What is Quality Infrastructure?
Quality Infrastructure is a system contributing to governmental policy objectives in areas including industrial development, trade competitiveness in global markets, efficient use of natural and human resources, food safety, health, etc. (UNIDO publication "Quality Infrastructure: Building trust for trade")
The International Network on Quality Infrastructure (INetQI, www.inetqi.net) is an initiative which seeks to bring together all specialised organisations that operate at an international level and that are active in promoting and implementing Quality Infrastructure activities as a tool for sustainable economic development. It adopted the official definition of “Quality Infrastructure” (QI) in June 2017:
“The system comprising the organizations (public and private) together with the policies, relevant legal and regulatory framework, and practices needed to support and enhance the quality, safety and environmental soundness of goods, services and processes."
Quality infrastructure is a critical element in promoting and sustaining economic development, as well as environmental and social well-being.
It relies on:
- Conformity assessment, and
- Market surveillance” (in regulated areas)
Note: “Quality Infrastructure” is also known as the “Standards and Conformance Infrastructure” and the “Technical Infrastructure".
Why is Quality Infrastructure Important?
Quality Infrastructure impacts our daily lives, such as the safety of our food, the accuracy of our alarm clocks, household gas or electricity meters, and safety measures in factories.
The same infrastructure also underpins the complex technologies and industrial processes that drive economic growth, productivity and innovation.
Everyday commercial transactions and international trade could not take place without the support of a metrology, standards, accreditation and conformity assessment infrastructure.
It provides the essential framework for industry and government to maintain domestic and foreign confidence in goods and services. It is also the key to enhancing global competitiveness, attracting investment, and fostering and supporting innovation.