standards, businesses communicate with each other on the technical specifications that will facilitate compatibility in terms of suitability of raw materials, component parts, finished goods, service, etc. Standards developed for commerce are voluntary since they do not have health, safety and environmental considerations. Where these considerations are present and protection is required, it is international best practice for governments to develop technical regulations which require mandatory compliance.

 Like most small developing countries, there was a single institution in Jamaica responsible for administering laws, regulations and standards relating to the quality of goods and services and this was the Bureau of Standards, Jamaica (BSJ). The BSJ therefore functioned as a regulatory authority while being integral to the development of industry standards with some being designated as „Compulsory‟ Standards while others were „Voluntary‟ Standards. In addition to its regulatory authority and standards development role, the Bureau was also responsible for accreditation of laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies. From its own laboratories, the BSJ conducted tests to support its regulatory work and provided training and technical assistance to businesses. Under this system, conformity assessment functions also resided in the BSJ and the agency could have been described as an „omnibus‟ National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) for Jamaica.

With the advent of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements, including the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement, new trade rules came into existence. Under the TBT Agreement, the omnibus role of BSJ was considered to be conflicting, as the BSJ should not provide technical assistance to businesses and at the same time regulate them. The need for Jamaica to re-evaluate it‟s quality infrastructure gave rise to the National Quality Policy of 2001. This first policy articulated the Government‟s commitment to restructuring the BSJ and to separate those functions that were conflicting. Arising from that policy commitment, the accreditation functions, certification functions, and regulatory functions were separated and new entities have been established to perform those functions. Those entities are the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ) and the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA). Under the revised quality infrastructure, conformity assessment bodies are free of conflicting interests and provide services to regulate and facilitate domestic and international trade and the BSJ becomes a standards and quality support services provider. 

The National Quality Policy 2001 therefore laid the foundation for the restructuring of the institutional arrangements for the National Quality Infrastructure due to the international changes that has occurred in the sixteen years since its adoption. It provided the policy direction and commitment for the restructuring of the BSJ and the establishment of new institutions to improve service delivery and to assure trading partners of a more rigorous infrastructure. Under the revised Policy of 2017, Jamaica‟s journey towards a strong and robust national quality infrastructure continues.

The National Quality Policy 2017 supports the achievement of the National Development Goals as expressed in the National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica by facilitating the production and export of quality goods and services through the establishment and use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) to ensure compliance with global market requirements. 

To facilitate the realization of the goals and outcomes of Vision 2030 the policy proposes the modernization and advancement of the National Quality Infrastructure, the building of a National Quality Culture and the implementation of the International Quality Management System Standard, ISO 9001 as well as other international management systems standards, as vehicles to transform public and private institutions, organizations and businesses to facilitate the socio-economic transformation of the Jamaican society to achieve global competitiveness and sustained growth of the economy. 

The policy identifies the main quality related issues for Jamaica as falling into four interrelated categories:

i. Production of quality goods and services for the global market

 ii. Facilitation of a strong and sustainable MSME sector

 iii. Energy efficiency and management

 iv. Environmental protection 

In addition to the need to address the issues raised, the Policy also outlines the need to implement systems to simplify the process of acceptance of Jamaican goods and services in target markets globally. These systems are:

i. An internationally accepted Accreditation Based Conformity Assessment System (ABCAS)
  ii. A Standards and Technical Regulations System in place of the current Mandatory Standards system
  iii. An integrated approach to compliance with national and international trade requirements.  
  Policy 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."

Embedded in the above Vision are the following key policy statements: 

Quality Culture: This Policy establishes the governmental commitment for the building of a National Quality Culture which permeates all aspects of national life. 

Quality Infrastructure: This Policy establishes the National Quality Infrastructure through which both public and private sectors in Jamaica can achieve excellence for the benefit of society. This Policy is intended to enhance Jamaica‟s reputation as a provider of quality goods and services in the global market. 

  Quality Management: This Policy proposes the implementation of the International Quality Management System Standard, ISO 9001, as a vehicle to transform most public and private institutions, organizations and businesses to facilitate the socio-economic transformation of the Jamaican society to achieve global competitiveness.  This policy further proposes the implementation of other ISO management system standards as vehicles for the transformation of public and private entities for which such standards are relevant.

Policy Goals

Six (6) policy goals are outlined as follows:   
 
1. Jamaican goods and services are compliant with global requirements through assistance from the NQI and a national quality promotion strategy.
 
2. A functional, effective, efficient and adequately legislated National Quality Infrastructure with upgraded and strengthened metrology, standards, accreditation
and conformity assessment systems that have no regulatory function. 
 
3. The public sector is transformed and transformative in offering quality service through the implementation of international quality systems standards. 
 
4. An effective and efficient Technical Regulations Regime. 
 
5. A coordinated programme to build, support and sustain a National Quality Culture 
 
6. A private sector that supports, and is strongly supported by, the National Quality Infrastructure. 

Policy Commitments 
The policy outlines the governmental approach to addressing the issues and challenges as well as commitments in the areas of: 
i. Consultations 
ii. National Quality Infrastructure 
iii. Technical Regulations 
iv. Legal Framework
v. Key Stakeholders and their Role 
vi. Financing 
vii. Implementation  
  Details of the policy implementation are contained in the Strategic Quality Infrastructure Plan (SQIP) at Annex 1. 
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2.0  INTRODUCTION 

