The Bahamas Bureau of Standards & Quality (BBSQ), in its ongoing effort to develop national standards, in line with global standards, hosted a landmark forum, Fri Oct 27th.
Dr. Renae Bufford, BBSQ Director, extended an invitation to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Secretary General, Mr. Sergio Mujica who made his first official visit to The Bahamas for the event. Sergio addressed government officials and key private and public sector representatives. He highlighted the importance of developing and implementing a quality infrastructure (QI) and elaborated on how QI systems, particularly international standards, can enhance Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Agriculture and more. Sergio urged progress in this area, in an effort to open global markets to us and advance our overall economy. The morning forum was held in the Courtyard Marriott Ballroom.
BBSQ then hosted an evening cocktail reception, at the Grand Hyatt, Baha Mar, to acknowledge critical contributions made by National Standards Technical Committees. These committees assist BBSQ with developing standards for a range of industries and service areas including Water and Water Products, Food Hygiene, Labelling of Food Products, Tobacco and Tobacco Products, Poultry/Poultry Products, Building Products,
Spirits and Brewery Products, Laboratories, Management Systems, Tourism and Related Services and Electro-Technical and Energy Efficiency.
Members of each Technical Committee were highlighted at the BBSQ Cocktail reception and received certificates of appreciation. BBSQ staff members were also recognized for their dedication to National Standards Development.
The Bahamas Bureau of Standards & Quality hosted a one day training session on the importance of accreditation and the fundamentals of internal auditing in collaboration with Jamaica’s National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC). In attendance was Dr. Renae Bufford –Director; Dion Foulkes Minister of Labour and Ms. Sharonmae Shirley JANAAC’s CEO. Ms. Shirley who has over 20 years of auditing experience facilitated the training session for the relevant stakeholders in attendance. The training provided attendees with an overview of the importance of accreditation and outlined requirements of the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 19011- Guidelines for auditing managements system.
Minister Foulkes opened the training session and he also brought remarks. He remarked that “Internal audits are a critical requirement of every management system. Even those participants from companies that do not currently have implemented quality management system should see the value of internal audits.”
Ms. Shirley stressed the importance of a National Quality infrastructure and gave valuable insight on auditing practices for Conformity Assessment bodies –bodies that offer services in testing, verifications, certifications and accreditation.
There were a number of public and private sector professionals in attendance, including representatives from Public Hospitals’ Authority, BAIC (Food Analysis Department), Min. of Works, the Registrar General’s Office, Min. of Tourism, Cocoa Cola, Min. of Financial Services, Bahamas Royal Police Force’s forensic Unit & Aquapure.
CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), in recognition of the strides made by The Bahamas Bureau Of Standards and Quality (BBSQ) since its inception, and the absolute dedication of its leadership, has appointed the director of BBSQ, Dr. Renae Bufford, as regional CROSQ Chair. Dr. Bufford has graciously accepted and is swift to acknowledge the hard work of the BBSQ staff, the Standards Board and all stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to assist with National Standards Development to advance national interests, facilitate trade and improve the quality of goods and services across The Bahamas.
“I pledge to continue the work of building our national quality infrastructure, which is based on many years of planning and the collaborative efforts of highly competent Bahamian consultants and partners such as CROSQ and the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO),” stated Dr. Bufford.
The strategic plan for The Bahamas, 2016 – 2018, paves the way for BBSQ and provides a strategic agenda, which BBSQ will adhere to, while taking into account the policy direction of the Government and its national development and economic plan 2040. Going forward, there will be great focus on creating a culture of standards and quality as a major factor for the overall economic development of The Bahamas.
"We are honoured by Dr. Bufford's appointment and happy to see that BBSQ has achieved such recognition at the regional level,” remarked Ms. Pauline V. Curry, BBSQ Council Chair.
Dr. Bufford notes that her ultimate goal, as regional CROSQ Chair and Director of BBSQ, is to improve the quality of life for our region and expresses great appreciation for the support of CROSQ thus far in this effort.