The Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) - established under the Companies Act of Jamaica as a public sector company, limited by guarantee - is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce. JANAAC was established in March 2007 as Jamaica's national accreditation body in order to provide accreditation services to conformity assessment bodies (CABs), such as laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies. As a company owned by the Government of Jamaica, JANAAC's activities are subject to the requirements of the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act, the Procurement Regulations, the Financial Administration and Audit Act and the Companies Act of Jamaica.
The main reason for establishing JANAAC was to facilitate trade between Jamaica and its trading partners by enabling Jamaica's conformity assessment system to meet international standards and the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade through the use of an objective and impartial accreditation service. JANAAC also provides training with regard to the general principles of understanding the relevant standards and attaining accreditation. JANAAC, however, does not provide consultancy services.
JANAAC officially began its operations in April 2008 when the first staff was employed. The agency currently offers internationally recognized accreditation to testing and medical laboratories and inspection bodies. JANAAC will shortly offer certification body accreditation. The establishment of JANAAC means that local laboratories, inspection bodies and eventually certification bodies seeking a competitive edge, no longer need to look overseas for an accreditation body, as this service is now available locally. It is envisaged that by conforming to the new international conformity assessment procedures established globally, eventually test results and conformity assessment certificates generated by Jamaica's accredited CABs will be accepted by our trading partners. The need for Jamaican goods to be detained in the ports of third country markets and retested, will thus be eliminated. The cost of accreditation through JANAAC is also significantly reduced when compared with other accreditation bodies.
JANAAC - as a part of the public sector - is funded by the Government of Jamaica. In addition to sums granted by the Government of Jamaica, JANAAC generates revenue by charging fees for accreditation and training services. These services are priced to recover the costs incurred in performing such services.
At present, accreditation is not compulsory in Jamaica. However, nationally and internationally, legislation is increasingly being developed that makes it mandatory to use accredited facilities.
JANAAC will ensure that at all times, and in all situations, all aspects of its organization and operations are so designed to safeguard the objectivity and impartiality of its activities. JANAAC will also ensure that immediate action is taken to address any aspect of its organization or operation, perceived by any stakeholder to be partial or discriminatory.
Treatment of Related Bodies
JANAAC has established a list of all related bodies, indicating their relationship to JANAAC. Each identified related body is analysed and a rating of their potential for conflict of interest is arrived at. The actions taken by JANAAC to mitigate against these potential conflict of interest, are also documented. The treatment of Related Bodies is described in the JANAAC document JANAAC/DOC/27 (Impartiality Policies and Programmes - Related Bodies Analysis).
Access to Services
JANAAC makes its services accessible to all CABs whose requests for accreditation fall within the scope of its activities, in accordance with its established policies and procedures. Access to such services is not conditional on the size or associations of the CAB and accreditation is not conditional on the number of CABs already accredited.
JANAAC maintains confidentiality of client's documents, organization and operations by requesting all personnel, which includes permanent employees, lead and technical assessors, experts, contractors and all others working on JANAAC's behalf, to sign a confidentiality agreement as outlined in JANAAC/DOC/07. This agreement requires that all categories of personnel, hitherto mentioned, accept obligation that all information relevant to applicants will not be revealed to third parties.
Participation in Regional and International Activities
JANAAC actively participates in the development of Inter American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) documents and uses these as required. Where necessary, JANAAC adapts or develops such documents using the competences in our Technical Advisory Committees as described in Section 7.2.10 of JANAACs Management Manual.
In addition, JANAAC is committed to provide personnel resources for carrying out peer evaluations at the regional and/or international level.