Accreditation Body For Export Goods In The Offing

Related Assistance and Quality Enabling Program-me (TRAQUE), has begun a series of training sessions for staff of existing conformity assessment bodies.

It is part of efforts for the establishment of a national accreditation body to enhance quality standards and the legal framework in Ghana.

The existence of a proper accreditation scheme and infrastructure would provide Ghanaian laboratories the recognition and provide local and affordable alternatives to obtain accreditation of ISO conformity assessment standards.

Currently, Ghana does not have a national accreditation body and local conformity assessment bodies would have to use the often expensive services of foreign accreditation bodies.

Mr. Ivan Hendrikx, Accreditation Expert TRAQUE Project, said laboratories play important roles in export of goods and services to other countries and provide assurance that tests on goods have been performed according to international standards.

“That means that a laboratory should be recognised as complying with certain technical requirements and these requirements come from ISO standards,” he said.

To be able to play this role effectively, the laboratories need to be accredited.

Mr. Hendrikx said the TRAQUE project as part of its activities is helping to set up an accreditation body within a certain period of time.

The set-up, he said, would take a while because accreditation is a serious business and takes a lot of effort, knowledge and investment of the authorities to get the body established.

Mr. Hendrikx said the training, which would be in four sessions each lasting four days, is part of the effort to build the blocks for the establishment of a national accreditation body in Ghana, in particular these courses are awareness courses, i.e. to explain what the three standards of ISO/IEC 17020, 17021 and 17025 mean.

“Laboratories play important role in the export of goods to other countries, by doing testing and according to the legal framework that means technical requirements which are international to which Ghana has to conform,” he said.

Part of the project is also the creation of a national quality infrastructure to promote adherence to international regulations and standards.

About 20 participants are taking part in the training and a similar number is expected to participate in next week’s training programmes.
TRAQUE is a 15-million Euro EU funded project to support the Ministry of Trade and Industry to attain a national quality infrastructure which functions efficiently in line with international best practices.