For organizations seeking to expand their export markets, gain the upper hand competitively and build team confidence, certification to international standards can help you achieve your goals.
Patrick Hardy of ClimateCHECK delivered these messages to World Accreditation Day 2014 participants on June 9th. As Chief Operating Officer of the innovative greenhouse gas management solutions company, Hardy was the keynote speaker at the Standards Council of Canada’s (SCC’s) breakfast networking event. More than 100 participated at World Accreditation Day, which took place at the Ottawa Convention Centre in downtown Ottawa, Ontario.
Held under the 2014 international theme of Accreditation: Delivering confidence in the provision of energy, World Accreditation Day was initially launched by the International Accreditation Forum and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation to annually raise awareness of the value of accreditation.
Accreditation ensures safety and efficiency
World Accreditation Day speakers and panel discussion members supported the theme of this year’s event: that convenient access to energy is a luxury that society depends on, and that this demand will only grow as the world becomes more industrialized. As the demand for energy increases, it remains as important as ever to ensure that the methods used for harnessing, storing and sharing this energy are safe and efficient. Event presentations highlighted that this is accomplished, in part, through the accreditation of organizations that test devices, inspect energy-related installations, and certify energy-related processes and procedures.
Animated panel discussion
SCC’s Chair, Kathy Milsom, and SCC’s Chief Executive Officer, John Walter, provided a welcome address to attendees. Their talks were followed by Patrick Hardy’s keynote presentation.
A panel discussion, entitled Accreditation – Powering the energy sector, was moderated by SCC’s Vice-President, Accreditation Services, Chantal Guay. The panel included Nicolas Vincent from Enviro-access Inc., one of the three Canadian Environmental Technology Advancement Centres; Adam Haines, Vice President, Product Development & Delivery, from Industrial Audit Corporation; and Inderpal Jaswal from QUASAR, the auditing, quality management and ISO certification arm of the Canadian Welding Bureau Group.
The panelists stressed that having a strong quality management system (QMS) in place is what organizations need, in order to cross export borders. Organizations do not need to develop a large QMS manual to achieve results, they said. Instead, the focus should be put on understanding the spirit of the standard(s) to be complied with.
A QMS system provides organizations – including those involved in the energy or environmental sectors – with multiple benefits: maintaining consistency and continuous improvement in their work, streamlining their work processes, and developing clear procedures and accountabilities for performing various procedures.
Both Enviro-access and QUASAR are SCC-accredited organizations. Vincent and Jaswal spoke from first-hand experience about the value of accreditation to their businesses. As Industrial Audit Corporation is actually certified by QUASAR, Haines spoke about the value that being certified by an SCC-accredited body provides.
Insightful ISO 50001 info session
SCC also held an information session on ISO 50001, the internationally recognized Energy Management Systems standard. In 2012, SCC launched an accreditation program for organizations looking to implement this standard, to increase their energy efficiency, reduce costs and improve energy performance — and for certification bodies wanting to help their clients do so.
Carol Buckley, the Director General of the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), talked about the value of becoming certified to ISO 50001. Through NRCan’s OEE, the Government of Canada supports Responsible Energy Use through systematic energy management.
Paul W. Birkeland, Founder and Principal, Global Strategic Energy, then led the ISO 50001 information session, highlighting the many benefits of this international standard.