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Ben Hedley

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  1. 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
  2. Please see attached joint UK QI COVID-19 response CSN letter_UK COVID-19 response_May 2020.pdf
  3. '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."
  4. 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:
  5. 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: ---------- UNIDO WEBINAR SERIES QUALITY & STANDARDS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 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) Moderator: Dr. Elsie Meintjies, CTA, GQSP-South Africa, UNIDO Speakers: 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
  6. 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
  7. International and Regional Standards organization responses to COVID-19: BEI (British Expertise International) CEN and CENELEC: 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. Country COVID-19 Info Comments Antigua and Barbuda Signposted to WHO website Canada Bespoke SCC info Ghana Several pages of info with references taken from WHO (information positioned towards the bottom of home page) Malta 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 Uganda Bespoke COVID-19 video from UNBS and other info under News & Highlights and Twitter feed on home page UK 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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 (
  10. We are conducting a survey to assess outcomes of the CSN and to capture ideas about how the programme should develop. We would be grateful if you could follow this link to complete the survey by Friday 6th March.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. Ben Hedley

    CSN Rwanda sessions

    CSN Rwanda training sessions in Kigali. Stakeholder workshop 17th January, NSB (RSB) sessions 18-19th January.
  14. Ben Hedley

    CSN Namibia sessions

    CSN Namibia sessions in Windhoek. Stakeholder workshop on 22nd January, NSB (NSI) sessions 23-24th January.
  15. Ben Hedley

    CSN India session (TBC)

    CSN India session (TBC)
  16. Ben Hedley

    CSN Pakistan sessions

    CSN Pakistan sessions
  17. 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
  18. 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 CSN 2020-21 Funding announcement.pdf CSN 2020-21 funding press release.pdf
  19. Ben Hedley

    CSN Nigeria sessions (TBC)

    CSN Nigeria sessions (TBC)
  20. The CSN will be represented at the BSI Standards Forum and Awards, London, UK.
  21. CSN workshop session at the IFAN 2019 members assembly. IFAN (The International Federation of Standards Users) is an independent, non profit-making international association of national organizations for the application of standards, companies, professional and trade associations, and governmental agencies, concerned with the use of standards.
  22. CSN Workshop as a side meeting to the ISO/TC 283 meetings in Kigali, Rwanda.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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
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