The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is delighted to participate in the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. For each month in 2017, we will feature stories about standardization and SCC’s progressive leadership to deliver innovative standardization solutions and how they have helped to shape Canada’s history.
In 2007, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) provided international leadership in standardization by serving as a founding member of Le réseau Normalisation et Francophonie (RNF) Association. SCC, in collaboration with AFNOR Groupe (the national standards body in France) and the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ), formed the RNF Association, a non-profit with the goal of strengthening standards capacity in francophone nations around the world. Its mandate was to seek an increase in the availability and timeliness of French versions of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards and provide opportunities for greater participation of francophone experts in standards development, particularly those representing the developing world.
The development of the RNF Association actually dates back to 2006, when Abdou Diouf, Secretary-General of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), addressed delegates from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), SCC, BNQ and AFNOR in Paris. Mr. Diouf, who also served as President of Senegal from 1981 to 2000, acknowledged the strategic value of standardization, placing particular emphasis on the role of standards in the areas of social and economic development. The parties agreed to strengthen cooperation between their organizations and increase the participation of francophones in standardization.
The three founding organizations introduced the Standardization and la Francophonie project, which focused on providing a support network to facilitate participation in standards for francophone countries, particularly those from the developing world.
Standardization bodies from Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia were quick to confirm their interest in helping to establish the new network.
Today, headed by president Denis Hardy – who is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec - the RNF Association has more than 80 members in 27 countries. Participation is open to all francophone countries, whether or not they are a part of ISO. The mission of the association is to enhance the standardization capacity of francophone national standards bodies worldwide. Key initiatives also include promoting higher education in standardization and sustainable tourism.
RNF Association works in collaboration with organizations such as l’Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF), l’Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable (IFDD), l’Association internationale des maires francophones (AIMF) et le Réseau des associations professionnelles francophones (RAPF). Some of the Association’s recent work includes the publication of a Memorandum for the development of a series of standards for sustainable tourism in Africa and a report on the contribution of standardization to the Economic Strategy of the Francophonie.
The RNF Association also has ongoing special projects to provide access and training to standards for women and youth and promote sustainable development throughout French-speaking nations using standards like Energy Management (ISO 50001 and ISO 50006), Water Footprint (ISO 14046 and ISO / AWI 14073), Life Cycle Assessment (ISO 14040 and ISO 14044) and Social Responsibility (ISO 26000).
SCC continues to provide leadership by building solid relationships with the OIF in raising awareness of the value of standardization for the economic development of French speaking nations and all countries. Sylvie Lafontaine, SCC’s Vice-President of Standards and International Relations was proud to represent SCC at the recent official signing of an agreement between the OIF and RNF Association (see photo below). This agreement marks their continued commitment to deliver training and workshops on standardization in four RNF member countries - Burkina Faso, Sénégal, Cameroun and Madagascar.