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Jun 9, 2017

Construction, Accreditation and Standards

The Belize Bureau of Standards joined the rest of the world today to observe world accreditation day. This year, the focus is on delivering confidence in construction and build environment. This global initiative was established to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation – communicating the value of accreditation to those working in the sector, including operators, contractors, architects, designers, structural and civil engineers, as well as building owners. To commemorate this day, the Belize Bureau of Standards held a “taking a break to have a tool box talk” session. Private and public sector agencies in the construction industry made presentations on accreditation and how the use of standards and conformity in the construction sector is important, despite the fact that accreditation is not mandatory. Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards, Jose Trejo, explains.


Jose Trejo

Jose Trejo, Director, Belize Bureau of Standards

“The theme – it’s delivering confidence in the construction sector and the built environment, so this is important for us, because one, there is a lot of construction going on. The construction sector has been responsible for a lot of the growth that we have seen in our national economy and the question is, how safe is the environment in terms of which construction is taking place in terms of the safety and the health aspects and the environment. But also there is the issue of the testing capabilities in the country, as it relates to measurements. So, in the construction industry you have steel, cement, aggregates, all of these things. So, today’s topic is to speak on the issue of whether or not there is a competence at the national level to do testing and whether or not the instrumentation used in a laboratory, whether it is a public or a private laboratory have the technical competence at an international level that they are recognized to do this testing. In Belize right now there is no laboratory that is accredited to an international standard, but there is a positive outlook for us in the last three to five years there has been push for laboratories to become accredited. So, if I can draw to some of the experience that we have had, the BAHA which is the competent authority for food safety is actually working on becoming accredited to ISO 17025. What this means now is that Belize will have the technical competence at an international level to do testing in house; so that samples will not have to go abroad to be tested by an external party or an external lab that is accredited.”


Andrea Polanco

“What are some of the benefits of getting accredited?”


Jose Trejo

“Well, first and foremost. It is reliability. Your costumer or client would like to know that there is reliability coming out of any of those test and that requires a technical competency to do those tests. The instruments you use meet those requirements, so that is a benefit. Indeed accreditation is not a cheap endeavor because it is very costly to maintain accreditation, but we are at the national level making sure that we work closely with our regional partners to serve a greater need for accreditation in the country and through regional cooperation, trying to work with all our stakeholders to get them to a level to at least meet minimum requirements.”

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