What are International Standards?

International standards are guidelines developed by international standards organisations, for the purpose of overcoming technical barriers in international trade that may be caused by differences among technical regulations and standards developed independently by each country, organisation or company. These standards are designed to ensure companies meet the minimum requirements to become an integral part of any industry.

Why should companies adopt and get certified for International Standards?

Companies should get certified with standards as they can help:

  • To increase customer confidence in the quality and safety of company's products and services.
  • To fulfill requirements, such as those of regulations, buyers or tenders.
  • To gain competitive advantage and recognition in international markets.

How can companies prepare themselves before pursuing certification for International Standards?

The initial steps to adopting standards in your company are to:

  • Define your objectives for implementing the standard.
  • Identify key processes and systems as laid out in the standard that will help you achieve your objectives.
  • Obtain buy-in from top management and employees in committing to the initiative.
  • Establish resources required, e.g. personnel, time, infrastructure, finance or grants.

After the initial steps, companies must be committed to develop your documentation and system (wherein engaging a consultant can be essential), and then undergo an audit before they can be successfully certified.

What is the Standards Consultancy Program?

The Standards Consultancy Program is an assistance program by DARe introduced in September 2018 to enable and encourage Brunei businesses to adopt internationally recognized standards in order to improve the quality and consistency of products/services while building a reputation for premium products/services. Companies successfully selected for this program will receive training and consultancy services from a DARe-appointed third-party consultant, who will work with the companies to prepare and go through certification.

What is the structure of this program?

This program runs in batches, with participants of each batch limited to a selected number of companies. Different batches of this program may also focus on different types of standards and industries.

To find out when the next batch will be launched, do stay updated by following our Instagram at @darussalamenterprise, or by subscribing to our weekly newsletter through this website’s home page. You may also email the Market Access team at market.access@dare.gov.bn to notify us of your interest to receive news about the next batch.

What is the objective of the Standards Consultancy Program?

The main objective of this program is to enable and encourage companies to adopt International Standards, which is designed to drive business growth by developing capabilities, improve the business’ processes, improve quality and consistency, increase competitiveness and gain access to new markets.

As getting certified for standards can be costly, this program enables companies by providing participants with consultancy services to help develop their documentation and system; however to ensure commitment, companies are expected to bear the cost of the subsequent audit and certification themselves.

Is there a fee to participate in this program?

The cost for the training and consultancy services (as per the agreed scope of work) by our third-party consultant will be borne by DARe, either fully or partially, subject to meeting our requirements. Selected companies do not have to reimburse the payment except if certain agreed conditions are not met, such as, but not limited to:

  • failure to implement the agreed milestones/deliverables
  • failure to fulfil qualification criteria upon selection
The cost of the subsequent audit and certification will not be covered in this program. However, participating companies will have the opportunity to get access to finance through other DARe initiatives/assistance (subject to meeting requirements).

Why should your company join this program?

Other than receiving subsidized training and consultancy services from an experienced consultant to help your company in getting certified, companies will also have the opportunity to receive additional assistance from DARe, including:

  • priority access to finance (subject to meeting requirements).
  • assistance in getting information and introduction to potential buyers/distributors of their target markets.
  • priority for participation in:
    • relevant international expos and trade missions according to their target markets.
    • relevant business matching sessions.
    • any potential FDI-SME Linkages.
Companies will also receive continuous support from DARe to achieve the certification.

Why should companies use a DARe-appointed third-party consultant?

Consultants appointed by DARe have to comply to a professional code of conduct that outlines principles such as:

Integrity – Requesting permission when using proprietary information.

Objectivity – Maintaining impartiality with stakeholders, avoiding instances with conflict of interest, recommending best fit solutions for the client.

Transparency – Articulating project details (scope, timeline, deliverables), project costs and terms and conditions, clearly to the client.

Confidentiality – Respecting strict confidentiality of the client’s data, including intellectual property created during the engagement.

Accountability – Upholding professional and honourable conduct for the management consultancy profession.

What is the duration of each batch of this program?

Companies will undergo training and consultancy – and are expected to get successfully audited and certified – within a period of at 9-12 months, depending on the certification.

What do the training and consultancy services include?

The scope of work for the hired consultant will include:

Gap analysis – A review of the existing activities, processes and systems to identify gaps against standards requirements (gap analysis).

Training – Training and developing dedicated team to ensure capability in managing the system. Also, conducting the necessary training for both management and staff members involved in the company’s system, which will include training in Mock Recall Exercise and internal auditor training.

Documentation development – Developing necessary documentation to satisfy standards requirements.

System implementation – Guidance in development of operational procedures necessary to ensure effective implementation of the system, and supporting the implementation of the developed system.

Pre-audit – Ensuring readiness prior to audit by the certification body.

Corrective actions – Assisting in proposing corrective actions following audit by the certification body, and provide support till certification.

Who can join this program?

To be eligible for this program, the applicants must satisfy the following general criteria:

  • Must be a Brunei-registered company
  • Must have an office / factory / separate kitchen / facility
  • Must have a need and strong motivation for getting certification
  • Must be ready to begin certification project upon selection into this program
  • Must have adequate staff to implement this certification project
  • Must have commitment from top management of company and from staff involved
  • Must be willing to bear the cost of subsequent audit and certification, including the annual audit to maintain certification
  • Must be willing to maintain the adopted standard and the implemented system for the subsequent year

How can companies apply the program?

To participate, companies must complete the application form which can be downloaded from the program page. Completed form (with required attachments) must be emailed to market.access@dare.gov.bn or submitted to the Business Help Desk, Business Support Centre, Level 1, D&T Building, Anggerek Desa Tech Park.

Applications are only open for one month upon announcement for a new batch. To stay updated, do follow us on social media or subscribe to our weekly newsletter through DARe website’s home page.

What is the selection process for applicants?

The selection process to join this program is as follows:

  • Step 1: Submission of application form & relevant documents before the deadline
  • Step 2: Assessment of application form & documents (Stage 1 Assessment)
  • Step 3: Shortlisting for next stage of assessment
  • Step 4: Site visit / interview with company's top management (Stage 2 Assessment)
  • Step 5: Final selection of participants & signing of contract with DARe

Please note that only shortlisted applicants will be notified regarding the date of Stage 2 assessment. The process between the application deadline and the final selection of participants will take between 1 – 1.5 months.

How can companies find out more about the program or hear news about DARe programs?

If you have specific inquiries about the program, you may send an email to the Market Access team at market.access@dare.gov.bn

To stay updated on general DARe programs, including new application openings for this program, do follow us on Instagram at @darussalamenterprise, or subscribe to our weekly newsletter through this website’s home page.