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Strategic Planning 2023 – 2027

Those companies who wish to survive in an increasingly globalized and competitive environment must set their goals and objectives accordingly. Strategic planning plays a crucial role in this case since it provides a set of tools to reach the organization’s potential. However, this is without losing sight of the fact that a rapidly changing and uncertain environment requires the development of internal operations that employ transcendental management processes. This is why, in an organizational environment, strategic planning is one of the tools that most contribute to developing solution alternatives, making decisions, applying best practices, evaluating results, and facilitating interdisciplinary communication and coordination, as it includes processes that extend beyond defining work objectives and direct efforts towards analyzing the environment and defining action-plans. In conclusion, strategic planning connects all the company’s teams, translating the company’s mission, vision, and goals into tangible results and reducing problems, stimulating participation, and stirring concern of all, since it is considered a process that enables the participants to optimize the use of their resources for the achievement of a desired objective. After renewing its planning exercise after five years, ONAC achieve most of its goals by 2022, including updating recognition agreements and increasing the number of accredited OECs. As part of this project, ONAC, with the assistance of SUMMUM, is developing a comprehensive roadmap that will guide its efforts between 2023 and 2027. In this roadmap, its purpose, its strategic pillars, and its objectives will be redefined, as well as indicators demonstrating the organization’s progress will be developed. Since August, several activities have been undertaken to determine the path ONAC has taken with respect to the strategic planning defined for 2017 to 2022. These activities include conducting focus groups with leading evaluators of accreditation schemes and conducting interviews with ONAC management personnel. In addition, this includes key members of entities involved in direct, indirect or government interests. The management team and process leaders participated in a three-day workshop at the beginning of September, in which innovative and dynamic work methodologies were employed in order to evaluate the current state of the ONAC team, as well as the external context. Based on the analysis of trends, it was possible to construct a SWOT matrix. This allowed the concepts for the creation of the redesigned MEGA, the strategic pillars, objectives, and indicators, to be grounded.

At the end of the workshop, an outdoor activity was held to reflect on the consolidation of the ONAC team and the challenging road ahead. It is expected that, by December 2022, the agency will make public the revised roadmap after approval by its Board of Directors. We will share the results with the management team and SUMMUM in the final quarter of the year. By doing so, we will be able to finalize the presentation for the Board of Directors in December. Following approval by the Board of Directors, the roadmap the next five years will be disseminated in the all works teams of our collaborators.


ONAC: Reference Material Producers Accreditation Scheme ISO 17034

The development of more accurate measuring equipment and the need for more accurate and reliable data for informed decision making in scientific and technological disciplines is a worldwide trend, In addition, the general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, as defined in the international standard ISO/IEC 17025, require them to adopt standardized and verified test methods, which can be achieved through the use of certified reference materials. In this way, reference materials are essential for the industry and supporting sectors. They have known and specified properties, with a given value, an associated uncertainty, and a statement of metrological traceability. The reference material certificate can only be issued by a Reference Material Producer accredited under ISO 17034, which is also responsible for assigning relevant property values and uncertainties.

The National Accreditation Body of Colombia, ONAC, through its survey for the Identification of Needs for the Development of New Accreditation Services, identified the need for the development of the service not only for testing, calibration and medical laboratories, who use these reference materials to establish metrological traceability in their measurement results, but also by different industrial sectors: metallurgical, construction, environmental sectors, among others, who agree that accreditation is a means to determine the technical competence of reference material producers to produce reference materials, and a marketing tool, given by the generation of confidence in quality given to end customers.

The development of the service was carried out with and funded by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) (under the Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP)), with the help of the U.S. accreditation body, the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). The latter guided training in ISO 17034 for technical professionals and internal ONAC staff involved in the accreditation and assessment processes under the international standard. ONAC was also able to observe a Reference Material Producer assessment conducted by A2LA. With this training, the ONAC evaluators of the scheme were qualified.

After a year and a half of work in the development of the service, the official launch of the accreditation scheme for producers of reference materials took place on July 6th, 2022 in Bogota, Colombia, with the participation of different entities such as: UNIDO, A2LA, the National Metrology Institute of Colombia (INM), the National Metrology Center of Mexico (CENAM), two laboratories interested in the accreditation service, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, among others, all which had interventions on the different perspectives of the importance of the service in Colombia and in the region.

Currently there are three laboratories interested in accreditation with ONAC under the scheme of reference material producers, knowing that accreditation with ONAC leads to continuous improvement in their management system and activities for the production of reference materials and gives them added value by meeting the quality requirements demanded by the market and articulation with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 and is a differentiating element that will give them a competitive advantage in the provision of their services.