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    Binu Merin Jacob
    Update: A recording of the webinar is now available on YouTube and can be viewed on the following link: 
    UNIDO will be hosting a webinar tomorrow, 18 June (1pm BST) to discuss occupational health and safety - the ISO 45000 suite of standards and guidance by Martin Cottam and Sally Swingewood. The presentation will discuss relevant aspects of the standard in the fight against COVID-19 and how organisations can adapt their health and safety at the workplace.
    Time: Jun 18, 2020 14:00 PM CET (13:00pm BST)
    To register, please follow this link:

    Binu Merin Jacob
    World Accreditation Day is marked on 9 June every year as a global initiative jointly established by ILAC and IAF, to help raise awareness about the importance of being accredited. This year’s theme is about how accreditation is crucial in improving food safety (#WAD2020).
    Ensuring that high standards are maintained in the quality and safety of food helps boost the confidence of all players involved in the supply of food in preventing food borne diseases, especially as we navigate our way out of the current global pandemic.
    IAF and ILAC have produced a short film highlighting the role of accreditation in food safety which can be viewed here:
    Also, do check out their film about accreditation in the fight against COVID-19, here:

    Binu Merin Jacob
    Update: UNIDO have made a recording and transcript of this Webinar which is now accessible under the following link -
    Access Password: 5m$61=88
    UNIDO will be hosting a webinar tomorrow, 3 June (3.30pm BST) to discuss the fight against COVID-19 and what can be done on a regional level in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.
    The focus will be on standards and conformity assessment areas and ways to minimise the effects of the pandemic both during the crisis and post-crisis, and how these measures link to national quality infrastructure activities.
    Time: Jun 3, 2020 04:30 PM in Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna (3.30pm BST): 
    To register, please follow this link:

    Ben Hedley
    In its role as the UK’s National Standards Body, BSI has just published new, freely available safe working guidelines, to help businesses manage a safe return to work and reoccupation of their facilities. These guidelines are intended to become a consensus of good practice and BSI is encouraging stakeholders from business, government and civil society to have their say and share their own learnings and insight on safe working to help protect public health.
    With your valuable expertise, we’d really like to ask you to take part in this process and comment on the guidelines.
     The link to access the Version 1 guidelines document and make comments is here:
     More about the guidelines:
    Version 1 of the guidelines is available for immediate use. It provides a framework for business owners, senior leaders, managers and workers to protect people at work from the ongoing risks related to the coronavirus.
     BSI is working with an Advisory Group on the project and will revise the document as frequently as necessary to reflect the dynamic situation businesses are in today, taking into account the comments, government guidance, the level of risk and emerging knowledge. A second Version of the guidelines will be published at the end of June with the revised sections clearly highlighted to assist easy implementation.
     Each Version of the evolving guidelines will be sector neutral and aligned to, and complementary to, current UK Government guidance.
     Many thanks for your input and involvement in this.
    Safe working during COVID-19 260520.pdf

    Ben Hedley
    The Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) is committed to promoting the use and development of international standards to facilitate trade and investment, leading to economic growth and positive developmental outcomes. The most immediate challenge CSN members face is the COVID-19 pandemic, as such we have been looking into ways in which the CSN can best deliver COVID-19 assistance. We appreciate the time that many of you have spent in discussions with us about this issue – particularly on the regional calls that took place on 7th May.
     Listed below are some of the CSN membership’s suggestions for CSN COVID-19 assistance:
    1.     Communicate importance of international standards and Quality Infrastructure:
    ·       Reinforce CSN training and engagement activities on the value of robust Quality Infrastructure to support COVID-19 responses (targeted at audiences such as Policy makers and SMEs).
    ·       Assist in the development and implementation of National Quality Policies.
    2.     Guidance documents:
    ·       Good practice guidance on the interactions between Policy, Technical Regulations, and international standards. 
    ·       Guidance for fast-tracking standards.
    ·       Framework of International standards that have been identified as most beneficial for COVID-19 mitigations (including PPE and business risk / continuity).
    ·       Framework of good practice for engagement with SMEs.
    3.     Training:
    ·       Engage and share training and responses to COVID-19. Share information and collaborate on responses from international organisations (e.g. ISO, IEC, UNIDO), regional organisations (e.g. ARSO, COPANT, CROSQ, PIF, SARSO) and NSBs.
    ·       Provide guidance or training assistance for metrology and conformity assessment, and training for inspection bodies, specifically for PPE (potentially using UKAS and NPL).
    ·       Provide access to critically important standards and to training and webinars on topics including: PPE, ventilators, food safety, supply chain management, crisis management, hand sanitisers, risk management and business continuity.
    ·       eLearning modules to communicate the benefits of using international standards, include sector specific training (management systems (e.g. ISO 22301, Business Continuity Management [3 varieties of course], ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety, Good Hygiene Practices, cyber security, agriculture etc.).
    4.     Audits:
    ·       Deliver remote audits of the ISO Good Regulatory Practices (GRP) programme.
    ·       Provide guidance for remote risk management audits.
    In addition to the areas highlighted above, please let us know of any standardization, metrology or accreditation requirements that you have to support your COVID-19 response. We aim to quickly adjust the CSN work programme accordingly so please contact with your initial responses 22nd May (or shortly after if possible).
     Best Regards
     Ben Hedley
    Programme Manager, Commonwealth Standards Network
    CSN COVID-19 response_May 2020.pdf

