The Grenada Bureau of Standards (GDBS) has launched a National Standards Awards programme aimed at honouring and recognising outstanding contributions made to standards development nationally as well as regionally.
The new GBDS initiative was officially launched last week Friday at the GDBS Conference room to coincide with the worldwide observance of World Standards Day, which is recognised on October 14 each year.
According to Head of Standardisation Division, GDBS, Lena Belgrave, the three categories up for grabs are “Most Outstanding Technical Committee, Most Outstanding Chairperson of Technical Committee and Individuals who have contributed significantly to standards development,” across the board.
Belgrave said the initiative, which will commence in October 2017 and held every two years thereafter was created “to show recognition to the volunteers involved in standards development…to encourage the members of the technical committees to be in compliant to the rules of standards development and to establish guidelines and criteria that can be used by technical committees to evaluate their performance.”
The judging criteria for technical committee awards are “punctuality of members to meetings, regularity of members, adherence to the work plans, participation, completion of assignments within deadlines, use of knowledge on the subject matter and level of preparedness for technical committee meetings,” she said.
She added that the judging criteria for the Chairperson award, which includes, “the chairperson’s leadership ability to achieve consensus, use of knowledge of the subject matter, level of preparedness for the meeting, the Chairperson’s ability to manage the meeting, time management and the use of basic project management skills.”
The female GBDS executive also outlined the judging criteria for Individuals who have contributed to standards development at the international level.
These she said which are limited to Codex Alimentarius, the international food standard setting body of the FAO/WHO include “willingness to accept the standards to be reviewed, whether the document is actually reviewed, and whether feedback is submitted within the deadline.”
There are presently 5 standards technical committees: The National Codex Committee, which works on international food standards and comprises 13 persons; Consumer Products Committee, which works on revision of regional standards for toilet tissue and comprises 5 persons; Tourism Products and Services Committee – Craft, comprising 11 persons; Environment – Refrigeration and Air Condition Committee comprising 11 persons and the Early Childhood Education Committee, comprising 17 members.
As part of World Standards Day celebrations this year the GDBS recognised 22 volunteers who serve on various Standards technical committees for their contribution to the development of standards regionally and locally.
Special recognition was given to Dr. Guido Marcelle, retired Chief Analytical Chemist and past Chairman of Standards Council.
Dr. Marcelle has been involved in standards development and general bureau activities since the establishment of the Grenada Bureau of Standards in 1989.
He was the first Chairman of the Standards Council (Board of Directors), a position he held for more than 10 years.
Dr. Marcelle also served in various other capacities including Chairman and member of technical committees and facilitator of standards related training.
Since 1970, World Standards Day has been recognised in various ways through workshops conferences, seminars, exhibitions and even road races.
This year’s theme “Standards Build Trust” raises awareness of the importance of standardisation to the economy and more specifically it emphasises the confidence that standardisation brings to consumers.
Addressing the ceremony, Trade Minister, Oliver Joseph highlighted the important role that the various Standards technical committees play in nation building.
“We recognise standards development as an important economic activity which aligns itself with market relevance and effectiveness…You (the members of the committees) play a very important role in preparing the stage for quality facilitating trade and ensuring safety for all.
I wish to applaud your selfless effort in contributing your time and expertise,” Minister Joseph said to the volunteers.
He stressed that, “standards developed through good standardisation practices of stakeholder engagement, openness, transparency and consensus by volunteers who are experts in the circuit area gives a certain level of trust and credibility”
He noted that “standards set the rules or the basis for competition in the business community and also levels the playing field for stakeholders both at the domestic and international level.
Minister Joseph said without the use of standards trade cannot be fair.