Colombian Institute of Technical Standards and Certification Is a non-profit private Colombian organization that oversees the compliance of national and international standards.It is an open organization with members from the Colombian government, private sector and in general any individual who might be interested in the compliance of standards in Colombia. Icontec works closely with other international organizations for standardization such as ANSI and DIN. Icontec accredits organizations, companies and individuals that engage in the manufacturing or development of products and industrial processes. Icontec is a member of the International Organization for Standardization ISO and is an active partner in regional standards organizations such as COPANT and IEC. Icontec is present in different countries of the Americas and the Caribbean. Its headquarters are located in Bogota, Colombia.
Icontec was founded on May, 10 of 1963 under the leadership of Colombian engineer Javier Henao and 17 entrepreneurs who were seeking to create an organization dedicated to the creation of standards and the overseeing of existing ones that had not been implemented in Colombia.
Since then, the institute has grown as a national authority in the management of standards. A seal with the Icontec logo has been a common signature of quality and compliance of international standards in many products in the Colombian market and is often featured in TV ads.
By decree 767 of 1964 and decree 2416 of 1971,Icontec is the advisor for the Colombian government in the international trade sector and it is the one that oversees and seeks the improvement of the guidelines in the relationship Vendor-Costumer. Icontec's last major certification by the Colombian government was ratified in 1993 under decree 2269.
ICONTEC is the National Standards Body, and is an active member of the most important international and regional standards bodies. This allows the Institute to participate in the definition and development of regional and international standards in order to be in the vanguard of information and technology.
ICONTEC is a certification body having world coverage through IQNet, the International Certification Network, through which they offer certification services around the world, provided by 10.000 auditors qualified in all economic sectors.
ICONTEC, as the National Standardizations Body, coordinates the preparation of Technical Guides and Standards and other normative documents applicable in Colombia. To this purpose, there are approximately 250 standardization committees in which industry, consumers, academy and general interests participate, in order to establish the fundamental requirements related to quality, safety, security, health care and environment, for products, services, processes and systems.
Since 1991 Icontec works closely with different economic sectors as a certifier of process administration and it grants the certification of quality in Colombia.
ICONTEC, through services adapted to international requirements, provides support to diverse entrepreneurial sectors, this allowing new competitive advantages in the market.
The wide range of Certification Services allows companies to have access to different modalities through a single integral audit:
ISO 9001, Quality Management Certification
ISO 14001, Environmental Management Certification
ISO 13485 Medical devices - Management System Certification
NTCGP 1000 Certification
NCh 2728 Certification of Training
ISO 22000 certification
OHSAS 18001 certification
ISO 27001, Information Security Certification
Certification in Integral Responsibility
NCh 2728 Certification of Training Technical Bodies
Certification in HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point)
NCh 2909 Certification of SMEs
Certification in GMP (Good Manufacture Practices)
TS 16949 Certification for Automotive Sector
ICONTEC Quality Mark
Lot and Sample Certification
GAP - GlobalGAP
Quality Mark for Bottled Water
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) Inspection Center
Tourism Quality Certification: Hotels, Restaurants, Lodgings, Adventure Tourism and Tourist Guides
Colombian Environmental Mark
Certification of Industrial Installations:
CNG Filling Stations
Vehicle conversion to CNG-LPG.
Workshops for vehicle conversion to CNG
Workshop for refilling and maintenance of fire extinguishers
Gas appliances installers
Inspectors of gas appliances connection and performance
Inspectors of internal installations and polyethylene networks
Operators of water potabilization systems
Education and Development programs
Through its Education and Development Department, ICONTEC has designed and offers diverse training programs specially addressed to manufacture and service companies, and to other specific sectors which allow entrepreneurs and their personnel to acquire and apply management systems concepts and methods.
The Institute has programs in the topics of quality, environmental, occupational health and safety management systems, and training to auditors, leading to maintenance and improvement of quality systems. Specific programs for health care, education, hotels and tourism, financial, Good Agricultural Practices sectors, travel agencies, micro-businesses, Quality Management in Food Sector, Public Management, Integral Risk Administration in Companies, and an Administrative Program for Organizational Improvement, have already been designed and are currently offered.
In order to gain more coverage as to training in topics related to quality and environmental management systems, we have specialization degrees and diplomas in agreement with some universities.
