Today as we celebrate World Standards Day, this year's theme is Video: Video content helps us engage, connect and tell our story visually with audiences across the globe. Here are our video highlights from the recent Commonwealth Standards Network Annual Meeting which took place in Cape Town, on 18th September. The event brought together more than 50 delegates from over 20 different national and regional standards bodies who shared their views to shape the future roadmap of the Commonwealth Standards Network.
CSN ANNUAL EVENT HIGHLIGHT VIDEO - Web Version.mp4
Message from David Bell, Director of Standards Policy, BSI:
Dear Commonwealth Standards Network member,
I am delighted to inform you that today at the Commonwealth Trade Ministers meeting in London, the UK International Trade Minister Liz Truss announced £2.5m of UK Aid funding to support the next stage of the Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) from April 2020 to March 2021.
The additional funding will help the CSN continue its valuable work in partnership with National Standards Bodies and other stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth to promote the development and use of international standards, leading to enhanced trade and economic development.
The CSN work programme for 2020-21 is now being finalised. It is being informed by the valuable feedback and suggestions that have been provided by CSN members and other stakeholders via training sessions, survey responses, and the annual meetings. The work programme will include the continued growth and development of the membership of CSN, governance structures, the online portal, training materials, in-country NSB training and stakeholder workshops, and additional technical assistance programmes.
In just over a year the CSN has already become the biggest network of National Standards Bodies in the ISO family. As a collaborative network it relies on the continued engagement from its membership to achieve its aims.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support for the network and look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.
David Bell Director of Standards Policy
Uganda Technical Assistance update: CSN fish handling standard guidelines in local languages (September 2019)
Photographs of a CSN visit to the Fisheries Directorate and a major landing site in Entebbe. CSN produced fish handling standard guidelines in local languages and these are now being used to train local fishermen. There’s a big potential to expand this initiative to address selling constraints facing the processed fish vendors.
Uganda Technical Assistance update: Simplified/translated standards brochures.
Photograph showing the official handover of the simplified/translated standards brochures for 5 selected value chains (avocado, soy beans, pineapple, rice and shea nuts) to the UNFFE. These will be disseminated and presented by CSN-trained trainers to the farmers in rural districts. 14,000 copies have been produced and more copies and translations have been requested.
The 2019 Commonwealth Standards Network meeting took place today (18th September) in Cape Town. The 57 attendees included representatives from 18 Commonwealth National Standards Bodies, 5 regional standards organisations and a number of other interested organisations.
Keynote speakers included His Excellency Nigel Casey (British High Commissioner to South Africa), Verne Emmanuel (Director, Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards) and Shirley Bailey-Wood (Director, Information Solutions, British Standards Institution). The CSN Secretariat then provided work programme updates and workshop discussions proved to be an important opportunity for participants to help shape the work programme.
Please see attached document for full meeting report which includes the September 2019 CSN survey results.
If you have any comments or questions, please ask email@example.com
CSN Annual meeting_notes_2019-09-18.pdf
September 2019 – CSN Update from Dr Scott Steedman, BSI Director of Standards
From the devastation left by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas to the importance of future trading relationships with Australia, New Zealand and Canada, strengthening our relationships with the Commonwealth countries is becoming ever more important. BSI has been promoting the idea of helping Commonwealth countries to recognise the value of international standards for their economic development and international trade for several years and so we were delighted when this was picked up by the government and a new Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) was launched by the Prime Minister at the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London.
A year on and the CSN has 42 members and has become the largest international standards network outside the formal international standards organisations ISO and IEC. The CSN is a network for Commonwealth members, their National Standards Bodies, regional associations, and interested stakeholders from all countries to share best practice, furthering trade and economic prosperity throughout the Commonwealth.
Not all Commonwealth countries have National Standards Bodies or are actively involved in the international standards development community. CSN creates an opportunity for smaller countries to learn from established members and participate in international standards development.
Since the launch last year we have worked with Commonwealth countries to develop a training programme focussed on raising awareness of the benefits in using international standards and empowering Commonwealth countries to play a more active role in standards development.
