Original publish date – Mon, 13 Jul 2009 11:48:36 +0000, Keith

We spoke recently about QSE certificates that may be invalid after 1st August because no verification agency has been given an accreditation to renders services for code 800.
This resulted in a call from Christinah Leballo from SANAS who informed us that agencies do indeed have accreditation to render code 800 verification. She explained that SANAS did not want to complicate the certificate by adding in the words “Code 800 QSE”. Personally I don’t think that three extra words on a certificate is going to ruin the aesthetics of the certificate. (Look at an example). She did however state that if we considered it confusing that certificates do not have Code 800 QSE on it, they will address it by adding those words onto the certificate. We don’t consider it confusing at all. As far as we are concerned, if an agency does not have accreditation rights to render a specific service, they are not allowed to do so. SANAS is an accredited ISO accreditation agency. Their role is to accredit organisations to do specific tasks, e.g blood transfusion services, medical laboratories, calibration laboratories. The purpose of ISO is to ensure that procedures, methodologies and standards and complied with and followed and of course to remove confusion.

She also confirmed that no agency has been given accreditation to verify on any of the gazetted sector codes. This clearly means that any entity in the tourism, construction or forestry industry will not be able to produce a valid certificate and any certificate they do produce will NOT be able to be used to earn procurement points.

There is almost no chance that the dti will be able to produce an interpretive guide and verification manual for each of the sector codes by 1st August, and SANAS will not be able to accredit any agency by then. We would be surprised to see this happen before the end of the year.

The only alternative is for the minister to issue a notice allowing all entities in those industries to use the codes of good practice, or alternately granting an extension to companies in those industries from having to produce a valid scorecard.