 2.1  Definition of Quality, Quality Policy
and Quality Infrastructure   
The Concept of Quality 
The term „quality‟ is used by the average consumer in a relative manner, to convey a degree of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with a particular purchase.  In the world of international commerce, the term „quality‟ conveys a similar notion, but it is less subjective. According to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) the term „quality‟ means “the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs".
Several important features of „quality‟ such as specifications, measurement, and conformance are embedded in this definition.   
The concept of quality has even wider implications for a society. A country is regarded as developed when the political and economic systems are able to afford the citizenry a high quality of life and standard of living.  The National Quality Policy therefore constitutes a strategic intervention intended to provide a policy and institutional framework to influence the quality of public service provided by the state for the citizenry and to influence the private sector towards the production of goods and services that are globally competitive.
National Quality Policy 
There is no single internationally acceptable definition of National Quality Policy. However, the following coinage is appropriate for Jamaica's purposes:    
  "the expression of the government's intentions, direction and aims regarding the quality of goods, services, processes and practices in the country, together with the national framework to be established by the government to guide the design and building of the national quality infrastructure and the technical regulations regime, towards achieving the expressed aims"
National Quality Infrastructure (NQI)   
"the institutional framework that establishes and implements the practice of standardization, including conformity assessment services, metrology, and accreditation.2 Therefore the NQI is the infrastructure through which goods and services produced and traded in a country are declared fit for consumption/use in the marketplace".  
 
 2.2   Background and Purpose
Background
  Historically, all the elements of Jamaica's NQI, together with regulatory authority, were resident in the Jamaica Bureau of Standards.  As a result, there were conflicts of interest in the operation of the Bureau which resulted in the stifling of some elements and over-emphasis on others. This affected industry, trade, conformity assessment and regulatory practice in a negative way.  
  In November 1999, the Cabinet of Jamaica approved a programme to adopt Jamaica's quality infrastructure to be compliant with new international principles of conformity assessment. The development of that programme was driven by changes in the international trading environment that required corresponding adjustment in local conformity assessment policy and procedures and was jointly funded by the Jamaican and Swedish Governments. The development of Jamaica's first National Quality Policy began under this jointly funded programme and was eventually approved as a national policy in 2001.
   
The policy rationale by the portfolio Ministry at the time stated that “the modernization of Jamaica's National Quality Infrastructure is a necessity to facilitate the development of international trade" and that “if impartiality and competence cannot be demonstrated according to the principles defined in the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement it will become increasingly difficult for exporters to access foreign markets."  The following were identified by the Ministry as the benefits of the National Quality Policy:
i. Modernization of Jamaica's National Quality Infrastructure is in keeping with internationally accepted principles and the requirements of a free market. 
 
ii. Refocusing of the activities of the Jamaica Bureau of Standards (JBS) to deal with core
competences while creating opportunities for private testing laboratories. 
 
iii. Clear responsibility for the documentation and enforcement of technical regulations within each Ministry. 
 
iv. Streamlining and transparency of regulatory procedures for industry and commerce 
 
v. Modernization of relevant regulations and enforcement mechanisms for the food sector to include the application of HACCP systems. 
 
vi. Establish a fully functioning accreditation body to accredit institutions in Jamaica and in CARICOM.
  vii. Consumers here and importers abroad will have more confidence in the Jamaican products as the systems are adjusted to conform to international
requirements  
viii. The potential for Jamaica to become a training and accreditation centre for the Caribbean. 
There have been several developments following the 2001 National Quality Policy including the establishment of the National Accreditation Body – JANAAC, the establishment of a separate compliance body, the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA) and the establishment of a National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ).  There has also been the implementation of HACCP systems in the regulation of the foods sector and the creation of opportunities for private testing laboratories. In addition, there has been policy approval for public bodies to move towards ISO 9001 certification. In this regard, a dedicated ISO Quality Systems Unit has been established in the portfolio Ministry.
The journey continues towards the full modernization of the NQI, refocusing of the BSJ, and documentation and enforcement of technical regulations.  In addition, over the sixteen years since the approval of the first National Quality Policy, several changes have taken place in the global environment and these impact Jamaica‟s ability to trade and protect its consumers. As such a revised and updated National Quality Policy is required to drive further development of the NQI, which is the infrastructure through which Jamaica can provide required evidence of compliance with international and national standards and regulations.  
The changes that have taken place in the global trading environment have been brought about by: 
i. Global advances in science, technology, standards and technical regulations over the last sixteen years
ii. Changes in the global trading system including an increased focus of the WTO TBT and SPS agreements with their attendant verification requirements. 
iii. Best practices that have developed in modern quality policies from other jurisdictions.  
iv. Increased awareness and demand for quality goods and services by regulatory authorities, producers, purchasers and consumers globally. 
 
A strategic national response to this new global paradigm demands a modern national quality policy and infrastructure to drive and facilitate the transformation of the economy to one based on the production and consumption of quality goods and services.
Purpose  
The overall purpose of the National Quality Policy is to support the achievement of the National Development Goals as expressed in the National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica through the implementation of an effective and internationally acceptable National Quality Infrastructure and system which facilitates: 
i. Trade and economic development 
ii. Effective use of a system of standards and technical regulations for the development and growth of industry
  iii. Innovation and intellectual property development 
iv. Consumer and environmental protection 
v. Improved quality of goods and services produced by the public and private sectors 
vi. Improvement in the quality of the labour force and the quality of socialization 

