Trade has long been recognized as a potential engine for growth and wealth creation. Many countries continue to face supply-side capacity and trade related infrastructure constraints which can inhibit their ability to compete on international markets. Based on a solid analysis of trade challenges and opportunities, the “UNIDO Quality Infrastructure and Trade" training is designed for encouraging trade development along value chains. The training seeks to promote systemic quality infrastructure development that is based on market needs and promotes inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

A Quality Infrastructure System (QIS) is a catalyst for improving the quality of products and services on a national scale. It therefore helps to stimulate demand for these products and services, which invigorates individual businesses and the economy as a whole. By helping national industry to meet the requirements of export markets, a QIS increases the competitiveness of the nation’s economy and its ability to participate in global trade and in value chains. It is therefore essential for every economy to understand the quality infrastructure system, its elements, interrelations and how they contribute to the bigger picture.

In recent years it has become clear that a well-implemented Quality Infrastructure System contributes to governmental policy objectives in areas other than trade of products and services, including industrial development, efficient use of natural and human resources, food safety, health, the environment, climate change, and other topics that are included in the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The training is structured into 10 modules.


The technical content for this training has been developed in collaboration with partners from the International Network on Quality Infrastructure (INetQI).INetQI logo


Module 1: Global Context

The purpose of this module is to provide a general overview of the Global Trading System. By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Have basic knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Understand principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Have a basic understanding of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement
  • Have a basic understanding of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Agreement
  • Understand the basics of Trade Facilitation in the context of the WTO agreement

Module 2: Quality Infrastructure

The purpose of this module is to provide a general overview of the Quality Infrastructure System (QIS).

By the end of this module participants should be able to:

  • Define the ‘building blocks’ of QIS and explain how they relate to each other
  • Describe the importance of the quality infrastructure system (QIS)
  • Identify good practices in effective QIS
  • Understand the regional and international aspects of QI
  • The topics introduced here are explored in more detail in subsequent modules

Module 3: Governance

This module outlines the importance of a strong governance related to the quality infrastructure system. By the end of this module, participants should  be able to understand:

  • What quality policy is
  • Why quality policy is important
  • Quality policy guiding principles
  • Step-by-step approach to develop quality policy
  • Who are the main stakeholders

Module 4: Metrology

Metrology is the science of measurement. This module introduces the concept of Metrology in quality infrastructure system. By the end of this module, participants should be able to:

  • Define metrology and distinguish between scientific, industrial and legal metrology
  • Describe the role and function of metrology in health and safety, consumer confidence in products and for facilitating trade
  • Appreciate the local and international systems for ensuring accuracy of measurements
  • Demonstrate awareness of the international organisations responsible for ensuring compliance with international standards of measurement

Module 5: Standardization

This module introduces the concept of standardization as a component of Quality Infrastructure system. By the end of the module, participants should be able to:

  • Define what a standard is and distinguish the different types of standards
  • Understand what do standards do and outline their benefits for different categories of stakeholders
  • Understand the relevance of standards for international trade, in the framework of the WTO
  • Understand the opportunities and challenges related to standards for developing countries

Module 6: Accreditation

This module provides basic knowledge of Accreditation in the context of Quality Infrastructure. By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Define and understand the concept of Accreditation
  • Appreciate the importance of accreditation for national and international trade
  • Describe the institutional set-up for national and international accreditation
  • Articulate costs and benefits of regional accreditation

Module 7: Conformity Assessment

This module outlines the main features of Conformity Assessment in the context of Quality Infrastructure. By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Define conformity assessment and explain its relevance for trade
  • Distinguish between the different types of conformity assessments
  • Outline the process of conducting conformity assessment for different types of products and services
  • Understand the institutional framework for conformity assessment
  • Appreciate the challenges to delivering conformity assessment in developing economies

Module 8: Enterprises

This module discusses the role of enterprises and enterprise management in the context of Quality Infrastructure. By the end of this module participants should e able to:

  • Understand the importance of quality along value chains and the role of value chains in global trade
  • Outline principles and main features of quality management systems for enterprises
  • Describe the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle of quality management
  • Have basic knowledge of quality management tools and methodologies

Module 9: Consumers

This module focuses on the role of consumers in the context of quality infrastructure. After completing this module, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the important role consumers can play in the quality infrastructure system
  • Understand the role of consumer protection and consumer organizations
  • Understand the relevance of consumer considerations in standardization and related challenges
  • Know what ISO COPOLCO is and outline its main roles and responsibilities

Module 10: Cross-cutting matters

This module elaborates on cross-cutting matters in the context of the quality infrastructure system. The following discusses:

Gender Mainstreaming

Good Governance

Private Standards

By the end of this module, participants should be able to:

  • Be aware of the importance of gender mainstreaming in QIS
  • Have a basic understanding of good governance principles
  • Understand the role of private and sustainability standards in international trade