A National Quality Council (NQC) has been appointed by Cabinet to provide strategic oversight and champion the implementation of the National Quality Policy for Trinidad and Tobago. According to Trade and Industry Minister, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, “One of the key pillars in doing business is having an efficient and effective National Quality Infrastructure. The National Quality Policy seeks to address several weaknesses and inconsistencies in our National Quality Infrastructure such as standards, accreditation, metrology and conformity assessments”. She added that the role of the National Quality Council is to ultimately expand trade and improve Trinidad and Tobago’s competitiveness and economic diversification.
The Council which is chaired by Mr. Norris Herbert, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry, will enhance the level of quality consciousness and culture required in Trinidad and Tobago through the coordination of quality promotion activities; prioritization of the areas for funding; and the management of a multi-stakeholder approach for accomplishing the policy goals. The Committee has oversight for implementation of projects which will touch the lives of the citizens by ensuring the creation of an environment which promotes the production of high quality goods and services for local and consumption.
Some of the projects which have commenced in fiscal 2019 under the NQP include the establishment of an independent accreditation body for conformity assessment which will assist with the certification of all conformity assessment bodies, inclusive of medical laboratories, calibration laboratories, testing laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies; and the development of a national programme for the accreditation of all public laboratories.
The Council members include Mr. Derek Luk Pat, Executive Director, Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS); Dr. Maryam Abdool-Richards, Principal Medical Officer- Institutions (Ag.), Ministry of Health; Ms. Neela Maharaj, Director Agricultural Planning Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries; Ms. Vashti Maharaj, Director, Legal Services, PS Secretariat, Ministry of the Attorney General & Legal Affairs; Ms. Meera Ramesar, Director Socio-Economic Policy, Planning Division, Ministry of Planning and Development; Ms. Kevar Williams, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Ag.), Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development; Ms. Joy Francis, Team Lead, Trade Unit, Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA); Ms. Vashti Guyadeen, Chief Executive Officer, Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI); Dr. Fasil Muddeen, Head of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Faculty of Engineering, University of the West Indies (UWI); Ms. Rianna Paul, Manager Trade and Business Development Unit, Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TTCIC); and Mr. Quincy Trim, Power Station Mechanic, Cove PowerStation Plant, Tobago House of Assembly (THA).
Quality is the established standard for goods and services which also benchmarks the processes involved in the production of same. It is achieved and measured when a product or service provided satisfies a need and is maintained through a standardized system agreed to and embraced by all. The TTBS an agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry is the organisation leading the implementation of all quality related matters.