In Suriname, we provide extensive training in strengthening the food safety certification capacity to the SSB (Surinaams Standaarden Bureau – Surinamese Standards Bureau). With the input of the TMT, the SSB can narrow the current gap caused by a lack of expertise in auditing, certification product development, standards implementation and promotion. With this training, eventually the quality of products and services can be improved: important, as the main theme is food and nutrition security.
In this project at least 50% of the participants are women and 20% belong to a minority group, paying attention to inclusiveness.
The project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, a € 195 m Dutch global development programme, available in 53 developing countries and managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. Launched mid 2017, it aims to have provided tens of thousands with the possibility to change their future through education and training by mid 2022.
IMPROVING KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Currently, the SSB does not have all the means in the field of conformity assessment for certification. Although the Bureau has the legal authority to certify, it has never progressed beyond writing a certification programme. To be able to offer certification services for the implementation of standards, the SSB needs to strengthen in-house knowledge and skills in standardisation, certification implementation and auditing.
To support SSB in the successful launch of their certification programmes, this tailor-made training (TMT) aims to strengthen the institution in the aforementioned fields. The TMT consists of three training weeks, covering:
Organisational Management and Leadership
The first training week will focus on the overall capacity of a standards and certification organisation, covering the organisational capacity and roles. ISO standards for national and international markets will be addressed to serve as a basis for institution building. Participants will be supported in the development and implementation plans for standards implementation (e.g. auditing plans, action planning, client communication, accreditation body communication, etc.). With these skills, SSB can work with all ISO standards and will build capacity to train future employees and clients who need ISO certification.
Auditing and communication skills
The second training week will build capacity in the field of auditing. Conducting internal audits is an important instrument for realising improvement within the quality system. The participants will develop practical knowledge and skills about preparing, conducting, and reporting on internal and external audits. Questions about the how and why of internal audits are explained in a practical way and will be practiced based on role-plays. This training especially focuses on capacity building for auditors and lead-auditors (oversight) and takes a Training of Trainers (ToT) approach. This is to provide SSB with the capacity to carry out internal audits for quality management and food safety systems and will support them in training new auditors.
Product service development
The third training week will support SSB in developing training materials for their clients and future auditors. This supports the ToT approach by enabling SSB to understand the process of knowledge and skills communication applied in the translation from standards (technical language) to clients and consumers (basic language). Furthermore, SSB will be supported in developing certification and training services to guarantee future financial resources for their operations.
As the TMT focuses on certification standards implementation, the main participants will be the conformity assessment and compliance officers of SSB.
Because the SSB works closely with several national institutions, staff from their partners will also be invited for the training weeks. Among these participants are internal market inspectors from the Surinamese Ministry of Economic Affairs, district commissioners from the Surinamese Ministry of Regional Development and inspectors from the Surinamese Public Health Bureau.
The SSB has the legal task of producing standards as well as implementing certification programmes. The Bureau aims to create an adequate and sound standards infrastructure, stimulate economic activities, protect the environment, human safety and health, and protect plant and animal life and health, through developing, adopting, maintaining and promoting the application and use of standards and technical regulations.
GOALS FOR SSB
With the standards that have been developed and the certification programme that is currently under development, the SSB aims to go a step further. The SSB wants to build in-house expertise so that they can offer the various companies, especially small and starting entrepreneurs, the necessary training to enable them to easily complete the certification process.
The ultimate goal is to further strengthen the various sectors in the theoretical and technical field of safe production of their products and guarantee that a certain degree of quality is linked to the various products and services delivered by the companies.
In this project, we partner with Capricorn Projekt BV (Ms Jenna Wijngaarde). In Suriname, Capricorn Projekt is intensively involved in Agricultural Sector Plan (ASP)-related consultancy work.
April 2021 – March 2022