In principle, quality infrastructure (QI) services serve all companies, regardless of size. Multinationals and large national companies usually have certified quality management systems and regularly use QI services.Continue reading
A critical factor in moving towards sustainable development and innovation
Higher standards are often associated with better consumer protection and quality of life. However, this correlation is not unequivocal, as neither markets nor government regulation work perfectly. This observation is especially true for developing and emerging countries. In this sense, we wonder how a country’s quality infrastructure can best be aligned to contribute to economically sustainable development and the quality of life of its citizens in challenging contexts.Continue reading
QI Data Series
What are the differences between countries using international standards?
For decades, the United States, Western Europe and Japan have led international standard development. Representatives of these countries chaired most international standards committees and led standard making through agenda-setting and the know-how of national companies and scientific institutions. Representatives from other countries also participated in standards committees but chaired only a few technical committees. Standards takers are those countries that adopt standards but do not participate in developing those standards.Continue reading
Quality infrastructure has its origins in the industrial revolution of the 19th century, first in England, then throughout Western Europe and the USA, and later spread to Japan and other parts of Europe and Asia during the transition from agrarian to industrial societies. For a long time, QI was mainly a matter of checking whether physical products met defined technical specifications. Testing served both the safety of products and their usability in value-added processes based on the division of labour. Thus, the measurement of physical units was at the centre of the entire quality system.Continue reading
Accreditation builds trust in international trade
Accreditation is a valuable tool for building trust in international trade. Accreditation bodies assess and confirm the technical competence and independence of conformity assessment service providers, i.e. testing laboratories, inspection and certification bodies.
By multilateral agreements, accreditation bodies recognise the equivalence of their services. Mutual recognition prevents tests or certifications from being issued more than once and reduces transaction costs for companies.Continue reading