by Tanesha Mundle
The Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) created history Friday (January 15) by awarding its first testing and calibrating laboratory accreditation certificate to the St. Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS).
The award validates the SLBS’ technical competence and conformity to the management system requirements of the ISO/IEC 1700254:2017 standards for testing and calibrating laboratories.
The award was presented to the St. Lucian standards body during a virtual accreditation award ceremony hosted by JANAAC.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, who was the guest speaker at the function, applauded the SLBS for its accomplishment while noting that its accreditation augurs well for the region.
“This accreditation will, no doubt, allow for the acceleration of the St. Lucia Bureau of Standards’ own work and reputation,” he said.
Minister Shaw noted that not only is the SLBS the first calibration laboratory to be accredited by JANAAC but also the first accredited calibration laboratory in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and will join the cadre of over 11,000 calibration laboratories accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025 Standard worldwide.
He noted that given the changing global landscape, it is quite pivotal that governmental bodies and private-sector entities improve their efficiency and competitiveness.
“This is key to leveraging global opportunities and improving competitiveness,” Mr. Shaw said.
“In fact, in the world of quality, with metrology being one of the three fundamental pillars of the quality infrastructure along with standards and accreditation, the more earnest the approach, the greater rewards,” he added.
Chairman, CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality Council (CROSQ) and Executive Director of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), Hopeton Heron, congratulated the SLBS and JANAAC on the milestone achievement.
“It is a feather in the cap of JANAAC that it has been able to accredit its first calibration laboratory ever to the ISO/IC 17025:2017 standards for testing and calibration laboratories. What an exhilarating moment this must be; a great achievement indeed,” he said.
He noted that the SLBS has embarked on a journey “that can only lead to greater achievements over time and we know that your organisation’s commitment to this path”, Mr Heron added.
Director of the SLBS, Verne Emmanuel, in his response, said it is a proud moment for the St. Lucian standards body, as the accreditation has put the organisation in a global class of achievements.
He further noted that although the journey was hard “the accreditation indicates clearly to the global community the approach of our country, St. Lucia, in relation to quality, our technical competence and our firm commitment to excellence”.
Mr. Emmanuel expressed delight at the fruitful collaboration with JANAAC, which has resulted in this remarkable outcome.
“We are proud of the results of this collaboration and thank JANAAC for their hard work as SLBS persevered through the requirements of the standard to achieve this award,” he said.
Mr. Emmanuel added that “the availability of a regional accreditation agency with the prestige of JANAAC is a good start and we must continue to nurture and invest in the growth of such institutions nationally and regionally as we build a resilient network of quality infrastructure to serve our constituents”.