    Binu Merin Jacob
    Partnering with the CSN has been very helpful for the UNBS enabling them to achieve standards compliance amongst local farmers in Uganda. Introducing the initiative to train the trainers has proved to be beneficial in creating awareness and understanding about the importance of producing products that are marketable, acceptable and profitable in line with the international standards.
    Film 2 CSN Train The Trainer Uganda.mp4

    Ben Hedley
    'Accreditation in the Fight Against COVID-19' note and video from IAF and ILAC:    "Along with the threat it poses to human health, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to economies, labour markets and world trade. Standards, accreditation and international cooperation forums like IAF and ILAC can help mitigate the negative consequences of COVID-19 and fight its spread, supporting a number of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals."    

    Ben Hedley
    Today is World Metrology Day 2020, the theme 'Measurements for global trade' highlights the important role measurement plays in conjunction with international standards to facilitate global trade and satisfy quality expectations. The CSN will continue to reinforce this message throughout the Commonwealth; details of new CSN publications and training courses will be shared in the next few weeks.   
    More information on World Metrology day:

    Binu Merin Jacob
    The CSN has been instrumental in collaborating with the UNBS to simplify and translate international standards, helping develop more than 26,000 brochures in 13 regional languages for the benefit of the smallholder farmers who make up 70% of the population in Uganda. As an ongoing endeavour with the UNBS, the CSN continues to make the need for standards known and understood to positively impact the overall welfare of the people in the country.

    Creating Standards Awareness_Uganda.mp4

    Binu Merin Jacob
    Understanding the need for, and implementing the right health and safety standards at our workplaces is more important now than ever. Today, as we observe World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the focus is on combating the COVID-19 pandemic to protect our employers, workers and the community at large.
    To join the ILO webinar (2pm GMT) on workplace health and safety and preparing for a safe return to work post lockdown, click here.
    To learn more about adopting ISO best practices in ensuring health and safety at the workplace, click here.
                                                                   To find out more about adopting ISO best practices in building community resilience, click here.

    Ben Hedley
    Edit: UNIDO have made a recording and transcript of the Webinar available:
    From: TII <>
    Sent: 04 May 2020 12:14
    To: TII <>
    Subject: Webinar Recording: UNIDO webinar series on 'Standards & Testing in the Fight Against COVID-19'
    Dear participant,
    We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and active participation in our webinar, entitled "Standards and Testing in the Fight Against COVID-19’’, which took place on Friday 17 April 2020.
    We have made available the full webinar recording under the following link:
    You can also find the transcript of the webinar here: Standards and Testing_Webinar Panel_final.pdf
    UNIDO endeavors to continue supporting and advocating for continued discussions and dialogue on the role of quality and standards in the fight against COVID-19.
    For more information online trainings, webinars and forthcoming events, please refer to:
     Dear colleague,
     On behalf of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO),
    you are cordially invited to join an e-panel on:
     Standards & Testing in the Fight Against COVID-19
     The e-panel will provide orientation and knowledge sharing on what Quality Infrastructure (QI) institutions are doing or can do to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 both during and after the crisis, and the ways in which QI needs to adapt in both these circumstances.
     The COVID-19 pandemic is confronting each of us with unprecedented challenges. Every country is feeling its impact on their healthcare systems, the economy and society as a whole. Within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and against the backdrop of promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID), quality infrastructure has and will continue to play a significant role in the fight against the global pandemic.
    This is the second of a webinar series on quality and standards in the fight against COVID-19.
    Date & Time: Friday 17th April 2020, 14:30 to 16:00 (Vienna Time)
      Dr. Elsie Meintjies, CTA, GQSP-South Africa, UNIDO
    Mr. Bernardo Calzadilla Sarmiento, Director, TII, UNIDO
    Mr. Xiao Jianhua, Chair, IAF
    Mr. Vladimir Daigele, Programme Officer, ITU
    Mr. Andy Henson, Director, International Liaison and Communication Department, BIPM
    Ms. Merih Malmqvist Nilsson, Chair, INetQI
    Mr. Sean MacCurtain, Director of Conformity Assessment, ISO
    Webinar Registration Link:
    Invitation to UNIDO Webinar - Quality_Standards_Testing_Covid-19.pdf

    Ben Hedley
    Update from UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) 'Quality & Standards in the fight against COVID-19'
    "The COVID-19 pandemic is primarily a global health crisis, but it also has far-reaching economic consequences. Worldwide, it is already disrupting millions of people’s livelihoods, with disproportionate impact on the poor, thereby jeopardizing the successful achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
    Quality and standards play a particularly important role in mitigating the negative effects of the outbreak. Adequate Quality Infrastructure ensures the identification and dissemination of relevant standards, accurate measurement (metrology) and provides attestation (accreditation) of reliable test results. Standards, in particular, support business continuity, risk and emergency management. They further ensure that goods produced in response of COVID-19 (respiratory devices, protective masks, gloves, etc.) are fit-for-purpose while workers in production facilities are kept safe.
    Against this background, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has conducted an initial assessment of the emerging challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the role of quality and standards in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals."