 
In particular, the National Quality Policy will facilitate enhanced economic growth through the use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) to facilitate production and export of quality goods and services.
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3.0 SITUATION ANALYSIS  
3.1  Historical and Legislative Background  
  The Standards Act of 1969 established the Bureau of Standards and together with the Weights and Measures Act of 1976 and the Processed Foods Act of 1959 determined its functions, activities and developmental processes over the next 50 years. These primary pieces of legislation as well as others which dictate activities and processes for the BSJ have remained virtually unchanged over the years and are therefore out of date with modern trends and developments in the field of standards and quality. 
   While the foregoing pieces of legislation were developed with the goal of ensuring the production and export of Jamaican goods and services which meet regional and international requirements, the documents have not been updated over the period when the most far-reaching transformation has taken place in the requirements for effective participation in global trade.
On the international and national scene some of the most significant changes included: 
i. The removal of preferential trading arrangements
ii The development and implementation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

 
iii. The formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the development of the TBT and SPS agreements in which international trade is based on compliance with standards and regulations. 
iv. Establishment of the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) 
v. Development and implementation of CARICOM Bilateral trade agreements 
vi. Preparation and publication of Jamaica's National Development Plan (Vision 2030) 
vii. The establishment and use of National Quality Infrastructure to support trade and economic development in most countries around the world
While the functions of the BSJ as determined by the different national legislation include the provision of the different quality infrastructure services in the fields of standards, metrology and conformity assessment, it also included the BSJ functioning as the national regulator for commercial activity.
The inherent conflicts of interest in this arrangement have led to the productive sector displaying a level of distrust of the organization providing developmental services since it was also the regulator. This meant that the critical standards and quality, coaching, hand-holding, and consulting services that are normally available locally to the productive sectors in other countries were stifled in the case of Jamaica. This placed Jamaican producers of goods and services (particularly those in the MSME sector) at a disadvantage against their counterparts in other countries and resulted in Jamaican products not satisfying market requirements or being uncompetitive against similar products from other countries in the market.   
The dictates of the legislation also led to Jamaica (through the BSJ) entrenching a system of voluntary and compulsory standards for commercially traded goods and services. This two-tiered system of standards is non-compliant with the WTO TBT agreement and results in unnecessary restrictions to trade and confusion in the production and trading community about what are regulated mandatory requirements as opposed to optional quality requirements.  
The realization of Jamaica's National Development Goals as outlined in Vision 2030 requires the correction of the status quo. The following corrective steps are proposed in the Policy to address the problems associated with the current situation as well as establish a platform for successful production and enhanced global trade in Jamaican goods and services towards attainment of our development goals.
i. Revision of the existing National Quality Policy of 2001 to take account of the global changes in the trade environment as well as the development direction of the country 
 
ii. Establishing a suitable configuration for streamlining the creation  of and structuring the operationalization of the National Quality Infrastructure to effectively underpin production, productivity, innovation
and trade to meet global requirements 
 
iii. Revision and modernization of  key legislation that
affect production and trade 
 
iv. Removal of all regulatory functions from the BSJ and establishment of a new regulator for commercially traded goods and services  
 
v. Restructuring and redevelopment of the BSJ to provide quality infrastructure business support services to all sectors of the society 
 
vi.
Effective rebranding of the BSJ and branding of the new regulator, the NCRA
 3.2  Other Relevant Plans, Policies and Programmes 
 
Because of the cross-cutting nature of standards and quality and the effect that the National Quality Infrastructure and a National Quality Culture can have on all aspects of national life, it is understood that once implemented, the National Quality Policy will have a positive impact on national policies, programmes and plans that influence or affect the production of goods and services in Jamaica. Below selected policies which are impacted positively by the National Quality Policy have been identified.
(a) Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan 
The attainment of the four (4) National Goals and the fifteen (15) National Outcomes, rely heavily on the availability and use of internationally acceptable public services as well as the production and trade of goods and services which meet global market conditions.  Moreover the effective implementation of the National Strategies can only take place in an environment where there is the availability of appropriate standards and regulations as well as conformity assessment capabilities.
(b) Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Policy  
This policy will significantly impact the  SEZ policy as it will provide the structured basis under which standards and metrology requirements are implemented, internationally accepted accreditation based conformity assessment is provided, training and other technical assistance is provided to allow for the production of goods and services which meet international regulations and standards and are therefore export ready. The quality infrastructure services provided locally are expected to be at lower cost than those which could be accessed overseas. The lower cost inputs will help to make Jamaican goods more competitive in the global market.
  
(c)  MSME & Entrepreneurship Policy
  For the MSME sector to develop and grow in a sustainable way, it is necessary to have independent attestation of the quality of the goods and services produced in that sector. This sector is expected to produce goods and services to satisfy the requirements of local and international markets as well as regional and global value chains. It is only through consistent quality that this customer base will be maintained. The National Quality Policy seeks to ensure the local availability of all the necessary quality services to ensure the consistency in quality of goods and services produced in Jamaica. 
(d) National Energy Policy 
The National Energy Policy is impacted by the National Quality Policy since quality plays a very important role in the availability, sourcing, generation, distribution and use of all sources of energy.  From the assessment of the quality of the raw materials through the quality management systems of production/generation to the conformity assessment of the final product and the management of its use, quality infrastructure services are required.   
(e) National Export Strategy 
The National Quality Policy will ensure the successes of the National Export Strategy by serving as a key support system to ensuring that the required quality arrangements are in place to drive the country‟s export activities and support the export sector.    
(f) Food and Nutrition Security Policy  
The National Quality Policy will impact the food and nutritional goals that the Food and Nutrition Security Policy aims to meet so that the country‟s agriculture and food systems can deliver adequate quality and nutritionally appropriate quantities of food and make prescriptions for a structured food import replacement program and a re-orientation of food imports and the food distribution system to increase the availability of good quality-nutritious foods in Jamaica. 
 
(g) Food Safety Policy 
  The Food Safety Policy aims to implement programmes that promote high standards of food hygiene and maintain systems of surveillance and control to ensure compliance with those standards for which the National Quality Policy will play a crucial complementary role

4.0 POLICY FRAMEWORK  
4.1  Policy Vision 
The vision of the National Quality Policy is that Jamaica will have a national framework for the development of a sustainable “Standards-Led, Market-Driven” economy supported by a culture of high quality to achieve global competitiveness and consumer protection.   
 
