14 October: World Standards Day

October 14th, 2019, Published in Articles: Vector

14 October is celebrated annually as World Standard Day across the world by national standards bodies, regulatory institutions and public and private economic organisations. The celebration of World Standards Day is a symbolic reminder that standards and associated conformity assessment are an indispensable tool supporting the quality of products, services, environmental protection and other indicators of social and economic development.

The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), a founder member of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), is responsible for the development of South African National Standards (SANS), working with technical experts, academics and representatives of domestic companies.

SABS currently manages 7400 national standards that set out the requirements for various products; management systems; social development; manufacturing processes; basic services; buildings; healthcare; food hygiene and many other categories. In 2018, SABS published 240 new national standards, 130 of which were developed locally.

Acting SABS CEO Garth Strachan says World Standards Day should remind us of the importance of standards and conformity assessment, as well as of the gratitude owed to technical, industry and government stakeholders, many of whom volunteer their time and knowledge to collaboratively develop national standards.

“SABS has approximately 300 standards technical committees and sub-committees in existence. Standards development involves a process of research, impact analysis and collaboration to secure quality standards, relevant to domestic conditions, which do not breach the principles of competition and which support social and economic development,” he says .

“Standards and conformity assessment are imperative for the industrialisation effort and underpin smart regulation and policy, including and with respect to compulsory technical specifications which serve to protect consumers and the public from unsafe and sub-standard products,’ explained Strachan.

The SABS participates in various councils and committees in the following organisations:

  • International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
  • African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO).
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
  • Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC).
  • African Electrotechnical Standardisation Commission (AFSEC).
  • Southern African Development Community Cooperation in Standards (SADCSTAN).

Contact Roshelle Pillay; SABS, Tel 012 428-6878 roshelle.pillay@sabs.co.za

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