2014 was a defining year for the Mauritius Standards Bureau. First and foremost, the year marked the launching of MSB’s Strategic Plan 2014-2020 which sets down a Roadmap for a new course direction of the organization. It also provides broad measures to underpin the new emerging economic sectors in Mauritius.
The Strategic Plan 2014-2020 is premised on three overarching objectives which are:
§ to diversify the scope and activities of the organization with a focus on voluntary inspection, eco-labeling and regulatory testing;
§ to transform the Bureau into a financially sustainable organization and;
§ to facilitate regional and international trade through the elimination of Technical Barriers to Trade and by enhancing the export- preparedness of Mauritian Enterprises.
The Strategic Plan is also anchored on the Principles of Good Governance as it is widely acknowledged that the success of an organization depends to large extent on the way it is managed and governed.
2014 witnessed the reconstitution of the Governance Body of MSB, that is, the Standards Council. The new Members of the Standards Council pledged to forge ahead with the new Vision and Strategic Plan of the organization.
In 2014, the Mauritius Standards Bureau achieved a number of milestones that undoubtedly re-affirmed its position as a World Class Standards Writing and Conformity Assessment Body.
Several green standards development projects were initiated in 2014 to meet the needs and demands of the various stakeholders. Notable among them is the development of the Standard on Eco labeling for the sustainable Hotel (MS 165) which supports the decision and goals pursued for greening the Hotel and Hospitality Sectors. This standard is the first ever entirely indigenous standard formulated by the Bureau upon the demand of interested parties. Hospitality sector.
Equally worth mentioning is the set of Standards on the Eco-labeling of energy-efficient electrical appliances which have been incorporated by reference in Technical Regulations. Standards for green Buildings have been developed with focus on sustainable use of energy and low greenhouse gas emissions in buildings. Similarly standards for Green Agriculture have been formulated which prescribe agricultural practices using less chemicals and pesticides. Standards on Carbon disclosure reporting and greenhouse gas reporting have also been adopted which will assist local firms in issuing their sustainability reports which is becoming a mandatory requirement. The initiative taken by the Bureau to set up a Mirror Committee for the adoption of the latest version of ISO 9001 is also a laudable achievement in standards formulation in Mauritius. In fact, on the very day ISO 9001 will be declared as a
Final Standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), it will also become a Final Mauritian Standard.
A whole set of safety standards for domestic or household electrical appliances based on International Standards (IEC) have been adopted. These standards are being incorporated by reference in Technical Regulations. Several standards for electrical accessories and for household electrical wirings which define performance requirements with specific safety requirements are also being referenced in Technical Regulations.
The working conditions and health and safety of employees are addressed in the International Standard ISO 45000. The Bureau has taken the initiative to be an early adopter of such standard as its implementation will reduce health and safety hazards in the working environment. Furthermore, vertical standards on protective shoes, lifts, ladders and scaffolding have been developed.
Road accidents and fatalities have become a major concern to the public authorities all over the world. An International Standard on Road Traffic Management System (ISO 39001) has been developed which sets out the requirements to make our roads safer for all users. This standard which is certifiable has been adopted by the relevant authorities.
In the same vein, much progress was made in 2014 in upgrading the testing facilities of MSB and extending the range of tests conducted.
In this context a 4-point agenda was adopted for the modernization of MSB laboratories, viz;
§ completing the range of tests as per the relevant standards where earlier only partial tests were conducted;
§ upgrading the existing testing facilities through the acquisition of more sophisticated instruments;
§ creation of new testing facilities; and
§ improving the laboratory working environment.
In 2014, the Bureau also embarked in expanding the range of its certification activities. Compliance with stringent standards on food, health and safety, business ethics, fair trade and related trade standards and regulations is key for success in export markets. The bureau is playing a preponderant role in facilitating trade in the regional and international markets as well as enhancing the export-preparedness of Mauritian Enterprises. The Bureau has thus embarked on several new projects to meet new opportunities and challenges posed by globalization and increasing trade liberalization.
In pursuance with its objectives, the Bureau has embarked on the certification of the hotel and hospitality sectors to MS 165. With the assistance of a Consultant made available by the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure, the auditing capacity of MSB is being improved and strengthened. In addition, a Pilot Project for the auditing and certification of at least five hotels has kick started under the Eco-label Scheme. Another major project is the Eco Labeling of Textile Products, Paints and related Products. Assistance has been sought to implement the Eco Labeling Scheme which will materialize next year. The setting of a Road Traffic Safety (RTS) Management Certification Scheme to ISO 39001 is also on the anvil and is likely to lift off the ground next year.
It is also worth mentioning that MSB has started preliminary works to conduct Consignment Inspection for cement to ensure the quality of this product.
These are the highlights of some of the activities initiated in 2014 whose impacts are likely to change the course of direction of the organization.
To-date the Bureau has a catalogue of 599 Final Mauritian Standards, a portfolio of 28 firms certified to MSB product mark with 53 licences issued and 99 firms certified to various management systems including 83 firms registered to ISO 9001:2008.
Furthermore, the National Quality Management System Certification Scheme (ISO 9001), the HACCP Scheme (MS 133) and the Information Security Management Scheme (ISO 27001) are accredited with MAURITAS.
The testing and calibration laboratories are also accredited with MAURITAS for 52 scope sectors in the testing field and 40 CMCs (Calibration and Measurement Capabilities) in the Metrology areas.
The Bureau posted a revenue of around Rs 34.3 million in 2014 from the sale of its services. It is a satisfactory performance given the current economic conditions.
