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Frequently Asked Questions


(Management system certification).

What is a Management System? A Management System can be defined as the company's structure for managing its processes and activities that transform inputs of resources into a product or service which meets the company's objectives while satisfying the customer's quality requirements, complying with regulations, or meeting environmental and public health objectives.

There are a number of Management System standards that have been developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the international Standards body responsible for making international standards. Examples of Management System Standards include: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), ISO 9001:2008 Quality management System; ISO 22000:2005- Food Safety Management System; ISO 14001- Environmental management System; ISO 18001- Occupational Health and Safety Management System among others

What is Certification of a Management System

Certification is a process by which a third party gives written assurance that system meets requirements of a standard. A third party such as UNBS visits an organization assesses their management system and issues a certificate to show that the organization abides by the principles set out in the relevant Management System standard therefore following industry best practice. Thus, the certificate demonstrates to a buyer that the supplier complies with certain standards, which might be more convincing than if the supplier provided the assurance.

Why is certification important?

Businesses operating in the 21st century face many challenges among which are globalisation, profitability and competitiveness. Access to markets in a global market is now dictated by the ability to comply with international standards and industry best practices. World wide, consumers are increasingly becoming aware of their rights to expect and demand for quality and safe products. Therefore any business enterprise to remain competitive in a global market that is so sensitive on quality and safety of products will need to get certified.

Enterprises need to demonstrate that they are capable of consistently delivering products that meet customer requirements as well as regulatory requirements some times referred to as technical regulations. A Management System is a proven framework for managing and continually improving an organization's policies, procedures and processes thus providing confidence in the products produced. Once a management system is in place, it's important that the enterprise obtains certification by a 3rd party to demonstrate to customers, competitors and regulatory authorities that the organization is a leader in industry best practices.

Benefits of Management System Certification
Implementing and maintaining a Management System by an enterprise brings about a number of attributes:
  • Improved work performance by implementing a simple but comprehensive set of procedures that enable consistency of work practices
  • Reduction of costs, shorter cycle times through effective and efficient utilization of resources.
  • Increased revenue and market share obtained through customer loyalty or trust and repeat business , thus increased profits
  • Faster movement of goods across borders thus facilitation of trade both nationally and internationally
  • Flexibility and quick responses to changing market or customer needs and expectations.
UNBS Management System Certification

Uganda National Bureau of Standards is a statutory body, under the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry established by an Act of Parliament under, UNBS Act No. 1 of 1983. UNBS is mandated to co-ordinate matters of standardization, Quality Assurance, Metrology and TestingIn her role of promoting and improving the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in Uganda, UNBS has adopted a number of ISO Management System Standards as Ugandan Standards and now is embarking on Certification of Management Systems for enterprises. This scheme is provided for under the UNBS Certification Regulations, 1995, to include certification of the following Management Systems:
  1. Food Safety Management Systems in accordance to US-ISO 22000:2005
  2. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points System (HACCP) as perUS 130:1999
  3. Quality Management Systems as per US-ISO 9001:2000
  4. Environmental Management Systems as per ISO 14000
  5. Occupational Health and Safety Management System as per ISO 18001
Getting System certifiedDeveloping and implementing a Management System is a strategic management decision. An organisation will have strategically envisioned the benefits such a system brings to the business. Six simple steps to system certification.
  • Identify the Management System Standard relevant to your operations. This could be ISO 9001, ISO 22000 or ISO 14001 as appropriate
  • Obtain training for the technical personnel in the requirements of the standard and its implementation. This can be done through identifying the training schedule on the UNBS training calendar. Enterprises can also contact UNBS to offer tailor-made in-house training on any chosen standard.
  • After obtaining the training, the enterprise is required to develop the required documentation (quality manual)
  • Ensure everyone in the organisation is sensitized about the standard
  • Implement the requirements of the standard and perform internal audits to assess your adequacy for certification
  • Request for certification audit and registration from UNBS
Why UNBS Certification
Implementing and maintaining a Management System calls for commitment of resources by an enterprise. Engaging international external certification bodies involves flying in international consultants making the process extremely costly. One of the government's key strategic roles is the support of the Small, Medium and Micro-enterprises (SMME), who are often faced with financial constraints. The exorbitant costs associated with sourcing international consultants consequently denies SMME's the benefits of this scheme.

With a number of enterprises now seeking to maintain a competitive edge in a global market, the UNBS Management System Certification scheme will offer a three-fold advantage to local industry:
  • Locally available Certification services at competitive rates, making certification cheaper for both the large enterprises and SMMEs.
  • Partnering with industry to harness and develop local business potential through tailor-made training sessions that will guide the enterprises in understanding, developing and implementing relevant Management Systems.
  • Having a reputable Certification body available to ensure constant surveillance of performance to ensure continuous improvement of the implemented systems, thus improved value addition.
For more information on Management System Certification, please contact the Systems Certification Officer: Mr. Arinaitwe Gilbert,telephone: 0414-550590; 0773132339/0713132339. E-mail: gilbert.arinaitwe@unbs.go.ug