Quality Assurance

Publication Date: 2014
Author: UNFPA

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UNFPA Quality Assurance

Access to safe and effective contraceptives, medicines and equipment is absolutely essential to ensuring reproductive health (RH). UNFPA places a high priority on reproductive health commodity security, which means that all individuals have access to affordable, quality reproductive health supplies of their choice whenever they need them.

To help achieve RH commodity security, UNFPA procures RH supplies on behalf of governments and other partners. These products include male condoms, IUDs, female condoms, reproductive health medicines (including hormonal contraceptives), and medical devices. UNFPA is committed to procuring quality RH products and therefore evaluates and prequalifies suppliers based on internationally recognized quality standards before entering into any contractual agreements.

UNFPA quality assurance activities follow a systematic process to ensure that RH products meet specified requirements and standards. Quality assurance activities include prequalification, technical evaluations, quality control, and monitoring. Quality control refers to a set of activities to determine whether the specified standards are being maintained through inspection, sampling, and laboratory testing.

UNFPA PSB has a separate team dedicated exclusively to quality assurance matters. This ensures objectivity during bidding exercises. The UNFPA Quality Assurance System has been harmonized with UN partner agencies and follows relevant product specific international standards such as those covered under the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

UNFPA also operates in line with the principles set in the interagency guidelines: A Model Quality Assurance System for Procurement Agencies

Please also refer to the UNFPA Quality Assurance Framework for the Procurement of Reproductive Health Commodities for more information. The document is also available in French.

 Please click on any of the following product categories to access more detailed information on quality assurance processes:

  • Reproductive Health Medicines (including hormonal contraceptives)
  • Male Latex Condoms and Female condoms
  • Copper Bearing Intra Uterine Devices (IUDs)
  • Medical Devices
  • Capacity Building
  • Environmental Policy
  • QA Resources

Related content

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The Procurement Services Branch (PSB) performs an annual analysis of UNFPA contraceptives spend.
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UNFPA maintains a stock of essential Inter-Agency Emergency Health Kits (IARH) ready to ship for urgent and emergency requests. This manual contains key descriptions of the kits, how to order them and manage their use.
Updates
The WHO/UNFPA Prequalification programme seeks to establish an informal technical working group on specifications of contraceptive devices and personal lubricants.

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