Belize this week is hosting the Bi-Annual General Meeting of the Caribbean Regional Organization of Standards and Qualities (CROSQ). It is an organization of 15 departments of standards across the Caribbean that set policies and practices for harmonizing standards and quality in the region. Belize is represented by the Belize Bureau of Standards, which monitors the quality and performance of almost everything in Belize, from gas to food to even medical laboratories. The current head of the regional organization is Andrea Ishmael of Barbados. She explains to us why standards are important to the lives of ordinary people.
Andrea Ishmael, Chair CROSQ: Standards and quality are really the foundation of economic activity. We have a saying in our work standards, related work, where there are no standards then there is chaos. The way we also think of standards is like I said, whenever something is going well, you do not think about the standards, it is only when things go wrong you then think of terms of quality and standards. So where there are no standards, then there is chaos. So the standards, it goes beyond that, we say standards and quality but we are basically talking about a quality infrastructure which the 5 pillars would be, standards, metrology, testing, certification accreditation, or we just say: standards, metrology, conformity, assessment and accreditation, but those are the 5 pillars that make up the quality infrastructure.
The Director of the BBS, Jose Trejo, speaks to the importance of standards to Belizeans.
Jose Trejo, Director, Belize Bureau of Standards:I think that we have the overall responsibility to ensure that we protect and safeguard to well being of the state and all of this sounds complicated and it might be difficult for the common man to understand but essential these pillars work in the background to the benefit of every man woman child or elderly in this country. They understand that there is a system in place that we’re working on that eventually will help to ensure that their wellbeing is maintained and that we are protecting their interest in what we do.
The meetings continue at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel.