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.
· 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.).
· 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your initial responses 22nd May (or shortly after if possible).
Programme Manager, Commonwealth Standards Network