The Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services (SADCAS) is a multi-economy accreditation body established in terms of Article 15 B of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Annex to the SADC Protocol on Trade with the primary purpose of ensuring that conformity assessment service providers (calibration/testing/medical laboratories, certification and inspection bodies) operating in those SADC Member States which do not have national accreditation bodies are subject to an oversight by an authoritative body. Within the SADC region only South Africa and Mauritius have national accreditation bodies. The remaining 13 countries namely: Angola; Botswana; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Lesotho; Madagascar; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Seychelles; Swaziland; Tanzania; Zambia; and Zimbabwe do not have national accreditation bodies hence serviced by SADCAS. By assuring technical competence through accreditation, SADCAS plays a key role towards the achievement of SADC goals in trade facilitation and in the protection of health, safety and the environment.
SADCAS was registered in 2005 as a not for profit company limited by guarantee under the Botswana Companies Act, 2003 (Act No. 32 of 2004). SADCAS was approved by the SADC Council of Ministers in August 2007 as a Subsidiarity Institution of SADC. The relationship between SADCAS and SADC is for- malized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on General Cooperation. SADCAS Headquar- ters are situated at Gaborone, Botswana.
SADCAS is composed of three functional units. The Technical unit is responsible for the overall management of the accreditation process. The Corporate Services unit provides support services to internal and external business interests and is responsible for Information Communication Technology (ICT), marketing and public relations, business development and administration of training services. The Finance and Administration unit is responsible for financial management, human resources management and general administration of the company.
In order to achieve its mandate and in line with international best practice, accreditation assessments are undertaken, on behalf of SADCAS, by a pool of registered Assessors who make recommendations for accreditation decision by the SADCAS Accreditation Approvals Committee (AAC). Advisory Committees (AC) advise SADCAS on technical matters.
National Accreditation Focal Points (NAFPs) established in SADC Member States using the services of SADCAS serve as the administrative link between SADCAS and clients/potential clients in Member States and are mainly responsible for promoting accreditation and marketing SADCAS service offering in their respective countries. SADCAS is a lean organization staffed by a small group of highly qualified and experienced people.