Quality Award 2008, as a ceremony during which the national prize for business excellence is awarded, is a part of the 17th traditional gathering dedicated to the World Quality Day and European Quality Week 2008, is held at the Sava Centre in the period between 11th and13th November. It was organised by the Fund for Quality Culture and Excellence (FQCE), ...
Quality Magazine and Business Excellence Centre doo (limited liability company), and sponsored of the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development with the support of and cooperation with competent state, scientific and technical institutions and commercial associations.
During this event a conference entitled „Quality Will Lead Us to the World“ will be held in the period between 11th and 12th November and will bring together numerous quality and business excellence experts, scientists and economists, representatives of accreditation bodies, quality management team representatives from commercial organisations and institutions in Serbia and surrounding countries with the aim of calling attention to to new trends and requirements related to quality improvements on the road to business excellence. It would also be possible to exchange experiences.
QUALITY AWARD is a national prize for business excellence and is awarded to commercial and other institutions as an independent and neutral prize for top results achieved while improving and developing quality system in Serbia – the first and one of a kind in our country.
QUALITY AWARD is a powerful motivator for bodies on their road to business excellence and an incentive for the development of a general atmosphere to improve quality in our country, and its award is supported by commercial associations and scientific institutions that are, within their area of expertise, in charge of monitoring and stimulating the development of quality in our country.
After an opening address of Vladimir Trajković, Director of “Business Policy”, Vidosava Džagić, Vice-President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Ranko Nikolić, Director of the Accreditation Body of Montenegro, Radosavljević Dragutin, State Secretary with the Ministry of State Administration and Local Government, the conference was opened by Jelena Popović, Assistant Minister of Economy and Regional Development.
The Director of the Accrediation Board of Serbia (ATS), Dejan Krnjaić, PhD, gave a lecture entitled “Confirming and monitoring competence of conformity assessment bodies in accordance with the New EU, IAF, ILAC and EA legislation and documents”. He prepared this lecture together with Vida Živković, ATS Deputy Director.
In his introductory part of the lecture, Krnjaić emphasised that confirmation of competence of conformity assessment bodies is a basis for establishment and maintainance of trust in the results of their work, and the entire system of assessment relating to attainment of specific requirements as regards testing, inspection, and certification. In this regard, rules, procedures, and management necessary for the performance of conformity assessment, as Krnjaić explained, are based on harmonised criteria defined in international standards (ISO/IEC 17000, EN 45000,..) and instructions of international and regional accreditation bodies (ILAC,IAF, EA,...) ensuring equivalence of results at both national and global level.
“These procedures make the comparison of conformity assessment possible and are a basis for their mutual recognition within different inernational (ILAC MRA, IAF MLA, CIPM MRA) and regional agreements (EA MLA)”, said Krnjaić. Furthermore, he said that accreditation, as a harmonised procedure (ISO/IEC 17011), presents an efficient way of confirming and monitoring competence of comformity assessment bodies by an independent and impartial institution presented by a national accreditation body.
During his lecture, Krnjaić highlighted that, unlike accreditation bodies that should not be competitive with other national accreditation bodies and that provide services mostly in the territory of the country of origin, conformity assessment bodies may, on the basis of the said international agreements, provide cross-border services.
“Competitiveness of comformity assessment bodies providing cross-border services must also be confirmed and monitored in an adequate manner, in all their branch offices by observing cross-border accreditation policies and principles defined in ILAC, IAF and EA documents and EU legislation”, said Krnjaić.
By assessing the existing accreditation system in our country, Krnjaić mentioned that there were 314 conformity assessment bodies the competence of which had been confirmed by means of accreditation performed by the ATS. Apart from them conformity assessment services are provided by bodies out-with the national accreditation system that mainly perform certification activities. Conformity assessment activities are provided by 23 international bodies and one national certification body without being accredited by the ATS. 21 of them perform certification of management system and 10 of them perform certification of products. According to available data 16 of these bodies are not accredited at all, while the remaining ones were accredited by accredited bodies from other countries (UKAS, COFRAC. DATC, RvA, NAT, RENAR, ESYD, TGA and SA). Furthermore, on the Serbian market foreign conformity assessment bodies perform business activities through their regional offices, i.e. branches, while some of them are not even registered as legal entities. Certain regional offices refer to the fact that they were granted accreditation within their parent certification body that had been accredited, but their certificate does not specify geographic area of their operation or their branches functioning in Serbia. This is is totally incompatible with the reference ISO/IEC standard and guides of international accreditation bodies.
“A situation like this is an impediment to adequate monitoring of competence and undermining trust and quality of comformity assessment performed by those bodies in the territory of Serbia, while, on the other hand, misleading users of their services”, concluded the ATS Director.
According to him it is very important to build an accreditation and comformity assessment system which would be based on international standards and technical regulations ensuring protection of global public interests, safety, protection of health and our planet and all the inhabitants thereof. However, basic principles of the World Trade Organisation, European Union, and free movement of people, goods, services and capital must be taken into consideration.
While explaining the current situation in that field in Serbia, Krnjaić said that due to the fact that the Republic of Serbia had been isolated during 1990s, the development of accreditation and conformity assessment did not run in parallel with the same systems in the surrounding countries, Europe and worldwide. This is an imperative for all quality infrastructure institutions in our country to build their technical capacities as soon as possible and get organised in an appropriate manner as soon as possible.
“A road leading to international verification of the entire system is connected with active participation in work activities, not only in regional, but in international accreditation bodies as well, and finally with required membership in the ILAC and IAF”, emphasised Krnjaić and added that the national accreditation system in the Republic of Serbia must be audited by the EA, regional accreditation organisation, and a positivie result of this peer assessment would contribute to the signing of bilateral or multilateral agreements between the Accreditation Board of Serbia and the EA. This would entail recognition of reports and certificates of conformity assessment bodies accredited by the ATS.
Pursuant to existing EA agreements, the concluding part of the lecture highlighted that the accreditation system in the Republic of Serbia will be internationally recognised, whereby the barriers to trade will be removed for our country and better competitiveness on global market will be ensured. Additionally, by adopting international standards and by harmonising our legislation with that of the EU, a higher level of general health and safety will be ensured, including environmental protection.
“It is of utmost importance to set up a uniform legal framework that will ensure harmonisation of accreditation and conformity assessment system with European and international ones that will contribute to the welfare of economy and all our citizens”, as concluded by Krnjaić.
Jelena Popović, Assistant Minister of Economy and Regional Development, opened the conference
Vidosava Džagić, Vice-president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce
Dejan Krnjaić, ATS Director
Conference Participants (first row - Ranko Nikolić, ATCG Director, and Vida Živković, MSc, ATS Deputy Director)
Ranko Nikolić, ATCG Director, Vidosava Džagić, Vice-president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Vida Živković, Vida Živković, MSc, ATS Deputy Director, and Dejan Krnjaić, ATS Director