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Rwanda Standards Board , TMEA and BSI Conduct Quality Management System Experience Sharing

Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) in collaboration with the British Standards Institution (BSI), through the support of Trade Mark East Africa, conduct an experience sharing workshop on ISO 9001-Quality Management System (QMS) standard.

Speaking at the official opening of the workshop, Mr. Raymond Murenzi Director General of Rwanda Standards Board emphasized the importance of implementing QMS standard:

“Rwanda has started a new era to build quality service- driven economy. This endeavor has called to instigating the culture of customer care and quality service in all lines of either public or private businesses.

In furtherance of this effort, Rwanda Standards Board partnered with British Standards Institution (BSI) under support by Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) to build capacity of nine pilot organizations in implementing ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Management system, the standard regarded as the foundation towards the envisaged service delivery destination.

Considering benefits from implementation of that standard including: improved productivity and efficiency, competitive advantage of the products and company brand and increased marketing and sales opportunities, among others, RSB and our partners above mentioned organized this experience sharing meeting to bring together more than 100 institutions and companies from both public and private sector to share information and benefits of implementing service standards, and therefore contribute in fast-tracking the country’s vision to become a service-driven economy”.

Ms Anataria Karimba, representing TMEA, saluted progress being made in Rwanda to raise awareness of QMS and other standards, and congratulated RSB and BSI upon remarkable strides made from the partnership between both Standards Bodies. She noted that the service industry is the backbone of the country’s economy and hence promoting service standards is very important to ensure Rwanda builds a competitive economy full of cross-border opportunities.

Trade Mark East Africa is funding Phase 1b of a project titled, “Twinning support to the Rwanda Standards Board to strengthen quality infrastructure and facilitate Rwandan businesses to export” (April 2015 – December 2017), which is being implemented by The British Standards Institution (BSI). The overall objective is to enhance the competitiveness of Rwanda’s economy and increase exports, which meet international and regional standards while reducing the barriers to domestic, regional and international trade and protecting consumers from sub-standard and unsafe products.

Phase 1a of the project started in January 2012 and was completed in December 2014. Under the first phase of the project, which was also implemented by BSI, one component focused on capacity building on HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) for the food and agricultural sector where assistance was provided, inter alia, to 21 enterprises in Rwanda.

The ongoing Phase 1b of the project consists of three Components:

  • Component 1 – Strategic Support for the Institutional Development of the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB)
  • Component 2 – Private Sector Awareness Raising and Capacity Building on Standards (ISO 22000 and ISO 9001)
  • Component 3 – Capacity building in the use and maintenance of Testing Equipment (in RSB’s laboratories)

The objective of Component 2 is to broaden the scope of private sector assistance from HACCP to ISO 22000 dealing with Food Safety Management Systems and ISO 9001 Quality Management System.

Under the sub-component on ISO 9001, an awareness raising workshop on ISO 9001:2008 was conducted for organizations to provide information about the standard and the methodology for capacity building on ISO 9001 under the project so that they could take an informed decision as to their participation in the project. Nine organizations were selected for participation in the capacity building project. Under the project for capacity building on ISO 9001, three training events were held, the first one was a workshop on “The Implementation of ISO/FDIS 9001:2015 and Quality Tools” in September 2015, the second one was a workshop on “Internal Audit of ISO 9001:2015 QMS” in April 2016 and the third one was a “Lead Auditor Training Course on ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems” in September 2016. The training events were conducted for personnel from the nine pilot organizations under the project, local consultants and RSB officers including its auditors. In between the training events assistance was provided to the nine organizations to implement ISO 9001, through regular visits by local and regional consultants through onsite and offsite support.

Ms Clementine Niyonkuru, a participant from Ngali Energy Limited, one of the nine project enterprises that have been implanting QMS witnessed some benefits her organization acquired from implementing QMS standard: “We have been implementing ISO 9001 standard for a while. In our organization we have witnessed important positive changes from the way we used to work and the way we are working. QMS helped us truly setting up a working system in which everyone knows his/her responsibilities and we complement each other towards a common goal-customer satisfaction. We observed that we are now more effective, efficient and we keep track of our customers’ attitude towards the service we deliver and easily identify areas of improvement”.

The objective of the experience-sharing workshops is to enable you to obtain information about the implementation of ISO 9001 QMS as done in the pilot organizations so that participating organization could become interested in implementing this standard, improve the quality of their products and services and obtain QMS certification.

ISO 9001 is an international standard applicable to all sectors of industry, including manufacturing and service, and to private or public organizations of all sizes. It is not a product standard but a management system standard to demonstrate an organization’s ability to provide consistently products or services that meet customer and applicable regulatory requirements and to enhance customer satisfaction. ISO 9001 specifies ‘what’ is required to be done by an organization but does not indicate ‘how’ it should be done, thus giving an organization great flexibility in implementing the standard.

The Express News

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