By Ms K Molapo (PO – SQAM) and Dr O S Chinyamakobvu (TA – TBT & SPS)
Two groups of trainees went through their paces at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria, South Africa, in preparation to becoming lead or technical accreditation assessors for SADCAS. The training was one of the activities funded by European Union support under the SADC Regional Economic Integration Support (REIS) Programme. The first group of 18 candidates was trained for Inspection Bodies accreditation assessments based on the international standard ISO/IEC 17020:2012 – Conformity Assessment, Requirements for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection and took place from 11 – 15 January 2016. The second group of 20 candidates underwent their training from 25 – 29 January 2016 for Medical Laboratory accreditation assessments based on the international standard ISO 15189 – Medical Laboratories: Requirements for Quality and Competence. The training was a follow up to training already conducted in 2014 and 2015 for accreditation assessments of Test and Calibration laboratories.
The Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services (SADCAS) is the region's multi-economy accreditation body established in terms of Article 15B of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Annex to the SADC Protocol on Trade with the primary purpose of ensuring that conformity assessment service providers (calibration/testing/medical laboratories, certification and inspection bodies) operating in those SADC Member States which do not have national accreditation bodies are subject to an oversight by an authoritative body. Within the SADC region only South Africa and Mauritius have national accreditation bodies. The remaining 13 Member States namely: Angola; Botswana; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Lesotho; Madagascar; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Seychelles; Swaziland; Tanzania; Zambia; and Zimbabwe do not have national accreditation bodies and are hence serviced by SADCAS. By assuring technical competence through accreditation, SADCAS plays a key role towards the achievement of SADC goals in trade facilitation and in the protection of health, safety and the environment.
PHOTO 1: Candidates training to be Inspection Bodies lead and technical assessors
PHOTO 2: Candidates training to be Medical Laboratories lead and technical assessors