The vision of the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA) is to be the recognised centre of excellence and preferred partner in the provision of standards-based solutions in Swaziland and beyond calls for a serious and honest introspection of self as an organisation. The recent strategic plan set to the period 2013 to 2016 revealed some gaps that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Such shortfalls, it is comforting to report, were not for the lack of conscientious effort from within the organisation but were realised to be due to an ever-changing and ever-increasing demand for better and more efficient products and services from SWASA by all stakeholders. Starting from the shareholders, to the Council and staff; and finally to the Swazi nation at large, each has a need that needs to be met through informed and calculated moves by SWASA. Entering into its third three-year strategic period in April 2013, it would seem, the organisation can no longer plead infancy.
SWASA Memorandum of Understanding with ASTM
ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world-and are known for their high technical quality and market relevancy. The organization was originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and was formed over a century ago, when a forward-thinking group of engineers and scientists got together to address frequent rail breaks in the burgeoning railroad industry. Their work led to standardization on the steel used in rail construction, ultimately improving railroad safety for the public. As the century progressed and new industrial, governmental and environmental developments created new standardization requirements, ASTM International answered the call with consensus standards that have made products and services safer, better and more cost-effective.
Today, ASTM International continues to play a leadership role in addressing the standardization needs of the global marketplace. ASTM International is at the forefront in the use of innovative technology to help its members do standards development work, while also increasing the accessibility of ASTM International standards to the world. ASTM International services are utilised by a diverse range of industries that have come together under its umbrella to solve standardization challenges.
In recent years, stakeholders involved in issues ranging from safety in recreational aviation, to fibre optic cable installations in underground utilities, to homeland security, have come together under ASTM International to set consensus standards for their industries. Standards developed at ASTM International are the work of over 30,000 members. These technical experts represent producers, users, consumers, government and academia from over 120 countries.
The Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA) has signed an MoU with ASTM International as a means of gathering as much technical assistance as possible for the effective development of the local quality infrastructure. The initiative by SWASA to form an alliance with an established organization such as ASTM International shows the Authority’s vision for the development of a quality driven culture and the improvement of the quality of life in Swaziland through standardization and certification.
As a result of this partnership SWASA will be in a position to benefit from training offered by ASTM International, technical support from experts in the field of quality and being associated with a wide network of technical experts. Such benefits will equip the Authority to further enhance the quality of service that it has to offer to local industry.
To find out more about ASTM International you may visit their website by clicking on their logo above.
The Quality Assurance Department will be the custodians of the SWASA mark for quality as it is through this department that quality testing and certification will be carried out. The department’s functionality will depend on local industry utilizing the Swazi National Standards that will have been developed by the Technical Department and further seeking to be certified ...
SWASA will be disseminating standards addressing technical problems in various sectors and will be encompassing many professions. People involved in these sectors and others will be invited o partake in Technical Committees. The sectors already identified are:
- Fresh Produce
- Prepackaged stuff ...
- In order for the people to be able to implement the standards, they must understand exactly what is implied in the various paragraphs within the standard. Standards-based training may be facilitated by SWASA staff or it may be done by a subcontracting company. Based on the type of standards that are on demand it is envisaged that SWASA may offer more than 10 courses per year. Training on standards forms part of the Standards Marketing Strategy of SWASA, since, as more people understand standards, the more they will be willing to implement them ...
The Swaziland Standards Authority’s Information Centre is a reference point for technical information on standards and quality issues within the Technical Department, and its basic objective is to provide a means for acquiring and disseminating information on standards and related matters from and to the stakeholders. Information is availed to SWASA clients and general public through the print media, radio, the SWASA website www.swasa.co.sz and by visiting the Centre ...