Standards

About Standards & Conformity Assessment

1.

Introduction to Standard

  A standard is a document approved by a recognised body (e.g. Department of Standards Malaysia for Malaysian Standards (MS)) that provides for:
  • common and repeated use,
  • rules,
  • guidelines, or characteristics for products or related processes
  • production methods
Standards may contain information on terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labeling requirements. Standards can be very specific to a particular type of product or processes or general such as management practices.
  A) Types and level of Standards
    National Standards are standards developed by each country. Almost every nation in the world has their own standards body which is tasked to develop their own national standards. Malaysian Standard (MS) is developed by Standards Malaysia in accordance with the Standards of Malaysia Act 1996 (Act 549). Purchase MS

Regional Standards are standards developed by specific geographic region such as European Union. Standards developed by The European Committee for Standardsation (CEN), The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standard (CENELEC) and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) are recognised as European Standards (EN).
  1. International
    International Standards which are developed by internationalorganisation such as ISO, IEC, ITU and CAC. The most popular ISO standard is ISO 9001 which sets out the requirements for quality management systems.
  2. Regional
  3. National
  4. Consortia/Industry
    Industry standards are procedural and technical rules generally followed by most members of an industry. Widely used industry standards, among others are those developed by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and American Petroleum Institute (API).
  5. Company
  6. Company
  B) How does standards help business
    Standards help business by:Quality logo

1. Improving quality, performance and reliability of product and services
  • Standards provide clear guidelines and instructions to ensure product or services satisfy customers' or stakeholder's requirements that will results in satisfied customer, repeat orders thereby making businesses more competitive and successful.
  • Standards provide agreed reference to the stakeholders on levels of performance and reliability expected for the products and services thereby providing businesses with the right guidance for decision making.

Customers

2. Providing clear communication with suppliers and customers
  • Standards provide precise and widely-accepted descriptions of components, products and services, making it possible for every link in the supply chain to share a common understanding of the exact requirements that need to be fulfilled.
  • References to specific standards in product catalogues, calls for tender, supply contracts and purchase agreements make sure that the products and/or services businesses provide will correspond to customers' expectations.

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3. Facilitating access to customers around the world
Standards provide businesses with reference imposed by the importing countries to access foreign markets. By complying with relevant standards, businesses have the competitive edge to enter international market.

 

4. Increasing customer confidence and positive perception on businesses

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  • By complying with standards, businesses demonstrate commitment towards providing quality product and services thus giving assurance and confidence to customer. Customer's confidence will provide businesses with long term support.
  • Adopting to standards is also a way of showing to the world that businesses are committed to excellence and continual improvement which include quality of your products and/or services, health and safety, management processes and environmental aspects. This will give positive perception on the way businesses are run thus will increase customer's loyalty and attract new prospects.
5. Assisting to reduce costs, waste and increase efficiency
Management systems standards such as Quality Management Systems (QMS), Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and Energy Management Systems (EnMS) provide framework that will assist businesses to focus on customer requirements, environmental management, energy savings, reduce non-conformance of product and services, rework and increase efficiency through systematic process based approach. This will help businesses to be cost effective, efficient and productive. This will result in increased profitability.

6. Providing privileged access to the latest technology and state-of-the-art solutions
International, regional and national standards are developed by experts who are key players in their industries, who share their knowledge and expertise in a particular field. These standards are also reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they take account of the latest scientific, technological, regulatory and market developments. By referring to the current versions of relevant standards, businesses can benefit from having access to the best available knowledge and state-of-the-art solutions.

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7. Complying with relevant legislation
Standards help businesses to ensure that their products and services fulfil the requirements of relevant legislation; for example compliance to MS ISO 14001 for Environmental Management Systems will assist businesses to comply with the requirements in Environmental Quality Act 1974 and its relevant regulations. Similarly for OHSAS 18001 which is widely used for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, while MS 1722 is a Malaysian Standard on Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems that can be used to demonstrate businesses commitment to safeguard the welfare of employees and others from workplace injuries and illnesses, as well as meeting OSH legal requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994.

8. Providing better health and safety of your workers and consumers
Applying the relevant standards can fulfil businesses' responsibilities towards your employees and customers; help to protect the health and safety of employees customers, general public and the natural environment.

9. Increasing compatibility and interoperability
Interoperability is vital for industries. Standards is a useful tool for ensuring that different products and components are mutually compatible and will function properly when connected together. This will assist businesses to make sure that all the products and services provided are compatible with each other, and that they will also work with products and services offered by other companies and organisations. This is the important aspect of standards that support businesses.
  C) Popular Standard
   
  • MS ISO 9001: 2008 –Quality Management Systems
  • MS ISO 14001:2004 – Environmental Management Systems
  • MS 1722:2011 & OHSAS 18001:2007 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)
  • MS ISO 22000: 2012 - Food safety management systems- Requirements for any organisation in the food chain
  • MS ISO/IEC 27001: 2007 - Information Security Management Systems
  • MS ISO 50001:2011 – Energy Management Systems
  • MS 1500:2009 - Halal Food
  • MS ISO 1900:2005 – Quality Management Systems –Requirements from Islamic Perspectives
  • MS 2424:2012- Halal Pharmaceuticals-General Guidelines
  • MS 2200-1:2008-Islamic Consumer Goods Part 1
  • MS 2200-2: 2013 – Islamic Consumer Goods Part 2

2.

Introduction to conformity assessment

  A) Fundamental of conformity assessment
    Conformance and conformity assessment are mechanisms to determine if products and services do indeed conform to the relevant established standards.Hence, an internationally aligned standards and conformance infrastructure is an essential foundation for an effectively functioning economy in today's global marketplace.
  B) Benefit of conformity assessment
    Without standards and conformance, ordinary everyday tasks would be difficult or even dangerous to carry out. Equipment safety standards provide protection at work and at play. At home, conformance ensure electrical appliances connected to the grid are safe to operate. Conformance also provide confidence that the energy ratings on refrigerators and air-conditioners are meaningful. Audio systems, television sets and DVD players, mobile telecommunications and WiFi all comply with standards to make them compatible with other systems. Mobile videos and music, online education, telemedicine, e-banking and satellite navigation systems for cars and aircraft all require a standards and conformance infrastructure to ensure they work as expected.Conformance describe the minimum set of characteristics a product or service must demonstrate to show the product or service can do what it is supposed to do. Without conformance, products may not be safe, lack interoperability, be inefficient or simply not work at all. Services similarly may not be delivered consistently and reliably. Conformity assessment provides :
  1. Confidence that products requirements are met
  2. Benefits the user as they can make better purchase decisions
  3. Benefits the supplier as products may more easily gain market
  4. acceptance
  5. Helps level the industry playing field & encourages competition
  6. WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement recognises "the important contribution that…conformity assessment schemes can make…by improving efficiency of production and facilitating the conduct of international trade"
  7. Provides governments and regulators with best practices