The Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB), the national accreditation authority of Sri Lanka, together with the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), hosted a two-day awareness workshop on ‘The Role of Accredited Personnel Certification in Capacity Building, Job Creation, and Economic Development’ on 13 and 14 August at the JAIC Hilton in Colombo. Joined by more than 160 participants, it marked the first-ever event in Sri Lanka on standards related to personnel certification.
These awareness workshops were followed by a five-day assessor training from 15 to 17 August, with further sessions scheduled on 28 and 29 August at the SLAB Auditorium.
Technical assistance provided by UNIDO takes place within the framework of the EU – Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance project, funded by the European Union.
Dr. Vijay Krishna, who was the designated technical lead for these events, is the leading expert for ISO/IEC 17024, the specific standard used for personnel certification programs.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Credentialing Programs Senior Director, and Pacific Accreditation Cooperation ISO/IEC 17024 Working Group Chair Dr. Krishna regularly conducts training sessions globally on establishing and implementing personnel certification programs. Personnel certification is crucial for the acceptability of qualified professionals in an interconnected world. Certified personnel are significantly more likely to obtain the confidence of regulators to monitor the compliance of regulatory practices in day-to-day activities of different trades. With the implementation of this standard, consumer interests are protected and the public can be assured that the capabilities and competence of certified persons providing services adhere to a global benchmark that is consistent, comparable and reliable across national borders. Among the specialties that require certified personnel are inspectors and auditors for food safety and quality, such as for non-destructive testing, compliance managers and trainers, and cinnamon peelers and processors, all of whom are direct beneficiaries of technical assistance provided by UNIDO.
These awareness workshops and training sessions are designed to equip regulators, conformity assessment bodies, training institutes, and other relevant stakeholders to conduct well-planned and structured evaluations that ensure impartiality of operations, which ultimately contributes to the strengthening of Sri Lanka’s national quality infrastructure.