First of all, a warm welcome to The TIC Council blog! I am very excited by the launch of this additional channel of communication to stay in touch with our members and other interested parties. As 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to the whole world with the COVID outbreak, deeply impacting many industries, including the TIC sector and our members’ activities and operations. TIC Council is determined to communicate more regularly and consistently about its initiatives, activities and bring to our followers key insights to about trends and challenges affecting the industry, as well as the best practices on how to better overcome them.
The ‘TIC Council Blog’ will aspire to raise awareness to both our members and the wider TIC sector on conformity assessments topical issues. To such end, TIC Council will be conducting regular interviews with industry leaders, operational managers, and key stakeholders in the TIC sector who are willing to share their insight on our sector’s current affairs and developments.
With COVID-19 forcing TIC service companies to adapt to the new structural shifts that have been intensified by the crisis, our members have been forced to establish new organizational efforts to ensure the best degree of damage limitation. The impact of this pandemic is very significant and has shaken the sense of security for many individuals and has left businesses fearing the mounting costs and cut-backs, as we all wait in anticipation for what and when a recovery will be. That is why TIC Council will continue informing decision-makers about the critical role our sector will play in the economic recovery given the competence and expertise it brings to virtually all economic aspects to give assurance of quality and safety which makes it the backbone in restoring normality.
Our members test, audit, inspect and certify the conformity of pharmaceutical and medical laboratories, as well as the manufacturers of medical devices and protective equipment according to the corresponding legislation and relevant international standards. This, for example, includes testing masks, respirators and electrical medical equipment against EU’s health and safety requirements. Moreover, our members test, audit, inspect and certify essential sectors of industrial production and transport, such as drinking water, food, consumer products and commodities. They also audit critical infrastructures, such as refineries, power plants, pipelines, and gas stations. As such, our services support the continuity of such operations, including international supply chains for essential products, in safe conditions both for employees and the general public.
Many believe that the pandemic will result in lasting change for industry and trade. This means that we need to keep in mind the importance of strategic planning, which is critical to face and survive the deep structural shifts that are likely to be accelerated as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. With operational disruptions predicted for certain TIC industry sectors for the next 12 months and beyond, it is imperative to understand the tasks at hand, to adapt and overcome these uncertain times.
Our sector is adapting to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our members are not only prioritising testing protecting equipment as requested by the European Commission, but they are also offering the possibility of remote inspections to maintain continuity of safety and health compliance. In some cases, it was also agreed with the relevant scheme holders to extend certain certificates, which would have expired during the restriction period. New services have been developed in the hospitality sector to ensure that travellers staying in hotels have the assurance that the infrastructure has been thoroughly cleaned and safe for them to use. By continuing its activities during this crisis without being jeopardized, the TIC sector helps minimize the COVID financial impact on the world economy.
To conclude, the TIC sector has shown a reassuring resilience in these challenging times and has managed to maintain its role of an independent reliable partner to government, manufactures and consumers. The TIC Council will pursue its mission to support our membership in every possible way and therefore we look very much forward to engaging with you through the various channels of communications we have set up including this blog. We are keen to hear from you and get your suggestions as to the topics you would like us to cover or to keep you informed about.
In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.