The University of Botswana has embarked on process of accrediting its laboratories at the Faculties of Science and Engineering and Technology (FET) as well as Okavango Research Institute (ORI). In preparation for this, the University is conducting a five-day workshop from January 23-27, 2023, on the requirements, implementation and internal auditing of ISO/IEC 17025 processes. Once accredited the university will have its laboratories recognized by the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Service (SADCA).
The ISO/ IEC 17025 is a quality management system and the main standard for testing and calibration which evaluates the technical competencies in lab testing and calibration. The workshop is attended by Lab technicians from the Faculty of Science, FET, ORI and University Management.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, the Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, expressed his delight at the initiative by members of the various faculties who were in attendance.
Professor Norris further emphasised that the workshop came at the right time when the university was going through a transition to become impactful in society as well as responsive to its own needs besides engendering a culture of excellence in its employees for quality service delivery.
“One of the benefits is that we will be fulfilling one of our functions, which is serving our community and also enhancing economic activity,” he added.
Mrs Wedzerai Makaya, who is the facilitator from the Central Veterinary Laboratory of Zimbabwe and also SADCAS representative, emphasised that the process for accreditation required teamwork and most importantly unwavering support from management. That, she said, would enable the accreditation process to take approximately 12 months to be completed.
Mrs Makaya further stated that an institution of higher learning such as UB could benefit immensely from having its labs accredited as they could be used to generate revenue for the university and the country as well as producing industry ready graduates. The benefits of the accreditation will give the new university strategic direction impetus.