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  • Binu Merin Jacob
    BSI has a whole host of standards within the personal data, information security and business continuity sphere to help protect your organisation's key data by minimising the chances and reducing the impact of cyber attacks. Come join BSI experts on 24 September from 2pm-3pm who will demonstrate why these standards are so crucial and how you can go about implementing them within your business. 
    Time: Thursday, 24 September 2020 from 2pm to 3pm (BST)

    Binu Merin Jacob
    This year, the ISO General Assembly will be replaced by a virtual session for ISO members owing to the pandemic.
    Time: 24 September at 1pm BST
    For more information, please click here:
    To register, edit your registration or set up an ISO account, please click here:

    Binu Merin Jacob
    Organised by the World Economic Forum, this year's Sustainable Development Impact Summit themed, "Realizing a ‘Great Reset’ for Sustainable Development", will be fully virtual and will take place from the 21-24 September, 2020. The summit brings together leaders from the government, business, international organizations and civil society. You will have the opportunity to listen to and gain insights from a diverse group of experts and innovators to initiate, accelerate and scale-up entrepreneurial solutions to help tackle climate change and advance sustainable development whilst navigating through the COVID-19 crisis.
    For more information and registration, please click on the following link, or download the meeting overview document (see attached):
    WEF 2020 Summit_Meeting Overview.pdf

    Binu Merin Jacob
    BSI will be running a webinar on Safe Working During The Pandemic on Wednesday, 16 September at 13:00 - 14:30 UK time, complementing the publication of Version 3 of the Safe Working Guidelines (also see attached). To register for the webinar please click on the following link:

    Binu Merin Jacob
    The GMIS 2020 Virtual Summit will be welcoming a cross-section of thought leaders to discuss the future of manufacturing. Themed "Glocalisation: Towards Inclusive And Sustainable Global Value Chains", will be focussing on the challenges and opportunities of building resilient global value chains, restoring the global economy and promoting inclusive and sustainable development in the current crisis. 
    Time: 9am (GMT+2/ CET), 4 September; 10am (GMT+2/ CET, 5 September
    To register and find out more about the agenda please click here:

    Binu Merin Jacob
    Over the past months, BSI has been playing a vital role in the fight against COVID-19. By introducing BSI's Safe Working Guidelines and Workplace Hygiene Solutions, organisations and economies worldwide are being assisted to develop critical new products and solutions to help navigate their next normal in these challenging times.
    Check out this video which highlights how BSI continues to inspire trust for a more resilient world, supporting clients, communities and people in their fight against COVID-19: 

    Binu Merin Jacob
    UNBS in partnership with the CSN and supported by DFID has been taking standards to farmers in Uganda by simplifying and translating key standards and guideline documents in selected priority value chains including pineapples, rice, soybean, sheanut, and avocados. A total of 38,000 were printed in 12 local languages as part of Phase 1 of the programme. Download to read full press release.


    Binu Merin Jacob
    Update - A quick overview of the session is now available on the link below: 
    Series 8 of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) will be exploring the future of manufacturing and industries: Industry 4.0’s true potential in advancing the attainment of the SDGs and shaping Society 5.0.
    Time: 10am BST on Tuesday, 18 August 2020 
    To register please click here:

    Ben Hedley
    "This report presents recommendations to boost the participation of women in trade through free trade agreements.

    Policymakers and trade negotiators will find a new toolkit to gauge gender responsiveness in their agreements. These lessons are based on a research assessment of 73 selected free trade agreements in force among 25 Commonwealth countries, and top-line recommendations and model clauses for countries to adapt.

    The recommendations include embedding gender provisions in the preamble, leveraging corporate social responsibility, using reservations, waivers and general exceptions, and strengthening monitoring and dispute settlement mechanisms."
    More details and download available via:

    Binu Merin Jacob
    OECD Survey of South Africa will be hosting a webinar to discuss the current economic situation and the impact of CV-19 in South Africa and the ways in which the country can strengthen its response to the crisis. 
    Time: 10am BST, on 31st July
    To register to the event, please click here:

    Binu Merin Jacob
    BSI will be hosting an informative webinar next week, on Wednesday, 29 July (2pm BST), to discuss Building Trust For Manufacturers of Infection Control Equipment. The webinar will be presented by expert speaker Holly Rossington, Electrical Certification Team Leader, who will explain the critical role standards and market assurance can play in demonstrating that a product is from a reliable and trusted source.
    Time: Jul 29, 2020 2pm BST
    To register, please follow this link:

    Binu Merin Jacob
    ISO/ TC322 will be hosting a webinar next week, on Thursday, 23 July (12pm BST), to discuss Why Sustainable Finance Standards Matter. The webinar will be presented by TC322 Chair Dr. Peter Young, and Dr. MA Jun, who will talk about why designing a resilient and sustainable financial framework is important in order to recover from the CV-19 pandemic. 
    This is an open webinar for all stakeholders and an excellent opportunity to learn more about the committee's work, and how to engage, influence and contribute to developing international standards in sustainable finance. 
    Time: Jul 23, 2020 11am UTC (12pm BST)
    To register, please follow this link:
    For queries: please contact Mike Henigan, TC322 Committee Manager, at 

    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
    Update: Version 2 of the ‘Safe Working During the COVID-19 Pandemic Guidelines’ is now available on the following link, and is applicable to large and small businesses alike:
    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

    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

    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

    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
    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.


    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
    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 
    CSN Annual meeting_notes_2019-09-18.pdf

    Ben Hedley
    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  
    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

    Ben Hedley
    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".

    Ben Hedley
    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.  

    Ben Hedley
    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.  

    Ben Hedley
    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 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.'

    Ben Hedley
    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. 

    Ben Hedley
    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

    Ben Hedley
    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.

    Ben Hedley
    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).   

    Ben Hedley
    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 Increase trade Reduce poverty. 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
    Attendees at the inaugural meeting of the Commonwealth Standards Network:
    24x National Standards Bodies: Australia Barbados Botswana Canada Cyprus Fiji India Jamaica Kenya Malaysia Malta Mauritius New Zealand Papua New Guinea Rwanda Saint Lucia Singapore South Africa St Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago Uganda United Kingdom Vanuatu Zambia 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

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