World Accreditation Day: QCI
The World Accreditation Day (WAD) was celebrated on 9th June by the Quality Council of India (QCI) to highlight as well as to promote the role of accreditation in trade & economy.
Quality Council of India (QCI) was established as a National body for Accreditation on recommendations of Expert Mission of EU after consultations in Inter-ministerial Task Force, Committee of Secretaries and Group of Ministers through a Cabinet decision in 1996. Accordingly, QCI was set up through a PPP model as an independent autonomous organization with the support of Government of India and the Indian Industry represented by the three premier industry associations, (i) Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), (ii) Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and (iii) Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
QCI is a non-profit organization registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry was designated as the nodal point for all matters connected with quality and QCI to structure and help implementation of the Cabinet decision.
QCI has been established to create a mechanism for independent third party assessment of products, services and processes. It plays a pivotal role at the national level in propagating, adoption and adherence to quality standards in all important spheres of activities including education, healthcare, environment protection, governance, social sectors, infrastructure sector and such other areas of organized activities that have significant bearing in improving the quality of life and wellbeing of the citizens of India.
- Accreditation is a formal, independent verification that a program or institution meets established quality standards in terms of testing, inspection, or certification.
- Importance of Accreditation:
- It is an important tool to improve the quality of product and services in the field of health, education, food as well as other areas.
- It also promotes the adoption of quality standards relating to Quality Management Systems, Food Safety Management Systems and Product Certification.
- Overall, it helps in realizing the objective of improving quality competitiveness of Indian products and services.
- The International Accreditation Forum:
- It is the world association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation bodies and other bodies interested in conformity assessment in the fields of management systems, products, services, personnel and other similar programs of conformity assessment.
- Conformity Assessment Bodies: These are bodies that can certify product, process or services, management systems or persons. E.g. International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
- India is also a member.
- Quality Assessment in the Food Sector:
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has recognized the role of credible, competent accreditation inputs in overall services.
- There is an urgent need for development of conformity assessment infrastructure and consumer empowerment in the country.
- There is a need to institutionalize the virtual assessment and the accreditation of state food testing laboratories.
- There is a need to encourage accredited laboratories to undertake Proficiency Testing (PT) and increase the number of accredited Reference Materials Producers (RMPs).
- An Integrated System for information exchange is also necessary for the food sector.
- Suggested Measures:
- Six Point Programme for Future:
- Scaling up conformity assessment systems in different parts of the country.
- Encourage PPP model of FSSAI to work forward for “Saajha Nivesh, Saajha Vikas, Saajha Vishwas.
- Working in direction of Certified in India and accepted globally.
- Informal Market formalization.
- Rashtriya Gunavatta Abhiyan: It will help in crowdsourcing to check quality issues in the local market and to develop a robust Market Surveillance.
- Rapid Alert System with all Regulators on one single e-platform.
- Six Point Programme for Future:
Quality Council of India
- The Quality Council of India (QCI) set up in 1997 is an autonomous body attached to the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- The Chairman of QCI is appointed by the Prime Minister on recommendation of the industry to the government.
- Its mandate is to establish and operate the National Accreditation Structure (NAS) for conformity assessment bodies and providing accreditation in the field of health, education and quality promotion .
- National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) and National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) are the two accreditation boards of the QCI.
- These two bodies work closely to support the Government and regulators to ensure that the data provided by accredited conformity assessment bodies is robust, reliable, trustworthy in terms of decision making, compliance testing and standards setting.
- Indian industry is represented in QCI by three premier industry associations namely ASSOCHAM; CII; and FICCI.