THE National Council on Technical Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET), the local body that awards certification to individuals who qualify for the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J), has transferred its ISO 9001 certification to the local certification body, after several years of utilising overseas services.
The National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ), an independent unit of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, has now been charged with the responsibility of certifying management systems to international standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, in its role of strengthening the national quality infrastructure.
Certification to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or any other management system enhances a company's marketability by assuring its clients and stakeholders that the business is operating at the highest level in terms of efficiency, product and service quality.
The NCBJ works closely with the manufacturing and service industries as well as the public and private sectors, providing technical support to enhance their international competitiveness through certification of their management systems.
Speaking at a handing-over ceremony last week at the NCBJ's Kingston office, chairman of the NCTVET Norman Davis explained that since 2006, the organisation had been certified by ISOQAR, an international company based in the United Kingdom, but that role has now been transferred to the NCBJ.
"What this means is that our operating system is under an international quality assurance system. What we realise is that this quality assurance system has been very important for our business efficiency and effectiveness, and has certainly led to our improved quality customer service, hence the need for the transfer of the certification, locally," Davis said.
He added that the transfer of the ISO 9001 certification to NCBJ is a major accomplishment for Jamaica, and a huge strategic move that will benefit local entities, and contribute to nation-building.
"This is definitely a plus and a stepping stone for us locally. It is a path that we hope that other companies who are ISO certified, and are utilising overseas companies will consider looking to the NCBJ, to work with them as their validating body," he encouraged.
He further added that the certification enables quality management systems that will be of real benefit to organisations. Such certification, he notes also helps to manage businesses effectively, and put into place, best practice methodology.
Chairman of the NCBJ, Dr Neville Swaby said that the organisation welcomed such a move; and would be increasing its certification drive, through a number of initiatives, to certify as many companies as possible, by year end.
"The ISO 9001 certification will definitely improve on our quality of service, productivity, and profitability. The NCBJ takes you from the initial stage of certification, and constantly monitors your progress, as you go along. We work with you to make sure you conform to the standards that are necessary, both locally and internationally," the NCBJ chairman said.
Meanwhile, manager of the NCBJ, Jacqueline Scott-Brown commended the NCTVET for choosing NCBJ for the certification of their quality management system. She said that the companies that certify their management systems through NCBJ, received several benefits including significant foreign exchange savings, value added auditing and an appreciation of the Jamaican business environment.
"The NCBJ's current suite of services include: certification to ISO 9001-Quality Management System, and ISO 14001-Environment Management System," the NCBJ manager said, and she lauded the work of the NCBJ auditors and technical experts who had been playing "a tremendous role" in the daily operations of the unit.
The NCBJ was established in April 2007 to provide easy access to management systems certification to local organisations and is accredited by ANSI ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) which assesses and accredits certification bodies that demonstrate competence to audit and certify organisations conforming to management system standards.