The Portuguese Electrotechnical Commission (CEP), established in 1929, was the first national institution devoted to standardization activities. The development of standardization became more noticeable after the establishment, in 1948, of the General Inspectorate for Agriculture and Industrial Products (IGPAI) and after the publication, in 1952, of the Statute on Standardization.
In 1977, most of the duties of IGPAI and CEP were transferred to the new General Directorate for Quality (DGQ). The development of DGQ led to the publication, in 1983, of the National System of Quality Management (SNGQ), which has been called SPQ (Portuguese System for Quality) since July 1993, with subsystems for Standardization, Metrology and Qualification.
In 1986, DGQ was replaced by the Insituto Português da Qualidade (IPQ), established as the national body that manages and develops SPQ - the legal framework for quality matters in Portugal - and carries out the official certification of products and company quality systems, as well as the accreditation of entities in this field.
At present IPQ is the national organization that manages and promotes the development of the Portuguese System for Quality (SPQ), with its three sub-systems - Standardization, Metrology and Qualification. Therefore, IPQ is the Portuguese representative body in the quality field at international level, and keeps a close co-operation with its European counterparts.
Within the SPQ framework, IPQ copes with the role of National Standardization Body (ONN), thus ensuring the co-ordination with European and International standardization bodies, and supervises the activity of the Central Laboratory of Metrology.