The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) is a corporate body established on 8 July 1974 under the authority of the Standards Act 38 of 1972. This Act was repealed and replaced by Standards Act, No. 18 of 1997. The primary role of the TTBS is to develop, promote and enforce standards, in order to improve the quality and performance of goods produced or used in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; ensure industrial efficiency and development; promote public and industrial welfare, health and safety; and protect the environment.
The major objectives of TTBS are to provide: certification, laboratory services; laboratory accreditation; standards information; standards compliance and standards development. In addition, TTBS engages in instituting a national quality system and providing advisory and educational programmes in connection with standards.
Participation in the technical work
TC Participation | 80 |
PDC Participation | 3 |
Why standards matter
Standards make an enormous and positive contribution to most aspects of our lives.
Standards ensure desirable characteristics of products and services such as quality, environmental friendliness, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchangeability – and at an economical cost.
When products and services meet our expectations, we tend to take this for granted and be unaware of the role of standards. However, when standards are absent, we soon notice. We soon care when products turn out to be of poor quality, do not fit, are incompatible with equipment that we already have, are unreliable or dangerous.
When products, systems, machinery and devices work well and safely, it is often because they meet standards. And the organization responsible for many thousands of the standards which benefit the world is ISO.
When standards are absent, we soon notice.
What standards do:
* make the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services more efficient, safer and cleaner
* facilitate trade between countries and make it fairer
* provide governments with a technical base for health, safety and environmental legislation, and conformity assessment
* share technological advances and good management practice
* disseminate innovation
* safeguard consumers, and users in general, of products and services
* make life simpler by providing solutions to common problems
Who standards benefit
ISO standards provide technological, economic and societal benefits.
For businesses, the widespread adoption of International Standards means that suppliers can develop and offer products and services meeting specifications that have wide international acceptance in their sectors. Therefore, businesses using International Standards can compete on many more markets around the world.
For innovators of new technologies, International Standards on aspects like terminology, compatibility and safety speed up the dissemination of innovations and their development into manufacturable and marketable products.
For customers, the worldwide compatibility of technology which is achieved when products and services are based on International Standards gives them a broad choice of offers. They also benefit from the effects of competition among suppliers.
For governments, International Standards provide the technological and scientific bases underpinning health, safety and environmental legislation.
For trade officials, International Standards create “a level playing field” for all competitors on those markets. The existence of divergent national or regional standards can create technical barriers to trade. International Standards are the technical means by which political trade agreements can be put into practice.
For developing countries, International Standards that represent an international consensus on the state of the art are an important source of technological know-how. By defining the characteristics that products and services will be expected to meet on export markets, International Standards give developing countries a basis for making the right decisions when investing their scarce resources and thus avoid squandering them.
For consumers, conformity of products and services to International Standards provides assurance about their quality, safety and reliability.
For everyone, International Standards contribute to the quality of life in general by ensuring that the transport, machinery and tools we use are safe.
For the planet we inhabit, International Standards on air, water and soil quality, on emissions of gases and radiation and environmental aspects of products can contribute to efforts to preserve the environment. ?
The ISO brand
Every full member of ISO has the right to take part in the development of any standard which it judges to be important to its countrys economy. No matter what the size or strength of that economy, each participating member in ISO has one vote. Each country is on an equal footing to influence the direction of ISOs work at the strategic level, as well as the technical content of its individual standards.
ISO standards are voluntary. As a non-governmental organization, ISO has no legal authority to enforce the implementation of its standards. ISO does not regulate or legislate. However, countries may decide to adopt ISO standards – mainly those concerned with health, safety or the environment – as regulations or refer to them in legislation, for which they provide the technical basis. In addition, although ISO standards are voluntary, they may become a market requirement, as has happened in the case of ISO 9001 quality management systems, or of dimensions of freight containers and bank cards.
ISO itself does not regulate or legislate.
ISO only develops standards for which there is a market requirement. The work is mainly carried out by experts from the industrial, technical and business sectors which have asked for the standards, and which subsequently put them to use.
