A standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose (ISO.org). Standard are an agreed way of doing things. They help organizations to improve their performance, be more sustainable and help them reduce their risk. They are also a set of tools with the potential to help ambitious organizations perform better and compete more strongly.
The Gambia Standards Bureau is mandated by the TGSB Act 2010 to develop and publish national standards for all sectors of the country’s economy. These standards are produced by stakeholders in a process conducted in an open and transparent manner and based on consensus.
These stakeholders generally are:
- Regulators and Government Institutions
- Industry/Private Sector
- Consumer Organizations
- NGOs and Associations
- Educational and Research Institutions
The Gambia Standards Bureau adopts as far as possible international standards wherever they exist as required by the WTO Code of good practice. The adoption of international standards is based on the ISO/IEC Guide 21-1: 2005 : Regional or national adoption of International Standards and other International Deliverables – Part 1: Adoption of International Standards.
The procedure for developing Gambian standards comprises the following 4 activities:
- Initiation of the project;
- Justification of the project and assignment of priorities;
- Development of the standards;
- Approval of the Standards by the TGSB Board.
The steps involve in developing a national standard are:
- Request for the development of a new work item (Standard) in a particular subject area
- Consideration of request and approval
- Request referred to the relevant Technical Committee
- Provision of a working draft for review by sub-committee/working group
- Consideration of working draft by Sub-Committee (SC) Members
- Consideration of Sub-committee draft document by Technical Committee (TC) Members
- Draft document circulated for Public commenting for a period of 60 days
- Final Technical Committee (TC) meeting to consider comments received from Stakeholders
- Editing and publishing of document
- Gazzeting of the standard in the official government gazzete.