SON gets international accreditation for management systems certification

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By Abba-Eku Onyeka

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has achieved another milestone by having attained international accreditation for its management systems certification (MSC) services to ISO/IEC 17021: Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems. This brings the organisation at par with its counterparts in Europe, America, Asia and some African countries.

A statement from the office of the Director General (DG), Osita Aboloma signed by ‘Bola Fashina disclosed that the accreditation conferred by the National Accreditation Board (NABCB) of India was a conformity assessment program that validates the SON-MSC, confirms its competence, integrity and impartiality as a service provider, as well as confer global recognition on its services.

NABCB according to the statement has been offering accreditation services for conformity assessment bodies (CABs) for over a decade, based on the principles of impartiality, confidentiality, independence, transparency and credibility as well as objectivity. The scope of the accreditation, which is renewable periodically according to the statement, covers ISO Quality Management System (QMS); Environmental Management System (EMS); Food Safety Management System (FSMS) and Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) Standards certification services. The SON-MSC, the statement continues, undertakes third party certification services to organisations in the public and private sectors that have established, implemented and maintained a management system that conforms to the requirements of the applicable international standard. It ensures that the personnel performing work related to the certification including auditors and teams, for making certification decisions are competent and experienced.

Aboloma however enumerated benefits accruable from the international accreditation of the SON-MSC as including; Ø Guarantee of professional approach that ensures that services offered meet clients’ require-ments; Ø Increased business opportunities for clients in view of the global recognition; Ø Useful feedback to clients with the help of knowledge transfer since accredited certification bodies can be a good source of impartial advice; and Ø Increased and smooth access to overseas markets for companies using accredited certification. He stated that the achievement was in furtherance of the SON mandate in Act No. 14 of 2015 to undertake certification of systems to international management systems standards and the organisation’s quest for continual improvement in its service offerings.

The SON-MSC certification services, he said commenced since 1994 and had certified over 300 private sector companies and some public sector institutions. The public sector organisations include the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC); Research & Development Department of the NNPC and the Federal Institute of Medical Research (FIMR), Yaba, Lagos with visible benefits in higher productivity, efficiency and responsiveness, the statement concluded.

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