Inmetro / Quality /

The 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.