 
4.2  Policy Goals and Strategies  
   Goal # 1 Jamaican goods and services are compliant with global requirements through assistance from the NQI and a national quality promotion strategy. 
 
Strategies
1. Implementation of a carefully designed and coordinated ongoing quality promotions programme
 
2. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the need for NQI services among producers of goods and services  
 
3. Implementation of a comprehensive programme of NQI assistance to the goods and services sectors as well as  entrepreneurial 
endeavours in Private and Public sectors
 
4. Establish the resources and programme(s) required to effectively support MSME development and sustainability including support for the creation and international recognition  of Intellectual Property
Goal # 2
  A functional, effective, efficient and adequately legislated National Quality Infrastructure with upgraded and strengthened metrology, standards, accreditation and conformity assessment systems that have no regulatory function and facilitate:
i. The creation of a quality environment that stimulates and facilitates the growth of businesses and the implementation  of the best quality practices in all sectors of the society as well as effective consumer protection; 
 
ii. A strong and robust system for: 
a. determining the acceptability of traded goods and services 
b. provision of evidence that goods and services produced in Jamaica meet the stated and intended quality requirements of the market
 
iii. Improvements in productivity and the quality of goods and services in the marketplace; 
 
iv. The development/enhancement of technology, processes, goods
and services to meet global requirements through research and development; and 
 
v. Adequate human resource capacity in standards, metrology, accreditation
and conformity assessment as well as technical regulatory practice.
Strategies
 
1. Prepare the legislative framework and actual
legislations which defines and establishes the NQI, ensures collaborative functionality, effectiveness and efficiency of operation collectively and individually among the NQI entities.
 
2. Consult with stakeholders and provide Public Education and Information on NQI.
 
3. Establish the administrative and functional structure of the NQI.
 
4. Establish and institutionalize the National Quality Council.
 
5. Develop and retain adequate technical capabilities and expertise to satisfy the needs for NQI services across the society.
 
6. Support and benefit from regional and international QI related activities.
 
7. Implement international standards, seek accreditation / international recognition for important functions in all NQI entities.
 
8. Develop the matrix for collaboration within the NQI and with
private sector for the provision of standardization services.
 
9. Establish
program of collaboration between NQI entities, national and international regulatory bodies and producers of goods and services.  
 
 
10. Identify market conditions/needs, encourage local innovation and provide NQI assistance towards satisfying the market.
11.  Upgrade physical environmental conditions in key metrology laboratories to meet requirements for international recognition of Jamaica's calibration and Measurement Capabilities (CMCs).
 
12. Upgrade of metrology laboratory equipment capabilities.
 
13. Strengthen metrology staff
competences.
 
14. Upgrade Testing Equipment Capabilities of BSJ.
 
15. Strengthen testing and analytical
competences of BSJ staff.
 
16. Upgrade/strengthen the capabilities of JANAAC and NCBJ to offer appropriate accreditation and certification.
 
17. Coordinate the building of a National Conformity Assessment Cluster.
 
18. Develop and establish a national Accreditation Based Conformity Assessment System.
 
19. Develop the matrix for collaboration within the NQI and with
private sector for the provision of standardization services.
 
20. Create a platform for continual consultations with, and feedback from local and international key stakeholders, and the general public with a view for continual improvement of all aspects of the NQI and the enhancement of this Policy.
 
21.  Establish verification, measurement and testing capabilities as required to meet the needs of, and improve local technologies.  
  Goal # 3  The public sector is transformed and transformative in offering quality service through the implementation of international quality systems standards.  
Strategies
1. Implement International Quality and other Management System Standards in the Public Sector toward certification /accreditation.
 
2. Develop, maintain and modify as necessary, a suitable matrix for compliance with global requirements.
 
3. Develop and/or adopt available data banks for use in decision making.
 
4. Establish Standardization Implementation Assistance Programme within NQI to serve public and private sector
 
5. Develop strong NQI support for Intellectual Property development and maintenance in collaboration with JIPO.
Goal # 4 
An effective and efficient Technical Regulations Regime in which there is:
  i. A national 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 signatory;
 
ii. Enhanced coordination and collaboration among the core NQI institutions and with Technical Regulatory authorities based on internationally acceptable Technical Regulations Code of Practice. 
 
iii. Adequately resourced regulators with effective enforcement capabilities. 

 

  Strategies
1. Enact appropriate legislation to establish the Technical Regulatory Infrastructure.
 
2. Establish and implement an internationally acceptable Code of Practice for the development, adoption, implementation of Technical Regulations.
 
3. Strong and continual collaboration and cooperation between NQI entities and Technical Regulatory Authorities.
 
4. Develop and publish
list(s) of all goods which are subject to regulations in Jamaica. 
5.0  PRINCIPLES AND VALUES
     
  Consultation 

The successful implementation of the National Quality Policy will depend on the
buy in of all the stakeholders including the general public. The development of this revised policy has therefore proceeded based on a process of organized consultation. This approach will continue and intensify during the planning and execution of the implementation phase(s).  

 Compliance with Global Requirements

 With the phasing out of preferential trading arrangements (with its special non-tariff barriers) and replacement with standards and quality
driven global trade, many developing countries have found themselves in a position of not being able to comply with the WTO-TBT agreement. As a result, some trading blocs such as the European Union have been offering capacity building assistance to allow its developing country trading partners to become compliant with WTO-TBT requirements. 

  One consequence of this is that the developing states which make the transition at a faster rate
gains an advantage in being able to realize the benefits of being compliant with global requirements, thereby accessing the global market sooner than others.   
As a
result the government, through the implementation of this policy, will be taking the necessary steps to achieve compliance with global requirements.   
 