ISO standards are based on international consensus among the experts in the field. Consensus, like technology, evolves and ISO takes account both of evolving technology and of evolving interests by requiring a periodic review of its standards at least every five years to decide whether they should be maintained, updated or withdrawn. In this way, ISO standards retain their position as the state of the art.
* Globally relevant
ISO standards are technical agreements which provide the framework for compatible technology worldwide. They are designed to be globally relevant – useful everywhere in the world.
ISO standards are useful everywhere in the world.
The scope of ISOs work
ISO has more than 18? 000 International Standards and other types of normative documents in its current portfolio. ISOs work programme ranges from standards for traditional activities, such as agriculture and construction, through mechanical engineering, manufacturing and distribution, to transport, medical devices, information and communication technologies, and to standards for good management practice and for services.
Examples of the benefits standards provide
Standardization of screw threads helps to keep chairs, childrens bicycles and aircraft together and solves the repair and maintenance problems caused by a lack of standardization that were once a major headache for manufacturers and product users.
Standards establishing an international consensus on terminology make technology transfer easier and safer. They are an important stage in the advancement of new technologies and dissemination of innovation.
Without the standardized dimensions of freight containers, international trade would be slower and more expensive.
Without the standardization of telephone and banking cards, life would be more complicated.
A lack of standardization may even affect the quality of life itself: for the disabled, for example, when they are barred access to consumer products, public transport and buildings because the dimensions of wheel-chairs and entrances are not standardized.
Standardized symbols provide danger warnings and information across linguistic frontiers.
Consensus on grades of various materials gives a common reference for suppliers and clients in business dealings.
Agreement on a sufficient number of variations of a product to meet most current applications allows economies of scale with cost benefits for both producers and consumers. An example is the standardization of paper sizes.
Standardization of performance or safety requirements of diverse equipment makes sure that users needs are met while allowing individual manufacturers the freedom to design their own solution on how to meet those needs.
Standardized computer protocols allow products from different vendors to “talk” to each other.
Standardized documents speed up the transit of goods, or identify sensitive or dangerous cargoes that may be handled by people speaking different languages.
Standardization of connections and interfaces of all types ensures the compatibility of equipment of diverse origins and the interoperability of different technologies.
Agreement on test methods allows meaningful comparisons of products, or plays an important part in controlling pollution – whether by noise, vibration or emissions.
Safety standards for machinery protect people at work, at play, at sea… and at the dentists.
Without the international agreement contained in ISO standards on metric quantities and units, shopping and trade would be haphazard, science would be unscientific and technological development would be handicapped.
* For more examples of the many areas of life and work where ISO standards provide technical, economic and social benefits, visit The ISO Cafe.
ISO is the world largest standards developing organization. Between 1947 and the present day, ISO has published more than 16 500 International Standards, ranging from standards for activities such as agriculture and construction, through mechanical engineering, to medical devices, to the newest information technology developments.
Given the multi-sector scope of the organization, it would be hard to present an historical perspective summarizing the challenges, the passion, the outstanding achievements or, sometimes, the missed opportunities, in the large variety of sectors covered by ISO??™s technical work. ?
We have therefore chosen to highlight the key markers in the history of the organization from a general perspective.
ISO was born from the union of two organizations – the ISA (International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations),. established in New York in 1926, and the UNSCC (United Nations Standards Coordinating Committee), established in 1944.
In October 1946, delegates from 25 countries, meeting at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London, decided to create a new international organization, of which the object would be “to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards”. The new organization, ISO, officially began operations on 23 February 1947.
* The Founding of ISO, Willy Kuert, Swiss delegate to the London conference in 1946 (from: Friendship among equals)
* The Formation of ISO, JoAnne Yates (MIT Sloan School) and Craig Murphy (Wellesley College)
ISO International Standards
According to ISO??™s first-ever Annual Review in 1972, the underlying causes of the acceleration of the pace of international standardization included ???an explosive growth in international trade??? caused by a ???revolution in transportation methods???. By the mid-sixties a demand, not only a desire, for International Standards had developed. The sources of this demand included multinational companies, standards institutions in developing countries and government regulatory authorities.
What had laid the foundation for the growth of the output of ISO during the seventies was the turn in emphasis from national to International Standards which took place in the late 1960s.
