National Quality Awards Programme Coordinator and Senior Standards Development Officer at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Cecelia Johnson Rowe.
The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) is inviting more micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the manufacturing, agriculture and service sectors to register for its National Quality Awards (NQA) programme.
Now in its 20th year, “the NQA is Jamaica’s first quality systems-based awards programme implemented to recognise and reward local companies that have demonstrated the application of standards and quality systems in both the production of goods and the delivery of service,” explained the Programme’s Coordinator and Senior Standards Development Officer at the BSJ, Cecelia Johnson Rowe.
Mrs. Johnson Rowe was speaking in an interview with JIS News on Wednesday, January 24.
Applications are now open for the programme and will close on March 31, 2024.
To participate in the programme, eligible companies/businesses may submit their completed applications online via the entity’s website at www.bsj.org.jm or by way of email to the NQA Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Programme Coordinator noted that printed applications are also accepted and may be submitted to the BSJ Head Office located at 6 Winchester Road, Kingston 10, or any of the regional offices located in Ocho Rios, Mandeville, Montego Bay and Savanna-la-Mar.
Detailing the eligibility criteria, Mrs. Johnson Rowe said that companies must have a valid Tax-Compliance Certificate and be registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica and the BSJ/National Compliance Regulatory Authority.
“Agriculture-based companies must provide proof of their Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) registration and filing of annual returns, General Consumption Tax (GCT) and all other statutory payments,” she added.
Once the registration deadline closes, all applications will be assessed by the BSJ, which will then schedule an onsite visit with each entity.
Companies are being reminded to ensure that they have on hand a copy of their standard operating procedures or quality manual/policy before the audit can commence.
Regarding companies within the agricultural sector, they must have a farm safety plan or a good agricultural best practices manual.
Following this procedure, the findings will be independently assessed and companies that are deemed eligible will be evaluated on five pillars.
These are Organisation Focus (involvement in community activities); Human Resource Focus; Process Management; Customer Focus, and Business Results, Mrs. Johnson Rowe told JIS News.
All shortlisted applicants will be recognised at an awards ceremony and banquet, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 16.
“All companies that are shortlisted will receive a free audit, certificate of participation and a copy of the audit report,” Mrs. Johnson Rowe said.
Speaking specifically to the awards categories, she shared that in addition to companies receiving sectional awards based on the five pillars, awards will also be presented to the highest-scoring business in each of the targeted sectors.
Awards for excellence in the agricultural sector will be presented to both small and large businesses.
On Thursday, February 8, the BSJ will host a webinar to provide further insight into the programme.
In the interim, persons may visit the BSJ website or call 876-303-0821 to get further information/assistance with registering for the programme.
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