GNBS records successes despite pandemic
-three labs certified, new standards adopted
The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) has said it has had a successful year having been able to develop 10 new national standards, including for the petroleum industry and electrical services, despite the pandemic.
Public Relations Officer, Mr. Lloyd David told DPI they developed standards for diesel, kerosene and electrical connectors among others, and the Bureau is currently working on a standard for cellular phones. It has also adopted several international standards.
“The Bureau as a standards development [entity] needs to continue to make its standards more relevant, especially the ones that we have in stock. We need to make sure they are updated and they are reapproved as national standards,” Mr. David said.
The Bureau also held several successful virtual training programmes with 322 business managers. The training covered areas such as Risk Based Thinking, ISO 9001 (QMS) ISO 9001 Auditing, Processing Mapping and the GYS 170 Lab standards.
It has also certified three medical and testing laboratories; the Rice Lab, The Davis Memorial Lab and the Sheriff medical labs. This brings the total number of certified laboratories in the country to 19.
“We want to include more and more labs as we go along. We just don’t want 16 or 19. We are hoping that next year we can take it all the way to 25; [we’re] working with a few more to meet the requirements,” Mr. David said.
To ensure that the laboratories remain compliant, the Bureau makes unannounced checks. Those found defaulting are required to swiftly conform or risk losing their certification.
“Any laboratory as long as they are doing testing, product testing, physical testing or even medical testing, they can apply. It allows them to implement certain requirements in relation to safety, how they handle their equipment, how they handle the test, how they move the results around, how they record the results and even continuous improvement,” he explained.
The Bureau also played a key role in calibrating the infrared thermometers being used to test persons’ temperatures during the Covid pandemic. COVID-19 has also forced the GNBS to utilise modern technology to receive payments. For the first time, the Bureau used payments by mobile money, particularly for importers who must pay for inspection and registration services.
“We needed to respond, find a way to have our stakeholders have less contact with us. At the same time, we are able to fulfil their needs and provide the services they require,” he said.
The Bureau has also developed a reliable feedback system this year via WhatsApp on 692-GNBS (4627).
“We see this as a very big deal because lots of times, as organisations you carry out activities and you are not sure as to how you are doing, what kind of feedback the public has for you, and this WhatsApp service has indeed allowed us to receive a wide range of feedback, which we can now act upon,” he said.
The GNBS is responsible for establishing and enforcing standards and quality in Guyana. According to its website, its mission is “To develop and implement the National Quality Infrastructure in partnership with key stakeholders, towards sustainable social and economic development and consumer protection.”