Our ambition for the CSN, as for the whole of the international standards system, is to be as open and inclusive as possible. If you are interested in what standards can do for you and your organisation, you can register at www.commonwealthstandards.net.
Beyond training and resources like toolkits and frameworks for using standards effectively, we are delivering donor funded technical assistance projects into developing Commonwealth countries. For example, in Uganda and Zambia technical experts are aiming to stimulate interest and demand for their respective National Quality Infrastructures and advocating the benefits of an effective Quality Infrastructure framework in the region. In Oceania, the work will aim to contribute to the removal of Technical Barriers to Trade for Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu to enable easier movement of goods and services between them and their trading partners internationally. In St Lucia, there has been work on improving standardizaton best practices, the development of a National Quality Policy, certification skills and NSB marketing and communication strategies.
We hope that the benefits of the CSN will also be felt by non-Commonwealth countries, as they will see a reduction in trade costs from using the same single international standard for trade and exports, ‘one standard used everywhere’, which they participated in developing.
This week the CSN countries will meet in Cape Town, during the ISO General Assembly. It will be an opportunity for CSN members to share ideas, influence the work programme and put proposals together for the future of the network. I am delighted that the British High Commissioner to South Africa, Nigel Casey, will give a keynote address setting the scene for the exchange of best practice knowledge between countries.
The CSN has been one of the great achievements of the last 12 months. It has huge potential to strengthen nations north and south, east and west through international standards. Roll on 2020!
The Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) annual meeting that will take place 14.00-16.00 on Wednesday 18th September in Cape Town in the margins of the ISO General Assembly. This meeting will be an important opportunity for participants to be updated on CSN progress and it will be crucial in gaining feedback to help shape the work programme beyond March 2020.
CSN Cape Town meeting invite and agenda_Wednesday 18th September 2019 (v3).pdf
The Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) was represented at the he Pacific Regional Quality Infrastructure (QI) meetings in Fiji 2-6/09/2019. The QI initiative that aims to "strengthen national and regional institutions to support Pacific businesses improve the quality of goods and services and meet international trade standards".
A CSN Stakeholder workshop took place as a side meeting of the ARSO (African Organisation for Standardisation) General Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya 19/06/2019. The session launched the CSN Portal and was hosted by Peter Sissons, (BSI Head of International Engagement, and CSN Chair). The following organisations participated to learn about CSN and the Portal, and to provide feedback and recommendations:
GSA – Ghana
KEBS – Kenya
MBS – Malawi
SON – Nigeria
RSB – Rwanda
SLSB – Sierra Leone
TBS – Tanzania
TMEA – Trade Mark East Africa
UNBS – Uganda
ZBS – Zambia.
A CSN Stakeholder workshop took place as a side event of the ISO COPOLCO (ISO Committee on consumer policy) meetings in Harare, Zimbabwe 23/05/2019, the session was hosted by Sadie Homer , (BSI Consumer Policy Manager). More than 40 participants from Commonwealth states attended the session that outlined CSN progress with a focus on consumer issues and gathered feedback for next steps.
In-country NSB and stakeholder workshop sessions took place in Malawi in May 2019. 15/05/2019: Malawi stakeholder workshop, 16-17/05/2019: Malawi NSB (MBS) training.
MBS reported on the events at https://mbsmw.org/2019/05/28/the-commonwealth-standards-network-holds-stakeholder-workshop-and-raining-for-mbs-staff/ noting that :
'The Stakeholders Workshop was aimed at increasing the visibility and understanding of the benefits that international standards can bring to support development and export potential. It provided an overview of trade and standards topics that are of most relevance to private sector stakeholders. The training session for staff of the MBS was aimed at supporting international trade through the standardization strategy of the National Standards Body and participation in international standards development and adoption of international standards.
Speaking when he officially opened the workshop, the MBS Director General, Mr Symon O Mandala, emphasized the importance of CSN for standardization activities in Malawi in that it will strengthen the participation of the country in international standards development, it will assist in making the country aware of the existence of international standards of importance and for consideration to be adopted as Malawi standards, and it will assist in the development of the national standardization strategy, a three year plan that outlines a prioritized list of proposed standards to be developed for the country.He further said the CSN will also enable the MBS to network with other National Standards Bodies in the Commonwealth. These, among others, were enough justification for the MBS to join the network.'
