Responding to the challenges of globalization, trade and sustainable development, twelve international organizations as part of the International Network on Quality Infrastructure (INetQI) have agreed to enhance their cooperation in promoting the understanding, value and acceptance of the quality infrastructure and providing guidance and support for its effective implementation and integration worldwide.
The following 13 international organizations are part of INetQI: the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), International Accreditation Forum (IAF), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC), International Standards Organization (ISO), International Trade Centre (ITC), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), International Organizations of Legal Metrology (OIML), United Nations Economic Cooperation for Europe (UNECE), and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), World Bank Group (WBG), World Trade Organization (WTO) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
The INetQI recently agreed on a new definition of quality infrastructure system as “The system comprising the organizations (public and private) together with the policies, relevant legal and regulatory framework, and practices needed to support and enhance the quality, safety and environmental soundness of goods, services and processes”. The definition expands its scope of action to globally promote the acceptance of quality infrastructure and is expected to create additional benefits for stakeholders including its use as a foundation for sustainable development.
Quality infrastructure is required for the effective operation of domestic markets, and its international recognition is important to facilitate access to foreign markets. It relies on metrology, standardization, accreditation, conformity assessment, and market surveillance.
Past estimates by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) demonstrate that standards and related conformity assessment have an impact on 80 per cent of the world’s trade in commodities. Furthermore, quality infrastructure is a key enabler for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – it is essential to protect the planet, ensure dignified lives for all people and achieve inclusive economic growth and prosperity.
In the past years, INetQI (formerly as DCMAS) has collaborated in providing technical quality infrastructure training programmes (Poland 2014, Mozambique 2015) and in the development of diverse publications and guidance documents. In the framework of the network, a set of three documents were developed to support developing countries in the formulation of quality policies: guiding principles, technical guide and practical tool.
The renewed commitment of the Network occurs after the international community, at the 26th meeting of General Conference on Weights and Measures, agreed to revise the International System of Units (SI).
INetQI is also committed to support developing countries in ensuring the traceability of measurements of their quality infrastructure to international standards.
INetQI Contact Details
Tel: +61 2 9736 8374
Fax: +61 2 9736 8373