World Standards Day is observed every year on 14 October to celebrate the work of the experts around the world that contribute to the development and maintenance of voluntary technical publications, or standards.
In South Africa, the responsibility for the development and maintenance of South African National Standards (SANS) rests with the Standards Division of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).
The SABS maintains over 8 144 standards and manages approximately 200 Technical Committees. More than 1 700 participants are involved in various technical committees and comprise industry bodies, companies, academics, policy makers, regulators, consumer groups and other stakeholders.
“World Standards Day is an opportunity for the SABS to recognise the dedication and active participation of our technical experts in South Africa who are members of SABS technical committees and contribute to the critical work of developing national and international standards. It is also a day to appreciate the contribution of the staff in the Standards Division who provide the governance, project management, secretarial and support portfolios to enable an efficient ecosystem of developing standards. National standards provide specifications and requirements that improve the quality of goods and services, thereby contributing to the quality of life for South Africans and forming the basis for legislation and regulations. The theme for 2022 is a shared vision for a better world and encapsulates the potential of national standards to make the world a better place,” explains Dr Sadhvir Bissoon, SABS divisional head of standards.
Dr Bissoon oversees the Standards Approval Committee (SAC), which is the internal governance structure for the development and maintenance of South African National Standards.
The process of developing and maintaining national standards is guided by the SABS National Norm that was approved in accordance with procedures of the South African Bureau of Standards, aligned to Section 23 (1) of the Standards Act, 2008 (Act No. 8 of 2008. The SABS National Norm sets out the governance procedures for the development and maintenance of national standards.