The GNBS teamed with the Caricom Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) recently to host a training session with CROSQ members about the ASTM International’s standardization activities.
“ASTM brings to Caricom 12,000 international standards in the areas of metals, paints, plastics, textiles, petroleum, construction, energy, consumer products, medical devices and electronics,” a press release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) said. The session also taught members how to participate in the ASTM standards development process as AMST/TC members.
Head of the Conformity Assessment Department at the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) Candelle Walcott-Bostwick noted that the training programme demonstrates ASTM’s commitment, as a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international standards, to partner with developing countries to reduce technical barriers to trade thereby, facilitating access to international markets.
She said the GNBS and the ASTM signed a MoU that will allow the bureau free access to all ASTM standards for adoption as regional standards, and use of normative or reference materials free of cost. Walcott-Bostwick stressed that the GNBS sees opportunities for the active participation of technical experts and industries in Guyana in the development of ASTM standards, free of charge, professional development, and the sharing of experiences among many benefits that will accrue from its package for the Caricom region. She also said she hoped that Caricom member states will apply the standards in the regional industry to facilitate competitiveness and sustainability industries.
Guyana also hosted the 19th CROSQ technical management committee meeting last week, which aims at reviewing regional standards development programmes with a focus on the status of standards currently developed in the region.
The training session was the first one planned since CROSQ signed an MoU with the ASTM at last year’s 17th council meeting, Technical Officer, Fulgence St Prix said.
The MoU promotes communication between the two parties to avoid the duplication of work. It also promotes the knowledge of standards development activities used by each organisation, the utilisation of ASTM’s resources to strengthen the CROSQ standards programme; greater CROSQ member input and participation in the ASTM standard development process, and the acceptance of ASTM standards.
Director, External Relations, ASTM International, James Oleshefsky noted that the course aims to present information that can be taken back to the various standards body to be shared with the industry and academic community. “It is hoped that as ASTM becomes more involved in the region the standards will be used to make a significant contribution to the health and safety of the environment,” he said.
GINA said regional representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia, and members of the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association, Private Sector Commission, and Faculty of Technology at the University of Guyana attended the session.