ICONTEC and the Climate Change Challenge
Climate change is one of the main global environmental challenges faced by humankind. The global carbon market is a powerful instrument which have impulse organizations to make a real contribution to the mitigation of climate change and that constitute a unique business opportunity.
In this context, there is a need for organizations and developers of projects to demonstrate the accurate, transparent and complete accounting of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, reductions or removals. Attending to this new companies need, ICONTEC has designed and developed the technical infrastructure necessary to offer services related to climate change organizational initiatives.
The Institute's Climate Change Services:
- Clean Development Mechanism - CDM: The Clean Development Mechanism, created in the framework of the Kyoto protocol, allows that developing countries that do not have commitments of greenhouse gas reduction develop projects of reduction or capture of GHG emissions. These reductions can be certified and sold to those countries that have reduction commitments.
In order to obtain the certification of the reductions, it is required that the project has been validated and verified to demonstrate that reductions are reached in the declared periods
ICONTEC is the first Latin American entity accredited by the CDM Executive Board as a Designated Operational Entity for the validation and verification of projects in the following sectoral scopes:
1. Energy industries (renewable - / non-renewable sources)
2. Energy distribution
3. Energy demand
4. Manufacturing industries
5. Chemical industry
8. Mining/Mineral production
13. Waste handling and disposal
14. Afforestation and reforestation
- Voluntary Carbon Markets: Outside of the Kyoto protocol, some NGO and business leaders have the commitment to mitigate climate change and have created reduction programs increasing the opportunities in the carbon markets. ICONTEC can also help your organization to participate in some of these markets through the validation or verification of your projects.
- Green house gases inventories (reports): Called also as the organizational carbon foot print we can verified the organizational inventories of greenhouse gases GHG, when these have been developed according to the requirements of the International Standard ISO 14064-1.
Benefits of the Climate Change services provided by ICONTEC
Technical Competence: ICONTEC support its services in highly qualified professionals, specialized in the different technological sectors, who contribute their experience and knowledge for providing services adapted to the nature of each company.
ICONTEC's professionals have been trained and qualified in different countries and organizations, including the area of Climate Change Projects of the World Bank in USA.
Regional leadership: ICONTEC is an international organization with headquarters in Colombia and branches in South America and Central America. At regional level it is a leader, recognized organization with experience in certification of Environmental and Quality Management Systems.
Knowledge of the Latin-American context: Due to our experience and the geographical proximity, we deeply know the Latin American context, which allows us to offer a suitable service ruled by international parameters as defined by the Executive Board of CDM or ISO. ICONTEC has qualified and competent professionals, speaking the local language
International recognition of the climate change services of ICONTEC: ICONTEC is the first Latin American Operational Entity that received accreditation by the Executive Board of CDM.
Reasonable costs: ICONTEC represents a reliable, economical and accessible alternative for Latin American organizations.
Health care accreditation
Accreditation is a tool for continuous quality improvement, used by health care organizations to develop continuous and systematic internal self-evaluation and external evaluation which allow them to detect improvement opportunities and to reinforce strengths.
This accreditation contributes to optimize the provision of a service vital for the country's development, provided that institutions fulfill fundamental requirements for health care. This scheme promotes that hospitals, clinics and even insurers, meet quality levels higher than the minimum legal ones, guaranteeing a safe health care based on medical practice guidelines which use international evidence and at the same time respect the patients rights and dignity, providing clear information and humanized treatment.
This program is accredited by the International Society for Quality in Health Care, ISQua.
Calibration of Measurement Equipment
ICONTEC offers calibration of measurement equipment and instruments, in order to support industry development and satisfy the increasing demand in the field of metrology in the following areas:Dimensional metrology. Pressure. Mass and scales. Temperature.
Through the DAR/TGA, and ANAB, (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board) accreditations, the quality and environmental management certificates granted by ICONTEC are recognized by the 52 most important accreditation members in the world, who have signed the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) for achieving international acceptance of certificates and eliminating technical barriers to trade.
ICONTEC intends to contribute to the development of entrepreneurs in their objective of facing the FTA with quality and competitiveness. To that end, ICONTEC holds an accreditation granted by ANSI, the USA accreditation body for product certification. This means that ICONTEC Quality Mark will be recognized in the market of this country.
The Institute works at an international scale, with offices in Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, and representations in Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Republica Dominicana, in order to assure a total coverage in Central and South America.
Economy of Colombia
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article ICONTEC