This change of emphasis was underlined by the decision in 1971 to begin publishing the results of ISO??™s technical work as International Standards rather then Recommendations.
* The expansion of ISO, Olle Sturen, Secretary-General Emeritus of ISO (from: Friendship among equals
Quality management standards
The vast majority of ISO??™s International Standards were highly specific to a particular product, material, or process. However, during the 1980s, ISO entered into new areas of work, destined to have enormous impact on organizational practices and trade.
The history of industrialization has seen many standards dealing with quality issues.
A famous example concerns the military field: during the two world wars, a high percentage of bullets and bombs went off in the factories themselves in the course of manufacturing. In an effort to curb such causalities, the United Kingdom??™s ministry of defense appointed inspectors in the factories to supervise the production process.
In the USA, quality standards for military procurement were introduced at the end of the 1950s. During the 1960s, NASA developed its quality system requirements for suppliers and NATO accepted the AQAP (allied quality assurance procedures) specifications for the procurement of equipment.
In the 1970s, many major organizations (private and governmental) published their own quality management standards, which introduced the idea that confidence in a product could be gained from an approved quality management system and quality manuals. The Canadian CSA Z 299 series of standards were issued in the mid-1970s and the British standard BS 5750 was issued in 1979. In December 1979, the USA issued ANSI/ASQC Z-1.15, Generic Guidelines for quality systems.
Whilst the increase in international trade stimulated the development of internationally-recognized quality management standards, it was feared that a variety of different national standards would be a barrier to international trade.
The ISO technical committee (TC) 176, Quality management and quality assurance, was therefore established in 1979. The first standard issued by ISO/TC 176 was ISO 8402 (in 1986), which standardized quality management terminology. It was followed in 1987 by ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003, which provided the requirements for quality management systems operated by organizations with varying scopes of activity, from those including an R&D function, to those uniquely carrying out service and maintenance., These standards were completed by ISO 9004, providing guidance on quality management systems..
This accomplishment marked the beginning of a long journey – with the ISO 9000 family of standards set to become the most widely known standards ever.
* Management standards – understand the basics
* ISO 9000:2000 – business as usual…or a real challenge by David Hoyle and John Thompson (PDF, 804 kB)
Environmental management and other management standards
ISOs portfolio of generic management systems standards was extended beyond quality during the 1990s.
In particular, the establishment of the ISO technical committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental management, was the result of a sequence of activities, leading to a coordinated world response to common environmental challenges.
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit, was a major conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3-14 June 1992, attended by 110 heads of State and a total of 172 governments. Some 2 400 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended, with 17 000 people at the parallel NGO Forum who had so-called “consultative status”.
UNCED issued the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, a set of principles for achieving sustainable development, along with Agenda 21, a comprehensive policy guidance document, and a number of agreements – including the Framework Convention on Climate Change which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol.
Environmental concerns were not new in ISO. For example, ISO technical committees developing standards for air and water quality were established in 1971.
However, the focus on environmental standards intensified in the preparatory period leading up to the 1992 Earth Summit, in which ISO and its partner IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) became directly involved. UNCED wanted to ensure that business was fully engaged in the process. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) was established as a result of these efforts. This WBCSD approached the two international standards organizations to see what they were doing in the area of environmental management and to encourage them to become more active.
This request from WBCSD came at a time when work was already in progress within the ISO/IEC Presidents Advisory Board on Technical Trends and other instances of the two organizations. As a result, in August 1991, ISO and IEC formally established the Strategic Advisory Group on the Environment (SAGE) to study the situation and make recommendations.
The SAGE process had two major end products:
1. a series of ISO/IEC recommendations on environmental management, which were submitted to the UNCED preparatory conference in January 1992; and
2. in October 1992, a recommendation to create a new ISO technical committee to develop standards in the area of environmental management.
The recommendations to UNCED became a key element of the major documents that came out of that conference, Agenda 21, and the Rio Declaration.
The recommendation to ISO and IEC led to the creation in 1993 of ISO/TC 207, Environmental management, which held its inaugural plenary session in Toronto in June of 1993. Its first standard, ISO 14001, Environmental management systems — Specification with guidance for use was published in 1996 (ISO/TC 207 News article, PDF, 132 kB).
