Day 2 being an effective consumer representative

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Day 2 being an effective consumer representative

  1. 1. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) consumer education is self-preservation CONSUMER ISSUES IN STANDARDIZATION IN GHANA Being an Effective Consumer Representative Jean Lukaz MIH MTS ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 1
  2. 2. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) consumer education is self-preservation shomer@consint.org
  3. 3. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) consumer education is self-preservation Who is a Consumer Representative? • ISO COPOLCO has defined the term “consumer" to mean an individual member of the general public, purchasing or using goods, property or services, for private purposes. • However, there is no definition for “consumer representative ” at the international level. ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 3
  4. 4. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) consumer education is self-preservation Who is a Consumer Representative? • The SR working group defined a representative in the consumer stakeholder category as a representative of a “consumer organization ” which is either : • Definition 1): an independent not-for-profit organization advocating the interests of consumers before other organizations or governments, not involved in the advancement of commercial interests (although it may engage in trading activities related to the provision of consumer information and to promoting its own work), and not affiliated with any political party; or • Definition 2): an organization or agency that is active in consumer affairs (for example, specializing in one particular consumer issue such as standards, law or consumer protection). ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 4
  5. 5. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) consumer education is self-preservation Who is a Consumer Representative? • The SR definition specified that in terms of international participation, priority should be given to representatives of consumer organizations that meet definition 1). • However, if there is no organization that meets that definition, or if none of the consumer organizations decide to engage in the process, then a representative of an organization or agency which meets definition 2) may participate. • An example of this is a government department or agency handling consumer affairs and recognized by the public as such, or an independent body within an NSB Representing consumer interests. ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 5
  6. 6. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) Why get involved? consumer education is self-preservation • Standards need consumers for credibility and usability • International standards need to be seen to reflect the needs of all economies, regions and stakeholders • Traditional consumer issues such as environment, sustainability, CSR, and services are now being addressed by standards • Recognition of standards as a tool to provide consumer protection ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 6
  7. 7. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) Making a Difference consumer education is self-preservation • Consumer Representatives give feedback from the point of view of the end-user. • There are several ways that a consumer representative can influence the outcome of discussions, resulting in – better, – more relevant standards, and therefore – more desirable end products. ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 7
  8. 8. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) Making a Difference consumer education is self-preservation • help ensure that the standards produced are market-relevant, by identifying which standards or standards programmes are of priority interest to consumers, • provide data on acceptable levels of risks for products defined by standards, • give examples of how goods and services are actually used (or predictably misused) in practice, ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 8
  9. 9. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) Making a Difference consumer education is self-preservation • give advice on communication issues including labeling, product instructions and warnings, • suggest features that are needed by consumers with special needs such as children, older persons and people with disabilities, • propose solutions to address consumer requirements such as safety, performance, quality, interoperability or enhanced consumer protection. ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 9
  10. 10. What is your role ? THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) consumer education is self-preservation Identifying the consumer interests by translating the consumer rights into Standards-making policy aims that are practical and understandable e.g.  Safety and reducing risk  Design for all/ Accessibility  Common use and misuse  Improving product and service information for consumers Represent the national consumer view ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 10
  11. 11. Before the meetings THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) consumer education is self-preservation Prepare well ! Read the papers, especially the minutes Identify the consumer issues Decide on your aims, where you can compromise and where you can’t Collect supporting information/research/data where possible It can help to submit comments in writing in time for them to be considered ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 11
  12. 12. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) At the Meeting consumer education is self-preservation • Participate in discussions - be active and positive • Listen! • Know your priorities and where you could compromise • Suggest positive solutions and build a case for change • Identify and work with other consumers, or those with supporting views e.g. government, industry • Make the most of informal periods e.g. tea break ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 12
  13. 13. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) Being Effective consumer education is self-preservation • Make sure you comment in writing, especially at formal stages • Get to know the strict rules and procedures by which standards are developed • Be objective – try to avoid personal conflicts • Be professional .. You are no less of an expert than others, you are a consumer expert • Make use the resources available e.g. ISO/IEC guides (see ISO publications at www.iso.org) ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 13
  14. 14. THE CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP (GHANA) consumer education is self-preservation Thank You ISO-COPOLCO WORKSHOP, ACCRA 16th March, 2012 14

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