What is a standard?
A standard is a document established and approved by a recognised body, which provides rules, guidelines for activities or their results aimed at achieving the optimum degree of order in a given context. It can be in form of a code of practice, product specifications, list of definitions, test method, list of symbols and/or SI units.
How do standards and their application impact on the ordinary man on the street?
Standards help define quality so that we all are on the same page and further provide guidelines to means to ensure the quality of goods produced in the country for the protection of human, animal and plant life or health. They are also aimed at protecting the environment and prevent the use of deceptive practices during production.
For the consumer: conformity of products and services to standards provides assurance about their quality, safety and reliability.
For General Public: Standards can contribute to the quality of life in general by ensuring that services such as transport, machinery and tools we use are safe.
What standards have been developed for Swaziland so far?
SWASA has to date adopted and published seven international standards and these are:
1. SZNS/ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems
2. SZNS/ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems
3. SZNS/ ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Systems
4. SZNS/ISO/IEC 17025 General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories.
5. SZNS/SANS 10330 Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
6. SZNS/SANS 16001 HIV/AIDS Management Systems.
7. SZNS/BS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.
The Authority is currently in the process of developing over 40 more standards for use in a wide range of sectors locally.
What do I need to do to have SWASA develop standards for my sector (e.g. engineering)?
How applicable will Swaziland National Standards (SZNS) be in the rest of the region and internationally?
Swaziland being a signatory to WTO and being a member of ISO subscribes to the practice of harmonising standards to reduce the possibilities of creating barriers to trade. It is thus common practice for NSBs to adopt or to base the development of National Standards on existing international or regional standards to ensure relevance and harmony. The process of developing new standards is aligned with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and ISO guidelines
CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT AND ACCREDITATION
What is Conformity Assessment?
Conformity assessment is an activity concerned with determining directly or indirectly that the relevant requirements are fulfilled. Typical examples of conformity assessment activities are testing, inspection, accreditation, etc.
What is the role of certification?
Certification is an asset and an advantage, both for the producer and for the purchaser, consumer or distributor. It gives an incontestable added value to the product or service bearing its mark.
For the user, it provides assurance that the product purchased meets defined characteristics or that an organization’s process meets specified requirements. Certain product certification marks may represent an assurance of safety and quality. Verification enables one to distinguish apparently identical products or services; it offers everyone a possibility of appeal in the event of dissatisfaction.
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is the procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks