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‘2012 a turning point,’ says NSAI CEO

NSAI sees positive growth despite difficult economic and operating conditions

Highlights 2012 across NSAI’s diverse activities:

  • NSAI maintained service and income levels from key services (standards, conformity assessment, and metrology) at €18.6m and reported an operating surplus of €0.3m
  • NSAI enhanced its services to SMEs including the launch of an SME Portal (200,000 small firms in Ireland employ more than 600,000 people)
  • NSAI survey found that 8 out of 10 CEOs reported benefits from the application of standards, including better access to international markets
  • NSAI’s Certification area returned to growth in 2012 with over 400 companies receiving certification.
  • NSAI metrology inspectors visited over 4,000 trading premises in 2012, testing 14,500 instruments.
  • NSAI prosecuted a Co-op for breaches of metrology legislation and ran a successful campaign targeting livestock marts
  • NSAI achieved accreditation for its Food Safety Systems Certification (FSSC) which is recognised under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).  This offers Irish food and drinks manufacturers greater scope to access international markets.
  • NSAI launched a standard to guide businesses moving to Cloud computing
  • NSAI contributed strongly to the Action Plan for Jobs delivering on over 90% of the measures set out for the Authority by Government
  • NSAI published a new Strategy Statement 2013 – 2015: resources will be focused on activities that optimise business competitiveness and supports for the infrastructure underpinning the creation of jobs, and develop the knowledge economy

Download [pdf] Annual Report 2012

Thursday, 19th September 2013: 

Despite difficult economic conditions, NSAI, the National Standards Authority of Ireland, maintained service and income levels from key services in 2012 at €18.6m and reported an operating surplus of €0.3m.  During recent years, NSAI has also managed to reduce staff numbers - from 205 in 2008 to 154 in 2012. A key trend in 2012 contributing to this positive performance was the growing number of SMEs engaging with standards, where previously standards tended to be adopted primarily by larger companies and by multinationals.

“It is one of the things I have found most encouraging in the last two years,” said Maurice Buckley, CEO, NSAI.  “More and more SMEs are seeing that without adopting some of the recognised standards for their sector, they are excluded from markets and opportunities, they are losing business, they are limiting growth – and potentially, risking the survival of their business.  Many multinationals, for example, will only trade with SMEs that have standards in place.  Standards help grow your business.  They help your company to live longer.  All of the evidence points to this conclusion.”

An NSAI survey of 351 Managing Directors and CEOs undertaken in 2012 reinforced this, with 4 out of 5 CEOs reporting benefits from the application of standards, including better access to international markets, as, in many instances, standards are now pre-requisites in tender situations.  7 out of 10 CEOs believed that, as a result of adopting standards, their businesses would be more likely to survive.

“Getting access to new markets is vital for your company – whether you’re an SME employing ten people or a larger company employing five hundred,” said Maurice Buckley. 

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Exports are at the centre of our plan for economic and employment recovery. It is essential, therefore, that the standards adopted by Irish companies are recognised and accepted globally.  NSAI provides Ireland, a small and open economy, with an infrastructure and internationally recognised certification that allows products and services to be traded and relied on nationally and globally.”

The trend of growing numbers of SMEs engaging with NSAI standards was reflected also in other parts of NSAI’s work.  In 2012, NSAI’s Certification area returned to growth, reversing the trends of previous years.  Over 400 companies received certification in 2012.  (NSAI has certified almost 4,000 companies in total across a wide range of sectors – food, technology, medical devices, pharma, medical devices, construction)

“I believe 2012 was a turning point,” Mr. Buckley said.  “Companies are now looking to re-build and expand and NSAI provides them with tools to help them stabilize and grow.”


Further Highlights 2012 and upcoming changes:

  • Mandatory CE marking for construction products came into effect in 2012, which will bring about seismic change in the construction products sector.
  • NSAI published over 1,600 standards in 2012, including two on the safety of window blinds in the home.
  • NSAI dealt with over 300 consumer queries and reports of incorrect measurement.
  • The Excellence Through People (Human Resource National Specification) became a part of the NSAI suite in 2012 – previously managed by FÁS.

For media queries please contact:
Patrick Bracken Tel: 01 807 3959