What is a Standard?

A Standard is a technical document detailing the requirements necessary to ensure that a material, product, service, or procedure is fit for the purpose it was intended.
These requirements could include design, material, performance, manufacturing and testing requirements, including packaging and labeling.

Who initiates Standards development?
Standards are developed on a need basis and the need for a new standard can be initiated by stakeholders, an individual, a manufacturer, or a government institution.
Standards are developed by constituting technical committees comprising stakeholders such as manufacturers, sellers, buyers, consumer’s relevant associations, professionals, academic/research institutions and regulators of a particular material, product, process or service
Standards are the result of a consultative process involving all interested parties (Stakeholders) who agree on the contents of this standard through consensus.

Application of Standards

•    Can be used as a basis for law or regulation to protect the consumer and the environment from hazard related products
•    Can be mandatory (by law or regulation) or voluntary (as one way of fulfilling requirements)
•    Can be used as a basis for conformity assessment (testing, inspection and certification)

Preparation of a Zambian Standard
There are different processes of preparing a National Standard which include the following
a.    Adoption of an International Standard
b.    Adaptation/adoption of a foreign standard
c.    Developing a National Standard (from “scratch”) using local/international information where international/regional/national standards do not exist

a)    Adoption of an International Standard
•    The need for a standard is identified
•    Applicability of an international standard is analyzed
•    Public enquiry
•    Resolution of comments
•    Approval and publication

b)    Adoption of a foreign Standard

•    The need for a standard is identified
•    Applicability of a foreign standard is analyzed
•    Public enquiry (standard is circulated for public comments)
•    Resolution of comments
•    Translation if need be
•    Approval and Publication


c)       Developing National Standards from the basics
•    Establishment of need
•    Announcement of new project
•    Setting up a committee of experts with representation of relevant interests
•    Drafting of the standard using expert knowledge and experiences
•    Technical committee (stakeholders) discussion
•    Public enquiry (standard circulated for public comments)
•    Resolution of comments
•    Approval and publication

What are the benefits of Standards?

•    Standards ensure that consumers are protected from hazards to their health and safety
•    Standards promote and protect economic interests of consumers
•    They ensure that consumers have easier access to and greater choice in goods and services
•    Standards inspire trust in your business
•    They assist businesses to meet regulatory requirements
•    Provide access to new markets
•    Standards create a competitive advantage by improving the quality of goods and services
•    Standards ensure improved quality and reliability

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