main objective of the Quality Department of Inmetro is to provide
companies of the productive sector, the regulating bodies and the
consumers of Conformity Assessment programs, the rules and technical
regulations, aiming to seek the increase of competitiveness, fair
competition and the protection and safety of the ordinary citizen
and of the environment. With such purpose, the Quality Department
operates in four basic activities:
The first one deals with the deep knowledge of the environment in
which Inmetro is inserted, through the constant monitoring of different
forums - national, regional or international - that are considered
strategic for the affairs of the Department,
aiming to anticipate the demands and expectations of its clients,
and to give focus to the Conformity Assessment programs.
The study, which calls for the development and implantation of Conformity
Assessment programs, is considered the next step for meeting the
expectations of the clients of such tool and its different mechanisms:
Certification, Declaration of Conformity by the supplier, Labeling,
Testing and Inspection.
In its effort to guide, coordinate and follow such operation, the
Quality Department elaborates the Brazilian Program for Conformity
Assessment, which contemplates two levels of performance - the strategic
and the tactical-operational. On the tactical-operational level,
one can mention the elaboration of the Quadrennial Plan of Action,
with the participation of several segments of society. The Plan,
although set to last four years, is revised at least once a year.
Based on demands previously identified, a study on technical viability
is carried out, through the use of a specially-developed methodology,
taking into account technical, social, legal and economic-financial
factors, with the objective of defining the viability of the program,
its infrastructure (metrological standards, standards and regulations,
plus accreditation bodies and laboratories) and the mechanism for
Conformity Assessment, due mainly to the level of risk offered by
the product or service.
Currently, the Conformity Assessment programs are not growing only
in terms of quantity, but mostly in the complexity deriving from
technical barriers imposed by developed countries on goods produced
in Brazil. The Forest Handling and the Integrated Production of
Fruits are typical examples of this new generation of programs.
After launching the programs, the Quality Department carries out
throughout Brazil the task of closely following in the market the
products whose conformity was compulsorily assessed by two main
tools: inspection, based on checking information included on the
label of the package, andmarket surveillance, whose objective is
to assess -- through the collection of samples and laboratory testing
- whether the goods available to the consumer sustain the basic
characteristics in which they were assessed.
Another activity developed by the Quality Department is to educate
the ordinary citizen aiming to raise the critical sense of the Brazilian
consumer, turning him, through information, into someone who induces
the quality-enhancing process of the product found in the market,
contributing to the increase of the competitiveness of the Brazilian
industry, thus, to access to international markets.