Archived — World Accreditation Day 2013: Accreditation Benefits Exporters
Stuart Beck, Director of Certification, Nemko Canada Inc., was the guest speaker at SCC's World Accreditation Day 2013 event held in June. The theme of the event was Accreditation: Facilitating World Trade.
World trade, manufacturing and global competitiveness were just a few of the topics discussed at the World Accreditation Day 2013 event held in Ottawa, Ontario, in June. The event was hosted by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and its theme was Accreditation: Facilitating World Trade.
Canada was among the more than 90 countries celebrating World Accreditation Day 2013. The annual event raises global awareness of the importance of accreditation and certification procedures, standards, regulations and testing in ensuring the safety of products and services, regardless of their country of origin.
"According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, both standards and related conformity assessment—verifying that products and services meet [technical] standards—have an impact on 80 percent of the world's trade," SCC's Chief Executive Officer John Walter told the more than 80 participants at the World Accreditation Day 2013 event. "That's a significant amount and shows standards and accreditation go hand in hand."
John Walter, SCC's CEO, told the more than 80 participants at the World Accreditation Day 2013 event that the SCC is committed to facilitating world trade and that it has made significant inroads in creating standardization and accreditation solutions that directly benefit key industries.
"SCC is committed to facilitating world trade, and we have made significant inroads in creating standardization and accreditation solutions that directly benefit key industries," said Mr. Walter. "We have been working with the Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council Secretariat to support regulatory cooperation through the alignment of standards and certification requirements."
SCC's premier World Accreditation Day event featured presentations by John Walter; Chantal Guay, SCC's Vice-President, Accreditation Services; and guest speaker Stuart Beck, Director of Certification, Nemko Canada Inc. As well, the event included a moderated discussion between Fred Leber, Owner and CEO of Leber/Rubes Inc., and Doug Thorn, Senior Marketing Support Specialist at Honeywell.
Addressing global challenges
Mr. Beck, Mr. Leber and Mr. Thorn addressed key challenges facing exporters and how to compete internationally by having products, services and systems certified to technical standards. Exporting challenges, they said, include:
- the deregulation of certain industries;
- the heavy regulation of other industries; and
- legal and technical requirements within a particular market.
It can also be challenging to have manufacturing bases and sales in multiple countries and to therefore face country-specific technical regulations, standards and codes.
Certification benefits, they maintained, include allowing products to be more cost-effectively produced offshore while assuring Canadian standards are being met. Standardization promotes competition, helping to create a more level playing field (ideal in heavily regulated markets) and to lower consumer costs.
Guest speaker Stuart Beck, Director of Certification, Nemko Canada Inc., said that there's a movement toward common standardization globally, making it easier for manufacturers to compete.
Supporting new technologies
As a multinational, multidivisional organization, Honeywell produces a wide range of products—including home thermostats, fans and security alarms as well as airplane engines—and is therefore certified by many different certification bodies.
"Honeywell is constantly moving toward developing new technologies and trying to apply the new technologies to the various markets that they [these technologies] have," said Mr. Thorn. "If you don't know what the current standard [for a product] is, you can't design a product. Multiple lab accreditation is good for competition." Many of the certification bodies that certify Honeywell's products are accredited by SCC.
Mr. Leber agreed with Mr. Thorn, adding, "Many of our international projects employ North American standards at the request of our international clients. The product is provided locally and may be certified or approved to North American standards by local laboratories," he said. "Compliance with North American standards is then assured, and we are able to provide services on an international basis with the knowledge that our design intent is being met."
For many small and medium-sized enterprises, certification to international standards can be perceived as a daunting, and even insurmountable, task. Mr. Leber explained that the benefits of certification far outweigh the effort.
Certification reduces trade barriers
SCC-accredited certification is an important solution for Canadian organizations wanting to tap into export markets with confidence.
Chantal Guay, SCC's Vice-President, Accreditation Services, moderated a discussion on the benefits of accreditation and certification between Doug Thorn, Senior Marketing Support Specialist at Honeywell (far left), and Fred Leber, Owner and CEO, Leber/Rubes Inc.
"In today's global arena, a Canadian product may contain components that are produced in several countries," said Ms. Guay. "As a result, a small or medium-sized exporter's global supply chain can be very complex. Also, because the products that the exporter produces may be sold in many markets, the products will have to meet technical standards—perhaps harmonized or aligned standards—across multiple markets."
Ms. Guay indicated that certification is recognized as a means of reducing trade barriers. "By being certified, exporters can show upfront that they already meet technical requirements for doing business within their target markets."
Helping exporters expand
Another reason for obtaining certification is SCC's international standardization memberships with organizations such as the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). Both IAF and ILAC promote the mutual recognition of accreditations and certifications worldwide.
"These organizations strengthen consumer confidence in products from different economies and in the components of those products," added Ms. Guay.
Being certified by an SCC-accredited body provides you with the benefits of our international memberships, making it easier for organizations to export and to broaden their export reach.
According to Mr. Thorn, accreditation will remain the cornerstone of many industries in years to come. "As international communities and companies become more aware of their risks as users of products and services, they are demanding excellence to the best standards available," he said. "These organizations are demanding accreditation to recognized standards and codes."
"Access to global markets will definitely be increased where international clients and authorities accept certified products that are manufactured and certified in other countries," indicated Mr. Leber.
Mr. Beck told the audience, "We're moving toward common standardization [globally], which makes it easier for manufacturers [to compete]. We're going in the right direction with harmonization. Lots of organizations have the same goal."
To see how accreditation can help your business, visit the SCC's Accreditation Services web page.
For the full story on SCC's World Accreditation Day 2013 event, view SCC's videotaped presentations.
World Accreditation Day 2014 will be held in June, and SCC's World Standards Day 2013 event will take place October 16, 2013, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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