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Thursday 13 August, 2020

New accreditation programme for public labs launched

File photo.

File photo.

Citizens can expect a better standard of services offered by public laboratories thanks to a new national accreditation programme from the Trade Ministry. 

The recently launched programme, made possible through the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards, is expected to improve outputs from at least two local public labs.

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said the initiative would continue to improve the quality infrastructure and culture of quality in Trinidad and Tobago to support a diverse and competitive economy.

The Minister pointed out that accurate test results and reports are vital not only for the wellbeing of citizens but various stakeholder groups who use them every day as the basis for making important social and economic decisions.

She cited the results produced by the Forensic Science Centre on crime scene evidence and the Chemistry Food and Drug Division for laboratory services in the areas of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, pesticides and toxic chemicals.

Gopee-Scoon assured stakeholders that the initiative would improve the competency and reliability of testing and calibration services of at least two of the 45 listed public laboratories over the course of this year. 

The Minister affirmed that the accreditation of public laboratories will assist with improving governance and service excellence for the public service with conformity assessment activities.

The programme is a vital component of the state’s activities to improve Trinidad and Tobago’s global competiveness by enhancing the services and systems on which consumers, businesses and industry rely.

Laboratories test, calibrate and measure critical elements required for trade.

In order to compete internationally, the country’s standards for testing must align with global benchmarks.

TTBS Chairman Lawford Dupres said the road to accreditation of all public laboratories is not a short one, but one "we must set foot on with determination and deliberate speed regardless of who holds the purse strings of the economy.”

He gave the commitment of the TTBS to partner with stakeholder institutions to guide the programme so that each is empowered to assume the responsibilities for demonstrating a competent, innovative and robust national laboratory system integral to the national quality infrastructure.

TTBS Executive Director Derek Luk Pat reiterated the organisation’s leading role in supporting local socio-economic growth through implementation of the National Quality Policy and active development of the National Quality Infrastructure which includes all systems for standardisation, testing, inspection, certification, measurement and accreditation.

The Accreditation of Public Laboratories Programme is an initiative under the National Quality Policy.

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