Conformity assessment: Resource persons from the public and private sectors of the region, trained to the requirements of ISO 17021-1

A training workshop on the requirements of ISO 17021-1 standard was organized by the WAQSP, from 25 to 26 February 2019 in Accra, Ghana. This workshop aimed to strengthen participants' competencies in conformity assessment. By teaching them the requirements for the bodies, it is ultimately to make available to the bodies that make up the Regional Accreditation System (ECORAS), in this case the NiNAS, the GhaNAS and the SOAC that compose it, a critical mass of experts they can count on to audit and certify management systems.

Indeed, as Dr. Donatus Uchechukwu Onyishi of the Nigeria Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering who participated in the workshop recalled, " ISO/IEC 17021 standard, which sets out the principles and requirements for skills and other requirements for certification bodies providing audit and certification of management systems, will help regulate the activities of certification bodies so that organizations certified to ISO/IEC 17021 are trusted by all interested in their products and services ".

Mr. Fakhruddin Azizi, UNIDO representative in Ghana and Liberia, recalled that UNIDO is strongly committed to continue collaboration with other WAQSP stakeholders (EU, ECOWAS, UEMOA, private and member States representatives of the Program) to achieve the best possible results for people, for the planet and for their common future. This strategic positioning allows our organization to contribute fully to the implementation of the 2030 Program through the Sustainable Development Goal 9 - Objective 9 (Build a resilient Infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization that benefits all and encourage innovation).

In his opening remarks, Ghana's Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry congratulated " the European Union, UNIDO and ECOWAS for their continued support in helping them build strong institutions, and functional for the quality Infrastructure in order to improve the competitiveness of products of the sub-region and the quality of life of our citizens ". He also wanted to share important information in the context of the operationalization of the ECOWAS Quality Policy (ECOQUAL): "The Ministry of Trade and Industry is in the process of finalizing the establishment’s modalities of GhaNAS as the accreditation body for confirmation assessment activities."

After the two days of training, the participants expressed their satisfaction. Youssouf MAMA SIKA, Chief of the quality management unit of ANM-Benin and in charge of accreditation, recalled that it was the third training in the series of ISO 17000 standards organized by the WAQSP in which he participated. "Today, I can easily build a good argument about the accreditation of testing laboratories, inspection bodies and system certification bodies. The yards are vast in the country. I am already seeing applications around offers with actors who are in the field. UNIDO has enabled the implementation of a focal point in Benin, which has almost all the technical information needed to meet national demands for accreditation. "

According to Edwige De Souza, certified IRCA-Quality, Environment and Safety Consultant, "The training and capacity-building option is not only beneficial for the development of the West African Infrastructure, but also a requirement for the sustainability of the quality system and the level of trust of markets and consumers. Until then, I am used by certifiers. But with this training, I can commit to the creation of a certification body, especially that the SOAC is now operational. "

This program is funded by the European Union;

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Commision of the European Union

 This program is implemented by UNIDO

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