The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has organised a four day capacity building programme for forty inspectors of the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission (FC) in international quality inspection management standard for the inspection of wood export products and timber.

UNIDO
The capacity building workshop is to equip the TIDD Inspectorate which is currently being supported by UNIDO through the Trade Capacity Building (TCB) Programme for Ghana to obtain an accreditation in ISO/IEC 17020:2012 and its operating processes in accordance with the ISO 17020 management system.

The international quality management standard, ISO/IEC 17020:2012 specifies requirements for the competence of bodies performing inspection and for the impartiality and consistency of their inspection activities.
The forty participants selected from the Forestry Commission regional offices across the country were taken trough all the requirement of the ISO/IEC 17020: 2012 standard including the documentation processes at the Forestry Commission Training School, Akyawkrom in Kumasi.

This international standard covers the activities of inspection bodies and the determination of their conformity with requirements and the subsequent reporting of results of these activities to clients and, when required, to authorities.

In today’s highly competitive international marketplace, the demand for national inspection bodies such as the TIDD to adopt scientific inspection systems which give confidence to wood inspection report in the national and international markets has become high.

TIDD through the Forestry Commission Act, 1999 (Act 571) provides inspection services to the timber industry. This is done by Grading and Inspection Department and is regulated under the Act.

The division is responsible for the inspection of logs, timber and other wood products in Ghana.

Mr. Ernest Boro, Bolga Area Manager of TIDD, a participants in an interview said the training was very academic but practical and so allowed a lot of opportunities to really understand the requirement and processes.

Mr. Collins Faakye, Timber Grading and Inspection Manager and Management Representative of the TIDD noted the enthusiasm of the inspectors during the training was because the training model allowed participants to have deeper understanding of the ISO 17020 management system.

Mr. Kwakye who is also the Deputy Technical Manager of the TIDD ISO/IEC 17020 accreditation team expressed gratitude to the TCB team and UNIDO for their continuous support over the years.

“The UNIDO training workshop has been a good source of information and guidance for us to ensure our inspectorate activities are in accordance with all trade-related standards,” he said.

UNIDO through the TCB Programme is supporting Ghana improve compliance with trade-related standards.

UNIDO’s primary objective is the promotion and acceleration of industrial development in developing countries and the promotion of international industrial cooperation.

UNIDO has since 2007 been implementing the trade capacity building programme funded by the Switzerland Government through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI).

The Ministry of Trade and Industry is the supporting government agency and the lead policy advisor to the government on trade, industrial and private sector development with responsibility for the formulation and implementation of policies for the promotion, growth and development of domestic and international trade, and industry.

This UNIDO/SWISS/MOTI collaboration therefore is geared towards improving technical and human capacity in the trade and export industry in Ghana.

The four days training started on Tuesday and ended on Friday.