International Acceptance/Recognition 
Because evidence-based compliance with global requirements drives trade in general and market access in particular, it is of vital importance that the international market is in a position to accept the evidence of compliance based on the international recognition of Jamaica‟s capabilities to provide such evidence. The NQCu and the NQI will therefore be built upon the use of international standards, international recognition of measurement capabilities and international acceptance of accreditation based conformity assessment processes and results. 

   Facilitation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
 
While it is important to understand that the NQP aims at facilitating growth in all areas of industry, the achievement of our national goals requires that focus be placed on the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector which has the greatest potential for growth in the production of goods and services and the creation of jobs.  Data from the European Union (EU) indicates that only 25% of their SME engage in export and an even smaller proportion export beyond the EU. Considering that the proportion of Jamaican MSMEs that engage in export is likely to be even smaller than for the EU, and given the national development imperatives, this policy seeks to help Jamaican MSMEs to face competition, access foreign markets and find new business partners abroad. Going international increases MSMEs‟ performance, enhances competitiveness and reinforces sustainable growth.  
  While supporting the growth and development of our MSMEs, Jamaica will also work with the international community to ensure, as far as possible, a stable regulatory framework globally to foster the free movement of goods and services thereby allowing MSMEs access to foreign markets.  In addition, Jamaica acknowledges the use of international standards as a significant tool for enhancing MSME competitiveness as these standards help to reduce technical barriers to trade, reduce costs and facilitate MSME access to markets.  
 
Efficiency and Effectiveness 
Production efficiency is a key factor to describe how efficiently a country can produce goods and services. It is based on a country‟s ability to produce the highest number of units of a good or service while using the least amount of resources possible. The aim is to find a balance between the use of resources, the cost and rate of production, the effect on the environment and the quality of the goods or services being produced. As the government seeks to ensure the building of a National Quality Infrastructure and Quality Culture, it is imperative that efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of goods and services to the market be of utmost importance. In this regard, the provision of services by the NQI and regulatory entities in particular must be highly efficient and effective in their roles to provide services to meet industry needs. This is a scenario in which the private sector will be able to produce quality goods and services for the global market at increasingly competitive costs without negatively affecting the environment. 
 
Consumer Protection Consumer protection is strongly supported when the NQI and the Technical Regulations regime work together to support health, safety and fair trade. Consumer protection and consumer interests are taken into account in the following ways:
i. Participation of consumer (groups) in the development of Standards and Technical Regulations including SPS measures
 
ii. All consumer have access to the services of the NQI
 
iii. The work of the NQI and regulators seek to ensure that consumers enjoy affordable and uninterrupted access to safe products and services to meet their needs at all times
 
iv. The NQI and the technical regulation regime, while facilitating trade,
safety of goods and services in the market as well as the health of people and the environment, will work together in a way that results in poverty reduction through consumer participation in activities and creation of employment opportunities   
 
6.0         ISSUES AND CHALLENGES 
6.1 Quality Related Issues   
The key quality related issues which are of importance to the Jamaican economy may be classified into interrelated categories as follows:
  i. Production of quality goods and services 
ii. Facilitation of a strong and sustainable MSME sector 
iii. Energy Efficiency and Management
  iv. Environmental Protection    The main category of "Production of Quality Goods and Services" is supported and underpinned by the other categories. 
Production of Quality Goods and Services
  This category is considered the mainstay of the economy and is therefore the main area into which quality issues fall. While there are many issues which affect the production of quality goods and services in Jamaica, a few are discussed here as follows because of their impact on the productive sectors and the fact that they can be addressed through the implementation of this policy. 
 
(a) Inadequate Implementation of Standards and Quality Requirements 
The sustainable production of goods and services to meet global market demands and internationally accepted quality standards is critical to national development and is the only platform on which Jamaica can compete and take its place as a strong player in the global marketplace.  The services sector, as the major contributor to Jamaica's gross domestic product (GDP) will continue to be a major focus area for sustainable development of the Jamaican economy. The growth and expansion of the services sector can only be sustained in the long term if it is based on implementation of, and compliance with standards, technical regulations, metrology and conformity assessment requirements.  Similarly, the sustainable growth of the goods sector must be based on production that complies with the technical and conformity assessment requirements of the global marketplace. 

A properly structured and effective NQI is the most effective and economical means of consistently providing the standards and quality based technical assistance needed to implement the standards in order to transform the productive sector into the needed engine of strong and sustainable economic growth. 
  (b) Rejection and Delays at Foreign Ports of Entry
  The global trading community requires evidence that goods and services being traded are in compliance and conformance with technical regulations and standards. Many Jamaican exporters have suffered and continue to suffer rejections and delays of their goods at foreign ports of entry due to non-compliance (real or assumed) with standards and technical regulations.  Since the national quality infrastructure of a country is the internationally accepted and most economical source of evidence of compliance, the government is committed to ensure that such an internationally recognized infrastructure and system is urgently developed and available to the productive sector.   
(c) National support for technical development and protection of intellectual property 
The development, differentiation and security of Intellectual Property for goods, services, processes and practices is of significant interest to Jamaican entrepreneurs.  This policy recognises that Jamaica will need to establish a national infrastructure with relevant capabilities and established services to facilitate the development of new and novel industries through the verification, validation and improvement of intellectual property. 
   (d) Inadequate Dissemination of Standards and Quality Information  
Quality includes both stated and implied characteristics required for meeting customer satisfaction. Documented internationally accepted standards are therefore considered as the minimum requirements and specific niche markets and value chains may impose additional requirements. Lack of information on market requirements can prove to be a deterrent to local producers as well as a source of economic loss and even ruin for businesses especially in the MSME sector. The NQI will facilitate businesses in overcoming this challenge by keeping abreast of the rules, standards, guidelines and procedures related to market access and disseminate the information to facilitate businesses. 
 
