Amakuru

RSB to empower the plumbing sector through the standardization and certification of practices

The Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) in collaboration with the Rwanda Plumbers Organization (RPO) orchestrated an awareness workshop focused on the standardization and certification of plumbers. This initiative marks the beginning of a journey wherein plumbing professionals in Rwanda are gearing up to embrace a certification scheme and standardized practices, aiming for regional and global recognition in the field.

As the Easter African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol acknowledges the significance of labor mobility and emphasizes the establishment of national frameworks for skills development and competence recognition to facilitate access to regional labor markets, this is the milestone to the Rwandan plumbers that will help them to be more competitive to the international labor markets.

Philbert Zimurinda

Philbert Zimurinda, the Division Manager of National Metrology at Rwanda Standards Board said that they initiated this program to strengthen plumbing sector to be more competitive and standardized at the international level and he explained that professionals do not have the opportunity to learn plumbing standards at school. He said that lack of such assets causes disorders at work.

“Plumbing work is very important in our daily lives, and when done well, it contributes significantly to the smooth functioning of various aspects of life. Properly executed plumbing ensures the efficient operation of essential utilities and other related activities. Quality plumbing not only involves the installation of good fixtures but is also crucial for reaching the overall well-being of people. Professionalism is essential. So this scheme aims at boosting the skills of all professionals in plumbing so that they reduce the errors committed in their job, such as failure to use proper and specific pipes, and ensure sanitation based on international standards. The initiative also aims to help people get jobs at local, regional, and global levels. RSB trains them based on international standards to form professional technicians in plumbing sector” Zimurinda said.

Jean Claude Twagirimana

Jean Claude Twagirimana, Director General of the Rwanda Plumbers Organization, reiterated the need for standardized practices, emphasizing that certification would enable plumbers to secure jobs globally and enhance labor mobility within the East African Community (EAC).

“We thank RSB for the good initiative to start the journey of establishing standards and certification scheme. People used to qualify themselves professional plumbers, which is wrong, the certification will allow people to get jobs everywhere in the world” Twagirimana said.

Clovis HANGANE

Clovis HANGANE, a professional plumber said that to advance the plumbing profession, it is essential to ensure that the work is carried out with precision, necessitating regular forums for knowledge exchange, mentioning that having plumbing standardization certificate is very important to tackle common problems encountered when practicing plumbing.

“To advance the plumbing profession, it is essential to ensure that the work is carried out with precision, necessitating regular forums for knowledge exchange, including discussions on the quality of materials, methods, and services, while also valuing the aspirations of job seekers. We have some people who work as plumbers but who are not real plumbers, because when they are doing piping or installation sometimes, they do it wrong because they do not know when and how to use a certain material. There is knowledge gap among technicians, but we are trying to help people to understand this. Technical skills must be conducted according to international standards,”  Said Hangane.

RSB’s documentation underscores the importance of certification systems, citing ISO 17024:2012 as a crucial framework for evaluating individuals’ competencies for specific occupations. Certification systems bridge gaps in education and training, enabling better integration into the global job market by assessing readiness for the workforce comprehensively.

With 180 professional plumbers registered countrywide under the Rwanda Plumbers Organization, the move towards certification and standardization holds the promise of enhancing the quality of plumbing services while empowering professionals to compete effectively in local and international job markets.

Carine Kayitesi

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