WHAT IS A STANDARDISATION
Folding format for technical drawings, transport of meat, composition of cement, low-voltage electrical installation, etc. ASN's day-to-day work is improved by a set of standards which set the technical specifications in terms of quality, safety or performance for all products, services or practices around us.
A true frame of reference, the standard facilitates compatibility and scalability, continuous improvement, in particular for the benefit of the consumer. This common language plays with geographical borders, it is a reliable and intangible reference solution whose legitimacy is guaranteed.
WHAT IS A STANDARD?
Standardization is an activity of general interest which aims to provide, in a consensual manner, reference documents relating to guidelines, rules, methods, technical or qualitative requirements relating to products, methods, services or practice. It aims to support economic development and innovation while taking into account the Sustainable Development Goals.
In accordance with ISO/IEC GUIDE 2, the standard is defined as: "Document established by consensus and approved by a recognized organization which provides, for common and repeated use, guidelines or characteristics, for activities or their results, guaranteeing a optimal level of order, in a given context". Any organization may or may not use and refer to it; this is why the standard is said to be voluntary.
The standard is the result of an open process aimed at the general interest, orchestrated by a duly authorized body (in Senegal the ASN) on behalf of a group of interested parties.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF STANDARDIZATION?
For the company:
Produce according to predefined and recognized plans and programs.
Enable operational efficiency.
Reduce production costs, improve productivity and processes.
Have technical references as a commercial argument and therefore strengthen the potential for competition.
For the consumer:
Facilitate comparison and choice.
Satisfy its needs and perform the expected functions of the product.
Benefit from guarantees of quality, regularity, safety and interchangeability.
Benefit from a better price / performance ratio.
For public authorities:
Simplify and speed up the work of regulators.
Support good regulatory practices.
Limit or even remove technical barriers to trade.
Improve the consumer's quality of life.
Increase the competitiveness of companies nationally and internationally.
Enable better implementation of public policies.
Facing unfair competition.
WHAT CAN WE STANDARDIZE?
The format of an A4 sheet, drinking water or mineral water, cereals, the occupational health and safety management system or the architecture of the Internet of Things... In our daily lives, almost anything can be subject to a voluntary standard. Perfection does not exist but by optimizing the characterization, quality and performance of a product or service, of a process, of a measurement and test method, of an organization system , the dissemination of a common language…, we are getting close. Everything that is standardized, is in a requirement of continuous improvement and progress at the service of all.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF STANDARDS?
We generally distinguish 4 categories of standards:
These standards define the rules in terms of terminology, acronyms, symbols, metrology.
These national, regional and international standards establish agreements concerning the characteristics of products or services, so that the consumer benefits (generally) from better guarantees of quality and safety.
Analysis and testing standards
Analysis and testing standards specify the requirements for testing a product or service.
Management or organization standards
These standards help organizations manage their broader business. For example, some management standards relate to quality, the environment or sustainable development. Others describe the best way to perform a specific task, such as project management.
DO STANDARDS PROMOTE INNOVATION?
Like patents, voluntary standards are one of the forms of knowledge codification. Upstream, they provide reference methods and results, forming a solid foundation and saving time in the innovation process. Downstream, they facilitate the dissemination of avant-garde ideas and cutting-edge techniques.
In other words, by providing rules of the game to the market, they create favorable conditions for the sharing and development of new products and services. They thus act as an accelerator of innovations, promoting their commercialization and this, in all economic fields.
In addition, participating in voluntary standardization allows you to stay informed and anticipate developments in a given sector or subject, and also to promote your ideas.
HOW ARE STANDARDS A TOOL AT THE SERVICE OF THE SENEGAL ECONOMY?
Standards contribute to “pulling up” the Senegalese economy. Indeed, they serve as reference tools to clarify and harmonize practices and define a level of quality, safety, compatibility, interoperability, lower environmental impact, products, services and practices. In this sense, they contribute to laying the foundations for the economy and society of tomorrow.
They also promote the adoption and dissemination of good practices, approved and recognized, allowing the various economic players to evolve in a context of serenity and performance. In addition, they make it possible to convey a common language, thus facilitating exchanges, both national and international.
Finally, standards offer unique and indispensable support to promote progress and innovation and promote Senegal's position at the regional and international level.
HOW IS STANDARDIZATION ORGANIZED IN SENEGAL AND AROUND THE WORLD?
The Senegalese standardization system is based on a network of voluntary actors from all sectors of activity and involved in standardization committees. Their role is to provide their expertise and knowledge of each subject in order to develop or revise the standards in a relevant manner, and to ensure the validity and proper construction of the standard.
At regional and international level, ASN defends Senegalese interests as a member of African (ECOWAS, AFSEC and ORAN) and international (ISO, IEC, CODEX and SMIIC) standardization bodies. Its influence is both technical and strategic, essential for Senegalese companies because 85% of the standards applied in Senegal are of international origin.