(e) Poor Quality Goods and Services in the Local Marketplace
  Quality is an important issue for the Jamaican people and there is often an inconsistency in the delivery of quality to the domestic and international markets. The Jamaican marketplace must therefore be seen as an important part of the global market requiring goods and services which meet the global requirements. The implementation of internationally accepted standards and conformity assessment requirements in the local marketplace will result in the consumption of more locally produced goods and services at the expense of imported varieties.  
 
(f) Low productivity 
Poor quality inputs and low productivity are known to have a dramatic negative effect on the ability of locally produced goods and services to access key export markets. These phenomena also negatively affect the provision of national public services. There is a need to improve quality and productivity in all sectors of the economy through the implementation of internationally accepted standards and the use of NQI services.  
 
(g) Lack of a National Culture of Quality 
Deliberate non-compliance with standards and regulations, which has become commonplace in some areas of national life has been facilitated by lack of knowledge of the economic and social benefits that can be derived from those same standards and regulations.  In other areas of national life, the lack of adherence to standards, regulations and conformity assessment requirements have resulted in death, destruction of property and the environment, etc., and a heavy toll on public services. In still other areas of national life, the provision, acceptance and use of shoddy/poor quality goods and services, as well as, disregard for quality is cause for concern.  The national quality policy provides a platform on which to build a national quality culture to reverse the destructive disregard for quality and strengthen education in, and promotion of all aspects of quality.

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7.0 NATIONAL APPROACH TO THE ISSUES AND CHALLENGES 

To facilitate trade, industrial growth and the protection of health and public safety, the Government of Jamaica proposes to develop, implement and continually improve and upgrade the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) to meet Jamaica's needs and to be fully compliant with the country‟s international and regional trade commitments including WTO TBT and SPS Agreements. This will minimize costly duplications and eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade and market access delays.       An effective National Quality Infrastructure will enable the establishment and validation of Standards and Technical Regulations as well as the continued monitoring and evaluation of conformance.
This in turn facilitates a quality platform for: 
  i. Orderly development of society; 
  ii. Traceability in all aspects of trade in goods and services; 
 iii. International recognition of research and Intellectual Property development; and 
 iv. Data-driven decision making in trade, public and private investment, consumer and environmental protection, physical development planning as well as risk assessment and mitigation.   
 
The NQI 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 NQI will guide Ministries in the execution of these functions so that the capabilities that exist in the NQI can be utilized by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the development and/or implementation of technical regulations. This joined-up approach allows the concerned Ministries to make better use of their resources by not duplicating capabilities which are available from the NQI. The end result of this approach is the establishment of a modern internationally acceptable Technical Regulations System which facilitates competitive trade and sustainable economic development.   
  In facilitating sustainable development and competitive trade the NQI will be able to address the specific needs of industry in relation to market access and the quality related requirements imposed by the multilateral trading system. Therefore the development, implementation and improvement of the NQI is to be based on a thorough assessment of national and industry 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. It is of vital importance that specific national and industry needs be carefully considered and prioritized to enable the implementation of the national quality infrastructure on a phased basis with particular attention to ensuring its sustainability. Against this background the government is committed to providing the necessary resources and to institute the changes required to make the NQI effective in driving and supporting economic development.   
The building out of the NQI shall therefore take the following into consideration:
i. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) requirements to ensure the robust, efficient and secure processing and use of information within the NQI. 
 
ii. The implementation of the elemental activities of a capacity building programme which is developed and planned as a result of a thorough needs assessment of all parts of the economy; 
iii. The prioritization of the assessed needs to ensure that the technical infrastructure is built in phases in a planned and sustainable manner; 
 
iv. 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;  
 
v. The understanding that there is no ready-made model for a quality infrastructure; 
 
vi. The necessary support to ensure that Jamaica  makes the required  policy decisions and provide an ongoing political and financial commitment to those decisions; 
 
vii. The resources that will be required to sustain the national quality infrastructure.
 

8.0 LEGISLATION AND RELATED POLICIES  
    8.1  Legislative and Regulatory Framework 
   The current national laws which impact the NQI and need to be revised, updated or replaced are:  
i. The Standards Act
ii. The Weights and Measures Act 
  iii. The Processed Foods Act  
   In addition, an Act to establish and govern the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority is proposed to be promulgated.   
Also, there are external laws and agreements which affect the NQI. These include but are not limited to: 
i. The CROSQ Act  
 
ii. WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)
 
iii. WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary
measures (SPS) 
 
iv. The International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) 
 
v. The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangements (ILAC – MRA)
 
vi. Legislation which affects trade with major target markets (eg. FSMA in
USA, SFCA in Canada)
The government is committed to take all necessary steps to ensure that the national laws are modern, allowing for the attainment of national goals and compliance with regional and international agreements.      
 
 8.2  Related Plans and Policies
    (a) The National Development Plan – Vision 2030  
Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan3 has been formulated on the vision:        "Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business" and is intended to enable Jamaica to achieve developed country status by the year 2030.  The vision has been translated into four (4) National Goals and fifteen (15) National Outcomes as shown in the table below.
National Goals 

1.

Jamaicans are empowered to achieve their  fullest potential

2
The Jamaican society is secure, cohesive and  just

3

Jamaica's economy is prosperous 

4

Jamaica has a healthy natural environment

National Outcomes 
1. A Healthy and  Stable  Population
  2. World Class Education and Training
3. Effective Social Protection
  4. Authentic  and Transformational Culture
5. Security and  Safety
  6. Effective  Governance
7. A  Stable Macroeconomy 
8. An Enabling  Business  Environment 
9. Strong Economic  Infrastructure 
10. Energy Security and Efficiency 
11. Technology   Enabled Society 
12. Internationally Competitive Industry  Structures
13. Sustainable  Management and use of Environmental and Natural Resources 
14. Hazard Risk Reduction and  Adaptation to Climate Change
  15. Sustainable Urban and  Rural  Development 

The government is committed to the achievement of the national outcomes and is therefore committed to take the lead role in transforming the country into a quality environment for living, working, raising families and doing business.  This transformation requires the inculcation of a strong and pervasive national culture of quality to affect all aspects of national life as indicated earlier.  The national quality culture is to be founded in an effective NQI which is built out of a modern National Quality Policy.     

