Colombian Institute of Technical Standards and Certification
Colombian Institute of Technical Standards and Certification (Spanish: Instituto Colombiano de Normas Técnicas y Certificación) 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.
|Motto||La calidad, nuestro estilo de vida|
|Formation||May 10, 1963|
|Purpose||Standards and International trade|
|Colombia, South America, Central America and the Caribbean|
|Private and official persons|
|Spanish - English|
|Affiliations||International Organization for Standardization|
Icontec was founded on May 10, 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-customer. 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 2003 Icontec has worked closely with different economic sectors as a certifier of process administration and it grants the certification of quality in Colombia.
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.
ICONTEC and the Climate Change Challenge
ICONTEC has designed and developed the technical infrastructure necessary to offer services related to climate change organizational initiatives.
The Institute's Climate Change Services:
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), 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:
- Energy industries (renewable / non-renewable sources)
- Energy distribution
- Energy demand
- Manufacturing industries
- Chemical industry
- Mining/mineral production
- Waste handling and disposal
- Afforestation and reforestation
Health care accreditation
This program is not 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, and volumetry.
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.
The Institute works at and international scale, with offices in Ecuador, Perú, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, and representations in the Panamá, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and República Dominicana, in order to assure a total coverage in Central and South America.