IAF Chair's Message
by Xiao Jianhua

The number of IAF members now totals 111, with 84 Accreditation Body Members, 21 Association Members, and 6 Regional Accreditation Group Members. The IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) now has 73 Accreditation Body Signatories from 66 economies and 5 Recognized Regional Accreditation Group MLAs.

The IAF General Assembly in October 2018 in Singapore decided that the IAF Executive Committee would conduct a new strategic planning exercise in 2019, working together with the ILAC Executive Committee for joint activities. To help inform their future strategic plans, the IAF and ILAC Executive Committees agreed in Singapore to develop a survey on the values of each organization and proposed strategic directions and actions for IAF and ILAC, which was distributed to members and partner organizations in February 2019.


During the IAF-ILAC Mid-Term Meetings in April 2019 in Mexico City, the IAF and ILAC Executive Committees discussed the results of the Joint Survey and unanimously agreed to present a recommendation to the IAF and ILAC members for approval during the IAF and ILAC General Assemblies at the 2019 Annual Meetings.


The IAF and ILAC Executive Committees meet in Mexico City


The IAF Executive Committee also held a strategic planning session during the Mexico City meetings for the development of the draft 2020–2025 IAF Strategic Plan. The outcomes document, which includes the draft mission, vision, values, and strategic directions and actions, will be reviewed by IAF members at the 2019 Frankfurt General Assembly.


The proposed strategic directions for the 2020–2025 IAF Strategic Plan will include: to expand acceptance of accreditation and the IAF MLA, to enhance the delivery of credible and reliable accredited conformity assessment services globally, and to increase the relevancy and sustainability of IAF. The relationship between IAF and ILAC will be a joint strategic direction with ILAC.


Progress on the development of the IAF Database of Accredited Certifications (now known as IAF CertSearch) continues. During the Mid-Term Meetings in Mexico City, the IAF Executive Committee and the IAF Database Management Committee made new progress on the development of an IAF document detailing the use of the CertSearch Mark, which is currently out for ballot among IAF Members, along with a change to the database principles. The aim is for the database to go live in 2019.


Since the IAF General Assembly in Singapore, all Committees, including the MLA Committee (MLAC), the Technical Committee (TC), the Communications and Marketing Committee (CMC), the Development Support Committee (DSC), the Accreditation Body Information Exchange Group (ABIEG), the User Advisory Committee (UAC), and the Conformity Assessment Body Advisory Committee (CABAC) have made new progress.


Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the IAF Vice Chair, Chairs and Vice-chairs of the Committees, Conveners of the Committees’ Working Groups and Task Forces, and to the IAF Secretariat for their continual efforts in making IAF achieve new progress, and I invite all IAF Members and Partner Organizations to attend the 2019 IAF/ILAC Joint Annual Meetings to be held from 21 – 30 October 2019 in Frankfurt.