A CSN Stakeholder workshop took place as a side event of the COPANT meetings in Colombia on 8th May 2019, the session was hosted by David Bell, (BSI Director or Standards Policy and CSN Caribbean Technical Assistance Programme Project Chair). Participants from Canada, St Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and CROSQ attended. The session outlined CSN progress and gathered feedback for next steps.
The CSN 2018-20 work programme includes the delivery of 10x in-country NSB training sessions and 20x in-country stakeholder workshops to support international trade via increased participation in international standards development and adoption of international standards. The third group of sessions took place in Guyana in April 2019: 24/04/2019: Guyana stakeholder workshop, 25-26/04/2019: Guyana NSB (GNBS) training.
Agenda CSN Guyana (24-26 April 2019) final.pdf
The CSN 2018-20 work programme includes the delivery of 10x in-country NSB training sessions and 20x in-country stakeholder workshops to support international trade via increased participation in international standards development and adoption of international standards. The second group of sessions took place in Kenya in March 2019:
20/03/2019: Kenya stakeholder workshop (pictured)
21-23/03/2019: Kenya NSB (KEBS) training.
The CSN 2018-20 work programme includes the delivery of 10x in-country NSB training sessions and 20x in-country stakeholder workshops to support international trade via increased participation in international standards development and adoption of international standards. The initial sessions took place in Ghana in February 2019:
13-14/02/2019: Ghana NSB (GSA) training
15/02/2019: Ghana stakeholder workshop (pictured).
Inaugural meeting of the Commonwealth Standards Network
The inaugural meeting of the Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) was held on 26 September 2018 in Genève, Switzerland. 24 Commonwealth National Standards Bodies, four regional standards organizations and several other interested stakeholders contributed to the event where they helped shape the network to deliver the following outcomes:
Increase use of existing international standards
Improve technical and institutional capacity of National Standards Bodies
Dr Scott Steedman, ISO Vice President of Policy and Director of Standards at BSI said: “The Commonwealth Standards Network is open to all Commonwealth countries and will provide a platform to share best practice and exchange ideas, it will promote the use of existing international standards to foster innovation and improve export potential to increase intra-Commonwealth trade.”
Speakers at the event included:
Julian Braithwaite, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the UN and Other International Organisations, Geneva - noted the UK commitment to tackling international non-tariff barriers and the potential benefits for the international standardization community to a strengthening Commonwealth voice.
Scott Steedman, ISO Vice President of Policy and Director of Standards at BSI - discussed the benefits of international standardization and how the CSN can help increase Commonwealth trade and reduce poverty.
Manuel Mutale, Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) Director - explained how the Commonwealth Standards Network technical assistance programme will help Zambia pursue its development goals.
The CSN is a collaborative network open to all Commonwealth countries and regional Commonwealth associations. It has been launched to tackle non-tariff barriers and promote strong trade amongst all Commonwealth states through the participation, adoption and implementation of international standards.
Standards play an important role in promoting productivity and efficiency, reducing costs, removing barriers to trade, and driving economic growth. As such the network will be especially relevant to developing nations that are looking to boost their export capabilities through the use of standards. It is important that its members are actively involved in shaping its development to suit their needs.
To find out more about the network and/or membership, please contact the CSN Programme Manager Ben Hedley firstname.lastname@example.org
Attendees at the inaugural meeting of the Commonwealth Standards Network:
24x National Standards Bodies:
Papua New Guinea
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
4x Regional Associations:
African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO)
The Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT)
CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)
Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)
Other interested stakeholders:
UK Accreditation Service (UKAS)
UK Department for International Development (DFID)
The Commonwealth Standards Network:
At the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the British Prime Minister announced the establishment of the Commonwealth Standards Network. BSI is overseeing the development and delivery of the first two years of the project.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May at the Commonwealth Head of Governments Meeting on 16th April 2018 stated: “The network will provide a significant opportunity for national standards experts to collaborate and share best practice and it will empower developing countries to have a stronger voice in the international standards community – something that has benefits on a global scale.”
CSN Press release for Inaugral Meeting - 2018-10-02.pdf