Funday Times - Our Heritage

Maintaining the highest standards
Gaveshaka discusses an institution set up 44 years ago this week

The quality of a product made in Sri Lanka is judged by the SLS mark – a product certification issued by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) which is the national standards body of the
country. Popularly known as the 'SLS Mark Scheme,' it gives a third party guarantee on quality of a
product. The scheme enables the SLSI to grant permits to local as well as overseas manufacturers producing goods conforming to Sri Lanka Standards, to mark the 'SLS' mark on their products.

SLSI was earlier known as the Bureau of Ceylon Standards and was set up on November 12, 1964 under the Bureau of Ceylon Standards Act No. 38 of 1964. The name was changed in 1984, when a new Act was passed in Parliament. The Institution now functions under the Ministry of Advanced Technology and National Enterprise Development and is governed by a Council appointed by the Minister.

SLSI is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which is based in Geneva. As members of the ISO national standards bodies exchange on reciprocal basis, copies of their
national standards and is responsible for disseminating information on standards, technical regulations and standards related activities to the community at national level. Thus the SLSI has the authority to issue ISO certificates to organisations which apply for certification.

It is a process where certain criteria have to be met over a period of time. Once the ISO is obtained, there will be regular checks whether the same standards are being maintained.

The Product Certification Scheme is essentially voluntary. However, certification of 20 products locally
manufactured or produced have been mandated through the Directions issued by the Commissioner of Internal Trade under the Consumer Protection Act No. 1 of 1979.

The Certification Mark on a commodity or product signifies that the commodity or product is consistently manufactured in accordance with the relevant Sri Lanka Standard Specification and could be purchased with a reasonable assurance of quality. Compliance with the requirements of the specification is assured through regular monitoring of the quality assurance system and audits carried out by qualified Auditors of the Institution.

SLS mark is a major marketing tool for the promotion of sales. It differentiates products having the SLS mark from other products. It enhances competitiveness and is a definite advantage over manufacturing
establishments who do not have the mark. It reduces customer complaints and helps to increase market share . The SLS mark improves the company image, thereby raising the morale of workforce. That in turn leads to an improvement of productivity.The Institution has a scheme of presenting Quality Awards.

The Award has six eligibility categories:Manufacturing/ Service/ Education/Health;

Large (More than 250 full-time employees); Medium (50 – 250) & Small (Below 50). The Award may be given in each category each year. Award recipients may publicize and advertise their Awards. In addition to publicizing the receipt of the Award, recipients are expected to share information about their
successful quality strategies with other Sri Lankan organizations.

A Quality Week is held every year during which most organizations arrange talks, workshops and
competitions. The Institution appoints Technical Committees to advice and guide in its
activities, with the aim of gathering all possible expertise in the best possible way to maximize benefits to the national economy from these Standardization activities.

In the formulation of National Standard, the policy of the Sri Lanka Standards Institution is to be in line with the International Standards and practices as far as practicable. To this effect International Standards are adopted, as Sri Lanka Standards, wherever feasible.

In the selection of Standards formulation projects priority is given to standards that facilitate internal and external trade and to enhance the international competitiveness of Sri Lankan products with the prime objective of safeguarding the interest of the consumer. There are now over 1250 Sri Lanka Standards
relating to products, commodities, materials, processes & practices. Many have been revised to take care of the developments in the new materials, processes and technologies.

The Laboratory Service Division also offers product-testing services to the Industry, Trade & Commerce. These tests are carried out in accordance with Company, National or International standards. In addition it offers certain technical services such as establishment of laboratories and technical training for laboratory personnel.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
Other Funday Articles
The supremacy of the sea - Mahavamsa
Maintaining the highest standards - Our Heritage
Frankenstein - A Poem for the week
A Family of Crows
Barack Obama wins the Presidency!


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2008 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution