SON to check quackery in management system practices
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has announced plans to eradicate quacks involved in management system practice in the country.
The move, according to SON, is to put an end to unscrupulous practices where individuals shortchange companies and individuals, noting that many of the practitioners in the management system practice are not competent and lacked the required competency to operate in the management system space.
The Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, during a one-day stakeholders’ engagement for the National Register for Conformity Assessment Practitioners (NRCAP) in Lagos, stated that the stakeholders’ engagement forum was important to reiterate that conformity assessment practice is very central to the sustenance of commercial success and continuity in all sectors.
He pointed out that the role of management system practitioners is vital to ensuring that practices carried out by the industries are in alignment with international best practices in terms of the expectations of existing conformity assessment standards.
In his words: “In view of the importance of the authenticity and traceability of products and services, adjudged to have met the requirements of relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards and other approved specifications, SON seeks to pursue the implementation of, Part II, Section 4(d) and Part III, Section 5 of the SON Act No.14 of 2015, via the operation of the NRCAP scheme, to establish a directory of verified and registered Conformity Assessment Practitioners in Nigeria for all laboratories, Management system Consultants, Training Service Providers, Certification bodies, inspection bodies, inspectors, auditors and assessors.”
He stated that the lack of regulations of the activities of practitioners over the years, has negatively impacted the industry and country significantly, some of which include poor protection of genuine practitioners from the negative impacts of unhealthy competition by quacks, poor visibility and recognition of genuine and competent practitioners capable of attracting patronage and partnerships for enhanced trade relationship and poor value for money for unsuspecting customers patronising quacks who deliver poor services.
Salim also stressed that the unavailability of an official register of competent practitioners to aid national planning and coordination of economic activities that border on standardisation and quality assurance is also a challenge hindering professional management system practice in the nation.
“This engagement is guided by the strategic collaboration/partnership that SON shares with your various organizations over time especially with the SON Management Systems Certification and Training Services departments with which you interface through your customers, of which you are expected to bring to bear, your wealth of experience to this national call,” he said.
The SON boss stated that the registration processes including approved guidelines, expectations of benchmarking Conformity Assessment standards and interests while developing the documents were taken into consideration to ensure that the impartiality of the process is assured.
He stressed that the impartiality committee members to drive the process were drawn from critical sectors of the economy like the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), NACCIMA amongst others and adequately trained for the onerous task.
“All these were carried out to safeguard the integrity of the process of registration,” he assured.
He added that the registration process will no doubt strengthen the mutual responsibility that SON and critical stakeholders share as partners in the task of nation-building and position businesses for better visibility and recognition.
Also speaking, the first president of the Society for Management System Practitioners of Nigeria, Engr. Bode Oke, said the group would join hands with SON to prune quacks in the system in its bid to ensure that consumers get value for money spent.
“We are here to share our knowledge and to join SON in the registration of all management system practitioners. We are going to partner with SON to ensure that the exercise is successful, because we have a lot of companies practicing management systems that are not trained and competent,” he warned.
“We are working together with SON to ensure that we remove all those incompetent people from the system so that whenever a client approaches practitioners for registration, the client will know that he will not be shortchanged and get value for the money spent,” he said.
He said the roles of system practitioners are vital in business growth and development, maintaining that system practitioners are responsible for taking companies through quality management systems certification, environmental management system certification, occupational health and safety certification and food management system certification.
On her part, a Consultant in the Quality Management System Practice, Patricia Solarin, said standardisation is germane for industrial development, saying that the stakeholders meeting would help to checkmate quacks.