    UNIDO_COVID-19_QUALITY flyer_2020-04.pdf

    Ben Hedley
    International and Regional Standards organization responses to COVID-19:
    BEI (British Expertise International) CEN and CENELEC: and CEN CENELEC analysis from CEN TCs (mainly 85, 79,162,205) looking at the differences / similarities between the Chinese standards that have been translated into English and the relevant ENs COPANT: - COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE FROM NSBs.pdf  IEC: ISO: CSN NSB members have been updating their websites to assist with COVID-19 mitigation: NSB responses are outlined in the table below, please let us know if you have additional information that might be useful to share via the CSN portal. 
    COVID-19 Info
    Antigua and Barbuda
    Signposted to WHO website
    Bespoke SCC info
    Several pages of info with references taken from WHO (information positioned towards the bottom of home page)
    Bespoke MCCAA info specific to hand sanitisers
    New Zealand
    Bespoke NZSO content with references to relevant ISO standards
    St. Vincent and the Grenadines -
    Signposted to government website
    South Africa
    Bespoke business continuity info
    Sri Lanka
    Bespoke SLSI info about postponement of training programmes owing to outbreak
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Info from TTBS under News and Events
    Bespoke COVID-19 video from UNBS and other info under News & Highlights and Twitter feed on home page
    Bespoke info under Latest and trending. Open access to relevant standards on 1. The production of ventilators,, 2. personal protective equipment and 3. risk management and business continuity.

    Ben Hedley
    Please see BSI COVID-19 update:
    Following the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), BSI, as the UK’s National Standards Body has assessed how we can best support Government, UK businesses and ultimately the UK population.
    At this time, it is important that business and Government is equipped with expert, consensus base best practice information to help them navigate the current and rapidly developing situation. After careful consideration of our portfolio, we have selected the most relevant standards to meet the immediate challenges faced by Government and UK business, and will be opening access to these standards during this time of emergency. 
    The Initial focus will cover 3 main areas: the production of ventilators, personal protective equipment and risk management and business continuity.
    As the National Standards Body, BSI will continue to assess how we are best able to support and contribute towards the UK’s collective efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID -19 on both the health of the nation and UK business.
    Other NSBs are following similar procedures, please share additional COVID-19 updates/questions with

    Binu Merin Jacob
    During February and March 2020, the CSN conducted a survey to assess the programme’s outcomes to date, and to capture ideas about how the programme should develop for Phase 2 (April 2020-March 2021). Here are the result highlights:
    93% of respondents felt that the CSN programme has led to beneficial outcomes, especially in helping raise awareness about the role of standards and regulations. Most participants indicated their interest to receive training in the following sectors:           - 65% said they would like training focussed on ‘Agriculture and Fisheries’;
              - 55% said they would like training focussed ‘commonly traded goods among Members’.
    100% of survey participants found the website to have useful information, expressing a strong interest to engage more with other national standards bodies and have wider collaboration with the academia, accredited bodies and subject matter experts. There were also several useful free-text responses to how the CSN has led to beneficial outcomes so far, as well as suggestions to help achieve more in the future. The full results will be published shortly, which will help inform how we deliver the next stages of the work programme to best suit the needs of the CSN membership.
    We would like to thank everyone for your participation and feedback in helping us shape the future of the programme. We will update you as the work programme develops while keeping a close eye on the current COVID-19 crisis.
    Please watch this space for more information.
    Wishing you all good health and wellbeing.

    Binu Merin Jacob
    Every year, 22nd March is observed as World Water Day. In light of the current global pandemic surrounding COVID-19, the timing couldn’t be more perfect to understand, promote and learn the importance and benefits of complying with proper hygiene measures - especially handwashing - to prevent the spread of this virus.
    Let's all make use of this opportunity as a community to take the right action in creating better awareness and preventing this issue together. Please find further information on proper handwashing techniques here:

    Ben Hedley
    The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is evolving rapidly and it's unlikely any of us have experienced anything quite like this, the next few months will undoubtedly raise many new challenges and the CSN Secretariat wishes CSN members the best during these difficult times.
    We are looking into ways that the Network can support it's members over the forthcoming months. Delivery of online outputs such as eLearning and written resources will be a focus in the short-term and we will keep you updated as plans progress with the developing global situation. Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions for how the CSN could offer support, or where you could offer support to others. 
    Best Regards
    Ben Hedley (

    Binu Merin Jacob
    Each year, a theme is chosen for Commonwealth Day, which helps to guide activities by Commonwealth organisations throughout the year. This year’s theme is centred around 'Delivering a Common Future', and highlights how the 54 member countries in the Commonwealth family are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming’ to achieve some of its biggest goals like protecting natural resources and boosting trade.
    The Commonwealth Standards Network supports these themes by promoting innovation and building connections for strong trade among all Commonwealth states through the participation, adoption and implementation of international standards.
    Happy Commonwealth Day! #CommonwealthDay #commonwealth #ConnectedCommonwealth

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