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    Ben Hedley
    CSN NSB members have been updating their websites to assist with COVID-19 mitigation: NSB responses as of 01/04/2020 are outlined below, please let us know if you have additional information that might be useful to share via the CSN portal. 
     
    Country
    COVID-19 Info
    Comments
    Antigua and Barbuda
    https://abbs.gov.ag/
    Signposted to WHO website
    Canada
    https://www.scc.ca/en/news-events/news/2020/novel-coronavirus-update-covid-19
    Bespoke SCC info
    Ghana
    https://www.gsa.gov.gh/2020/03/covid-19-lockdown-and-beyond/
    https://www.gsa.gov.gh/2020/03/world-health-organization-7/
    https://www.gsa.gov.gh/2020/03/world-health-organization-6/
    https://www.gsa.gov.gh/2020/03/modes-of-transmission-of-virus-causing-covid-19/
    Several pages of info with references taken from WHO (information positioned towards the bottom of home page)
    Malta
    https://mccaa.org.mt/section/content?contentId=5313
    Bespoke MCCAA info specific to hand sanitisers
    New Zealand
    https://www.standards.govt.nz/news/media-releases/2020/mar/an-update-on-standards-new-zealand-work-practices/
    https://www.standards.govt.nz/news/media-releases/2020/apr/free-availability-of-covid-19-related-iso-standards/
    Bespoke NZSO content with references to relevant ISO standards
    St. Vincent and the Grenadines
    http://www.svgbs.gov.vc/ - http://health.gov.vc/health/index.php/c
    Signposted to government website
    South Africa
    https://www.sabs.co.za/
    https://www.sabs.co.za/Client_Comms_COVID19/index.asp
    Bespoke business continuity info
    Sri Lanka
    http://www.slsi.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=171:postponed-all-slsi-training-programmes-due-to-the-corona-virus-outbreak-in-the-country&catid=8:latest-news&lang=en&Itemid=359
    Bespoke SLSI info about postponement of training programmes owing to outbreak
    Trinidad and Tobago
    https://gottbs.com/blog/news/#.XoRcuKhKg2x
     
    Info from TTBS under News and Events
    Uganda
    https://www.unbs.go.ug/
    https://www.unbs.go.ug/covid-19/
    https://www.unbs.go.ug//news-highlights.php?io=news
    Bespoke COVID-19 video from UNBS and other info under News & Highlights and Twitter feed on home page
    UK
    https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/
    https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/topics/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/bsi-knowledge---uk-national-standards-body/
     
    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. 
    https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/topics/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/bsi-knowledge---uk-national-standards-body/
    Other NSBs are following similar procedures, please share additional COVID-19 updates/questions with ben.hedley@bsigroup.com
     
     

    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: https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/

    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 (ben.hedley@bsigroup.com)
     

    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
     

    Ben Hedley
    Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) in-country NSB training and stakeholder workshops took place in Kigali, Rwanda 17-19 February 2020; the events focussed on procurement and increasing international trade via the adoption of international standards to support national regulations.
    The sessions were delivered by Nele Zgav (BSI Lead Standards Development Manager), and Devin McDaniels (CSN consultant) in collaboration with experts from the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB). More than 50 representatives from the NSB, Government, Education, and procurement officers attended.
    Meeting presentations and reports will be made available on the CSN Portal once finalised.


    Binu Merin Jacob
    Standards are powerful tools that facilitate trade, drive innovation and increase productivity. They play a vital role in defining the quality of policies and processes, improving trust across an increasingly global marketplace.
    This short video highlights how the SLBS adheres to a slew of standards to drive growth, and ensure the safety of the citizens and visitors of St. Lucia. For this small island developing state, standards are definitely a way of life that continues to make a positive impact on the country's consumer safety, enhance competitiveness as well as improve the trading of goods and services. 

    St. Lucia highlights the Importance of standards (compressed).mp4

    Ben Hedley
    CSN in-country NSB training and stakeholder workshops took place in Windhoek, Namibia from 22-24 January 2020. Focusing on how using international standards can support trade, Russell Reefer (BSI Senior International Policy Manager) delivered the sessions alongside Erik Wijkström  (WTO TBT Secretary) and experts from the Namibia Standards Institution (NSI).  More than 70 representatives from NSI, Namibian government and the private sector participated each day.

    The sessions also helped conclude phase one of an IEC Mentoring Agreement between BSI and NSI, the goal of which will be to help build NSI's capacity to make active contributions, technical participation and interaction within the IEC community.
     
    CSN_Namibia presentations_January 2020.zip
     
     
     




    Binu Merin Jacob
    The Commonwealth Standards Network 2020 corporate video highlights the programme's ongoing work in supporting intra-Commonwealth trade particularly in developing countries through the increased use of international standards - helping achieve economic prosperity, reduce poverty and create new market opportunities.

    CSN subbed version FINAL 40MB.mp4

    Binu Merin Jacob
    The Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) in-country NSB training and stakeholder workshops took place in Nigeria from 3rd-5th December; the events focussed on the relationship between international standards and technical regulations, the development of the technical regulations, as well as improving the visibility of the role of standards for stakeholders and end users. The sessions were delivered by Peter Sissons (BSI, Head of International Engagement), and a consultant from WTO in collaboration with experts from the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and the British High Commission. More than 50 representatives from the NSB, NAFDAQ, NAQS, Ministry of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Promotional Council participated in the sessions.
    A total of 30 CSN in-country short-term training sessions are being delivered until March 2020. If you’d like to know more about the CSN, please contact Ben Hedley  ben.hedley@bsigroup.com.

    Binu Merin Jacob
    The Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) in-country NSB training and stakeholder workshops took place in Gaborone, Botswana 19-21st November 2019; the events focussed on increasing international trade via the adoption of international standards to support national regulations. The sessions were delivered by Sahar Danesh (BSI, Government Engagement Manager), and an external consultant in collaboration with experts from the Botswana Bureau of Standards. More than 80 representatives from the NSB and Government, Education, and Private sectors attended. Pictured below is Sahar (r) meeting the Botswanan Acting Permanent Secretary in the Botswana Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry. A total of 30 CSN in-country short-term training sessions are being delivered between February 2019 and March 2020. If you’d like to know more about the CSN, please contact Ben Hedley ben.hedley@bsigroup.com.
     


    Ben Hedley
    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

    Ben Hedley
    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.
     
    Yours faithfully,
     
    David Bell
    Director of Standards Policy
    BSI
    www.commonwealthstandards.net
     
    CSN 2020-21 Funding announcement.pdf CSN 2020-21 funding press release.pdf

    Ben Hedley
    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.

     


    Ben Hedley
    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.
     


    Ben Hedley
    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 ben.hedley@bsigroup.com 
    CSN Annual meeting_notes_2019-09-18.pdf

    Ben Hedley
    September 2019 – CSN Update from Dr Scott Steedman, BSI Director of Standards
      https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/about-bsi/uk-national-standards-body/news/september-2019--the-commonwealth-standards-network/   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!

    Ben Hedley
    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

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