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QUALITY IS OUR STANDARD

The Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ) was established, as per the Standards Act of 2006, as a corporate body operating within the Ministry of Financial Services. The BBSQ is mandated to establish and maintain standards for all goods, services, practices and processes to protect the health and safety of all Bahamians, safeguard the environment and enhance the economy of The Bahamas. The BBSQ works closely with the government, industries and businesses to enhance the quality of products and services available to the Bahamian people and synchronize national standards with international and regional standards.

BBSQ HAS A MEMBERSHIP, PARTNERSHIP AND/OR AGREEMENT WITH:

  • International Organization for Standardization
  • CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality
  • International Electrotechnical Commission
  • Pan American Commission for Standardization
  • American Society for Testing and Materials

What is Standardisation?

Standardisation is the process of formulating, implementing and publication of guidelines, rules and specifications (collectively referred to as standards) with the aim to address actual or potential problems. It can also facilitate for common and repeated use, aimed at the achievement uniformity in a given context.

Why Standards?

Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality and also level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.

What is a Technical Regulation?

Technical regulations state product characteristics or their related processes and production methods, including the applicable administrative provisions, with which compliance is mandatory.

 

The term may also include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labelling requirements as they apply to a product, process or production method.

Difference Between a Standard and a Technical Regulation?

The difference between a standard and a technical regulation lies in compliance. While conformity with standards is voluntary, technical regulations are by nature mandatory. They have different implications for regional or international trade. If an imported product does not fulfil the requirements of a technical regulation, it will not be allowed to be put on sale. In case of standards, non-complying imported products will be allowed on the market, but then their market share may be affected if consumers' prefer products that adhere to standards such as quality or colour standards for textiles and clothing.

 

Principles of Standards Development

There are five key principles of standards development, whether at a national or regional level:

  • openness;
  • transparency;
  • impartiality;
  • stakeholder-driven; and
  • consensus-based.

Types of Standard Publications

  • Specification
  • Method of Test
  • Code of Practice
  • Glossary/Vocabulary
  • Guide
  • Labelling

What are Standards?

'A document established by consensus and approved by a recognized body that provides for common and repeated use: rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context'.

ISO/IEC Guide 2:1996, definition 3.2

Quality Assurance Marks

What’s the purpose

The aim is to help organizations achieve customer satisfaction by focusing on 'how things are done'. Through certification of the products and services.

What Type of Marks

  • Products
  • Services
Economic Benefits

For Business

Standards are strategic tools and guidelines that can assist companies / businesses to:

  • Reduce expenditure, through improved systems and processes
  • Improve customer satisfaction, through enhanced safety, quality and processes
  • Access new markets, through ensuring the compatibility of products and services
  • Diminishes the impact on the environment.
  • Instrument to self regulate
  • Increased market share – through increased productivity and competitive advantage
  • Supports innovation – by providing a platform to build new and exciting ideas

Ensuring that business operations are as efficient as possible.

For Consumer
  • improved choice and access to goods and services
  • lower costs
  • products with improved quality and reliability
  • safer, healthier, more environmentally sound products and services
  • compatibility within and between products
  • greater consistency in the delivery of services
  • better product or service information
For the Government

Standards can be a vital resource for governments when developing public policy through access to expertise and experience on a international and/or regional level.

Governments can use standards to support public policy, including:

  • Utilizing expert opinion- through integration of standards into national regulation. (thus the governments can benefit from the opinion of experts without having directly solicited their services)
  • Opening up world trade– standards (international or regional) are adopted by many governments, so integrating them into national regulation ensures that requirements for imports and exports are the same the world over, therefore facilitating the movement of goods, services and technologies from country to country.
Developing Countries
  • technical information
  • basis for national regulations
  • safeguarding national interests for imports
  • adapting products for export
  • access to export markets