(b) Economic Growth Agenda
  Jamaica's medium-term growth agenda has been appropriately focused on the improvement of the business environment from a competitiveness standpoint and the facilitation of strategic growth-inducing investments. Areas of focus include the development of a logistics hub and offshoot processing, production, and assembly industries in special economic zones as well as the development of agro-parks.  Successful implementation and the maximizing of the benefits from these initiatives are inherently linked to a National Quality Infrastructure through the need to implement:
  i. International Standards and regulatory practice for goods, services and management systems.
  ii. Accurate and internationally recognized measurements and traceability systems based on the best national calibration and measurement capabilities.  
iii. Effective, efficient and internationally acceptable Accreditation Based Conformity Assessment System (ABCAS).

 

9.0  POLICY COMMITMENTS AND INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
  
   9.1  Recognition of Need
 
   The Government is cognizant of the need to: 
i. 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 regulations in target markets; and
  ii. Ensure the development and maintenance of an internationally acceptable technical regulations regime to: 
• Facilitate fair trade 
  • Ensure protection of the environment,  
• Ensure health and safety of human, animals and plants.    
 
9.2  Declaration of Intent
 
   The Government declares its intention to establish and regularly update a modern National Quality Policy through which the necessary infrastructure and systems will be effected to ensure that Jamaican goods and services are meeting the standards and quality requirements of the global marketplace. Specifically, the National Quality Policy will: 
i. Drive the development, maintenance and improvement of: 
• An effective, efficient and robust National Quality infrastructure and system 
• National quality capabilities and competences based on national development imperatives 
• A competitive trade environment based on internationally accepted standards and principles. 
 
ii. Promote and foster a pervasive culture of quality in Jamaica  
9.3  Resolution 
   The Government therefore resolves that: 
i a national quality culture be developed and maintained with purpose and determination through the use of suitable strategies and programmes in line with the National Quality Policy and other documents. 
 
ii metrology, standards and accreditation based conformity assessment procedures shall:  
a. be in accordance with internationally accepted principles and requirements, 
  b. allow for improvement in efficiency and productivity in the Jamaican economy and  
c. ensure the delivery of quality goods and services to consumers
 
iii Information and Communication Technology (ICT) shall be utilized as far as practicable to ensure high levels of productivity and efficiency in all aspects of the delivery of quality goods and services to the Jamaican society.  
 
iv A National Quality Council with executive and policy level membership from public and private sector interests and NGOs shall be established with its secretariat within the Ministry with portfolio responsibility for Commerce.  
 
v Ministries, Departments
and Agencies shall implement and demonstrate, through certification or accreditation, the use of quality and other management standards in their operations.
  
vi The requisite funding for establishing a modern National Quality Infrastructure shall be provided together with
financial system(s) that will sustain that infrastructure.
 
vii The framework and content of the National Quality Policy will inform the quality policies of institutions and organizations to create and sustain a quality culture, which embraces international requirements.
 
viii 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.   
 
 
 9.4  National Quality Culture 
 
The Government is committed to
build a National Quality Culture that permeates all aspects of national life.  Such a culture will instill in the minds of all Jamaicans that anything we do must be of exemplary quality.  Both public and private sector organizations will be encouraged to promote a culture of meeting high standards.   Organizations will be encouraged to establish and instil their core values deep in the psyche of their staff to produce the best quality intermediate and final goods and services to meet customer satisfaction.  Homes and Educational Institutions will be encouraged to instil good civil core values in their children and students respectively, so that they will be well socialized and well educated to become quality employees who are capable of producing the best quality goods and services that are globally competitive.  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. Public consultations shall be conducted as appropriate. 
 
9.5  National Quality Infrastructure (NQI)  
  9.5.1  General 
  
The Government shall:
  i establish a National Quality Infrastructure, with appropriate legislative underpinning, to support transformation to, and maintenance of a quality society to live, work, raise families and do business as well as to facilitate global competitiveness and compliance with  national and international obligations; 
 
ii ensure that the highest levels of integrity and impartiality are maintained in the structure and operation of the NQI;   iii ensure that the mandate of the NQI institutions are in line with international best practice and void of any regulatory functions; 
 
iv ensure that the National Quality Policy and appropriate
guidance are disseminated to all stakeholders;  
 
v provide public education and awareness for the implementation of the National Quality Policy and the building up of the National Quality Infrastructure; 
 
vi develop and implement national standards, metrology, accreditation
and conformity assessment systems;  
 
vii develop and promote  a culture of quality in Jamaican society; and
 
viii spearhead a national capacity building initiative to affect all institutional levels in order to strengthen and sustain the NQI.
 
 

 

10.0 KEY STAKEHOLDERS AND THEIR ROLES   
The roles of the internal stakeholders were outlined earlier. The roles of the key external stakeholders are outlined in this section.  
   (a)  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 government shall encourage the private sector to: 
i. 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; 
 
ii. Participate actively in representative structures such as technical committees dealing with standards, accreditation, metrology, conformity assessment or related activities;
    iii. Participate in, and promote national quality programmes and events including national quality awards;  
 
iv. 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;  
 
v. Develop the human resource capabilities needed for improving the quality of goods and services;  
 
vi. 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  
 
vii. 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.