The tremendous impact of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 on organizational practices and on trade has stimulated the development of other ISO standards and deliverables that adapt the generic management system to specific sectors or aspects.
* Food safety
* Information security
* Supply chain security
* Medical devices
* Local government
The ISO Strategic Plan 2005-2010
Between 1994 and 2003, ISO experienced an explosive growth in membership. Total members increased by nearly 50% (from 100 to 147) and the number of full members increased by 20 units (from 76 to 96) – contributing to make ISO a truly global organization.
In the same period, ISOs reach to different categories of stakeholders also increased dramatically, through both the national standards bodies network and the extended cooperation with a large variety of international organizations, including governmental and non-governmental entities.
Among the measures taken to cope with these growth trends and to support the engagement of stakeholders beyond the purely technical level (i.e. to provide input on new directions to be followed by ISO and on the setting of priorities), ISO Council decided, in March 2003, on a new method and timetable for the updating of ISOs strategy and its implementation.
Between May and October 2003, ISO organized a broad consultation of the ISO members and stakeholders and of ISOs major international partners, to collect suggestions and expectations regarding ISOs strategy. The majority of ISO members in turn ? organized extended consultations with their national constituencies, to develop balanced national views.
A total of 41 consolidated national positions was received, with more than 40% of them coming from developing countries. Recommendations were also received from 13 international organizations..
The consultation revealed the existence among ISOs stakeholders of a converging view on the present and future role of ISO and on its increasing importance as one of the essential mechanisms to support a sustainable world economy. It was also reassuring to observe the level of consensus expressed by ISOs broad and composite range of stakeholders on many of the key objectives to be accomplished by the organization in the medium-long term.
The ISO Strategic Plan 2005-2010 – Standards for a sustainable world was developed by the ISO Council on the basis of the input from the consultation, and approved by the ISO General Assembly in Geneva, in September 2004.
The document proposes a global vision for ISO in 2010, seven key objectives for 2010 with expected results and actions for their achievement, and a description of ISOs added value.
* ISO Strategic plan 2005-2010 (PDF, 705 kB)
TTBS – The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards
The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) has responsibility for the quality of all goods and services in Trinidad and Tobago, except food, drugs and cosmetics.
The primary role of TTBS is to develop, promote and enforce standards to improve the quality and performance of goods produced or used in Trinidad and Tobago.? It also aims to ensure industrial efficiency and development, promote public and industrial welfare, health and safety and protect the environment.
The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) database of standards contains bibliographic information on over four hundred local standards both, voluntary and compulsory. They cover a number of areas such as electrical engineering, environment, quality, packaging, labelling, textile, footwear, garments, tourism, civil engineering, construction and occupational health and safety, to name a few. The records contain information on the Title, cost, scope and international relatedness where applicable. The standards are classified to the International Classification for Standards (ICS). TTBS is responsible for goods and services; the database presently does not contain information on food, drugs or cosmetics
—–The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) is a corporate body established on 8 July 1974 under the authority of the Standards Act 38 of 1972. This Act was repealed and replaced by Standards Act, No. 18 of 1997. TTBS operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. It has a statutory responsibility for the quality of goods and services, which are subject to trade in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, except food, drugs, and cosmetics. It also operates under the Metrology Act 18 of 2004. The primary role of the TTBS is to: develop, promote and enforce standards, in order to improve the quality and performance of goods produced or used in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; ensure industrial efficiency and development; promote public and industrial welfare, health and safety; and protect the environment.
The major objectives of TTBS are to provide: certification, laboratory services, laboratory accreditation, standards information, standards compliance and standards development. In addition, TTBS engages in instituting a national quality system and providing advisory and educational programmes in connection with standards. The vision of TTBS is ???to be recognized and respected as a center of excellence for Standardization, Metrology, Quality, Testing and Training??? and its mission is ???to improve the quality of life in Trinidad and Tobago by ensuring that goods and services produced and/or used in the country satisfy criteria for good performance as established by the Bureau.??? TTBS holds membership in the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and is a full Member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).