The Mauritius Standards Bureau will celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2015. It is a turning point in the life of the institution but the Staff, the Management and the Members of Standards Council have the competence, the Vision and the Strategy to engineer this turnaround.
Mrs R Nanhuck
HISTORY OF PAPER SIZES
The development of ISO paper formats now used in most parts of the world is a very interesting example of one man being able to set the foundation for an International Standard.
Dr. Walter Porstmann, a Berlin engineer, suggested a mathematical basis of the format series - 1 to the square root of 2 as the relationship between the width and the length. The idea of a mathematical basis for paper sizes, however, was not new. In addition to having been previously recommended by George Lichtenberg, mathematician and philosopher at the end of the 18th century, sizes corresponding to a number of the A-formats were also used, though briefly, during the French revolutionary period.
Another attempt to take up this idea of a mathematic basis was made at the end of the 19th century by the chemist and philosopher, Wilhelm Ostwald, who suggested the "World Format". His size series proceeded from the smallest size of 1 cm: 1,41 cm and increased by successive doubling (1,41 x 2, 2 x 2,83, 2,83 x 4 etc.). The "World Format" did not get off the ground.
According to Porstmann, this linear connection to the metric system was not satisfactory - any line of a surface could be taken as the point of reference. Porstmann's notion was that the reference point should be one of area, and after some experimenting with 1 cm² as the basis of the format series; he finally hit on the square metre as the starting point - A0, the remaining formats being obtained by halving.
The use of the formats (A, B, C, D) was supported by a number of large corporations as well as by government agencies and local authorities. By the end of the 1920s, their use was widespread in Germany. Whereas abroad, Belgium was the first country to adopt the formats in 1924, followed by the Netherlands a year later.
In 1961, ISO published the recommendation ISO/R 216: Trimmed sizes of writing paper and certain classes of printed matter. By 1977 it was established that the ISO formats were being used in 88 of the 148 countries investigated.
(Extract taken from ISO Café)
La nouvelle stratégie 2014-2020 du Mauritius Standards Bureau
La nouvelle vision stratégique du MSB fut dévoilée le 14 Octobre 2014, le jour de la célébration de la Journée mondiale de normalisation. La stratégie du MSB est une stratégie de changement mais fondamentalement c’est un changement de stratégie. Bien que la précédente mission d’améliorer la qualité et la compétivité des produits s’apparente à la nouvelle vision stratégique, la difference est nuancée et significative.
En effet, c’est le pays tout entier qui doit devenir competitif à travers une politique nationale de la qualité et la refonte de l’infrastructure qualité. Celle-ci manque de
co-ordination et de cohésion dans son ensemble et il est impératif de l’encadrer juridiquement et de l’orienter pour qu’elle puisse être reconnue sur les marchés exportateurs. Le MSB a un rôle important à jouer dans cette démarche.
Donc la stratégie du MSB se repose sur quatre axes majeurs:
- améliorer l’infrastructure qualité pour faciliter les échanges commerciaux.
- soutenir la politique nationale de qualité.
- valoriser les normes et l’évaluation de conformité comme outils stratégiques.
- devenir une institution excellente et financièrement pérenne.
Le MSB a une longue histoire comme un organisme qui soutient la politique nationale de qualité pour le développement économique et social du pays. Le but principal de l’organisation était donc d’être à la pointe de technologie pour développer des normes etassurer l’évaluation de conformité des enterprises dans leurs démarches qualité.
Le MSB a eu plein succès comme une entité dite “development-oriented”.
Une nouvelle piste de réflexion qui fait surface durant cette deuxième moitié de la décennie est de considérer le MSB également comme une enterprise commerciale qui vend ses services marchands. Dans ce contexte le Bureau doit adopter une approche commerciale et devenir une entreprise dite “commercially-oriented”.
Le changement est évident. L’autonomie financière vient s’ajouter comme une des stratégies du Mauritius Standards Bureau. Le MSB doit donc se positionner stratégiquement sur le marché local et affronter la compétition de plus en plus vive des laboratoires et organismes de certification.
Le MSB est à un tournant décisif de son histoire. Les défis sont énormes et complexes. Il est impératif de prendre un nouveau virage stratégique pour survivre et durer.
THE ISO ONLINE BROWSING PLATFORM (OBP)
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has launched its new Online Browsing Platform (OBP), that is, a new platform, specifically design to give a simpler, faster and better way to access and use material from ISO Standards. This new platform and its contents will bring the benefits of ISO Standards to an increasing number of stakeholders and will help to meet their evolving needs.
This platform provides users and customers with a comprehensive preview of standards before purchasing them. It also provides ISO Member Bodies and Correspondent Members access to the full catalogue of ISO standards for online browsing through their websites; meaning that MSB, being a Member of ISO, is now able to give its customers access to the OBP and webstore of ISO via its own online services.
ISO has also grouped under separate packages, families of standards, such as ISO 9000 family, ISO 14000 family and so on and is offering these as subscription to interested parties. Users can subscribe to any of these packages by paying an annual subscription fee, at a preferential rate, which is renewable and taking advantage of the facilities offered under this scheme and benefit from advantages such as information on updates, corrigendum or amendments which could take place during their subscription period.
Anybody interested in previewing any ISO Standards or refer to ISO Catalogue for any updates on ISO Standards can do so by clicking on the following links:
Anybody interested to subscribe to the packages for any family of standards or for any other information are kindly requested to contact the staff of the Documentation and Information Centre of MSB on 433 8164 or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to view our traning calender 2015