 
(b)  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, chambers of commerce, manufacturers' associations, trade associations, MSME sector associations, consumer organizations, civil society, the media etc. in order to realize the stated objectives. Within the implementation process 
of the Quality Policy, the government shall encourage NGOs and consumer organizations in coordination with relevant partners to undertake the following:   
   i. Promote and participate in quality education and training activities; 
  
   ii. Participate in the dissemination of quality related information;
   iii. Implement activities that promote quality;  
   iv. Represent relevant bodies on the technical committees in the field of standards, metrology, accreditation and conformity Assessment; and    
  v. Make suggestions on quality policy improvement and better ways to implement the National Quality Policy
(c)  Academia
    In the development of a national quality culture, the educational system has a vital role to play in transforming national thought and behaviour with respect to quality. The successful and sustainable inculcation of a culture of quality requires consistent education and training at all levels from preprimary to post tertiary and lifelong learning. This requires the input and agreement of the Ministry of Education as well as Tertiary level institutions. Members of academia are therefore expected to: 
i. Ensure that faculty are trained/oriented on matters to do with quality 
 
ii. Prepare and deliver lessons that deal with basic quality issues at all levels 
 
iii. Ensure that graduates at the secondary and tertiary levels have adequate knowledge of the national quality infrastructure and how it works for the development of the country
 
iv. Implement activities to promote and disseminate quality  
 
v. Ensure that the education sector is represented on the technical committees in the field of standards, metrology, accreditation and
conformity Assessment
 
vi. Make suggestions for the improvement of the quality policy and its implementation

 

11.0 FINANCING  
The Government has responsibility for ensuring that financial resources are allocated for the implementation of the NQP and the Strategic Quality Infrastructure Plan (SQIP) including financing the establishment, development and enhancement of the public NQI institutions (for Standards, Metrology, Accreditation, Conformity Assessment). The financing of private sector institutions and organizations, such as conformity assessment bodies, 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:
i. The establishment and operation of the National Quality Council (NQCo); 
ii. The phased implementation of the NQP; 
iii. The timely review /revision of the NQP and the NQI;  
iv. The continued development and publication of national standards as well as the maintenance of a standards information centre;  
v. The implementation of international management system standards in the public sector including the cost of technical assistance to facilitate implementation and the cost of certification and/or accreditation; 
vi. 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; 
vii. The continued development, enhancement and maintenance of Legal Metrology services;
viii. 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); 
  ix. The establishment of appropriate and adequate market surveillance operations to ensure compliance with technical regulations in order to safeguard public health and safety. 
 

 

12.0 IMPLEMENTATION  
   (a) The National Quality Council (NQCo)
   The Ministry with responsibility for Commerce is given oversight responsibility for the implementation of the NQP. The Ministry shall establish and institutionalized a National Quality Council (NQCo) 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 NQCo 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 NQCo shall: 
 

 
i. Provide ongoing guidance and support for the operations of the NQI as well as the institutional and legal modernization of the NQI;
 
ii. Adopt policy oversight and governance procedures that build and maintain the highest levels of integrity and impartiality in the operations of the NQI;
 
iii. Review and adopt findings of investigations on the current status of the NQI;
iv. Commission studies, request information from concerned institutions and conduct research to obtain information; 
 
v. Develop and endorse recommendations in relation
to: a.  establishing policies, functions and roles of the institutions concerned and   b. developing or revising the enabling legislation for the national quality infrastructure 
 
vi. Adopt plans for the modernization of the national quality infrastructure and assign implementation to specific institutions; 
 
vii.  Adopt plans for the implementation of International Management System Standards across the public sector; 
 
viii. 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; 
 
ix. Monitor and oversee implementation plans until successful completion.  
(b)  Strategic Quality Infrastructure Plan (SQIP)
 
i. The Government shall ensure the development and implementation of a Strategic Quality Infrastructure Plan (SQIP) for the implementation of the National Quality Policy. 
 
ii. The SQIP shall provide details of the implementation of the NQP over a set period of time and shall be revised as required based on national development priorities. 
 
iii. The
NQCo exercises oversight of the SQIP. 
 
The Policy shall be reviewed every five years.  The Implementation Plan shall be reviewed as needed. 
 
 
13.0   CONCLUSION 

The 2017 National Quality Policy outlines the government‟s recognition of the quality related issues affecting national development as well as its commitments to systematically address and mitigate the issues. The main commitments of government are: 

i. To build, strengthen, sustain and underpin with legislation where necessary, an internationally recognized National Quality Infrastructure comprising: 
  • The Commerce Ministry (including the National Quality Council)  
  • The National Accreditation Body (JANAAC)
  •   The National Standards Body (BSJ) 
  •  The National Metrology Institute (NMI/BSJ) 
  •  A National Conformity Assessment Cluster (NCAC) 

 
 
ii. To transition the system of Compulsory and Voluntary Standards to a WTO-TBT compliant system of Technical Regulations and Standards and thereby reducing national Technical Barriers to Trade. 
 
iii. To implement a national Accreditation Based Conformity Assessment System (ABCAS) which meets international requirements. 
 
iv. To encourage the Private Sector to participate in the NQI, particularly in the provision of conformity assessment services. 
 
v. To build and sustain a national culture of quality to actively support and strengthen the national effort for Jamaica to become “The place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”. 

 
The main risk is that this policy is not implemented in its entirety. The probability of this risk is considered low as a result of the enthusiastic input made and interest
shown by stakeholders as well as the imperatives in Vision 2030, Jamaica, the growth agenda and the commitment of the multi-lateral lending partners. The key mitigating measure is the Strategic Quality Infrastructure Plan (SQIP) being funded through the Strategic Public Sector Transformation Project.  
 
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