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Making Progress on Strategic Directions

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) now has 102 Members with 78 Accreditation Body Members, 18 Association Members, and 6 Regional Accreditation Group Members.

The IAF Multilateral Recognition Agreement (MLA) has 63 Accreditation Body Signatories and 3 Recognized Regional Accreditation Group MLAs. The IAF MLA has 4 Main Scopes with 6 Sub-Scopes. The Main Scope of the IAF MLA now covers Management System Certification ISO/IEC 17021, Product Certification ISO/IEC 17065, Certification of Persons ISO/IEC 17024 and Greenhouse Gas Validation and Verification ISO 14065.

With the continual development of various IAF programs, the implementation of the IAF Strategic Plan (2015-2019) is critical for IAF to further meet the expectations of IAF Members and relevant parties.

Improvement of the IAF MLA peer evaluation process is part of the IAF Strategic Plan. Revision of the primary MLA related document has been completed. Furthermore, the IAF General Assembly in November 2016 in New Delhi approved IAF Resolution 2016-24 General Policy for MLA Scope Extensions under Management System Certification, which made another significant step for improving efficiency for the extension of the MLA Sub-Scope. In addition, new actions for further improvement of the IAF peer evaluation process have been initiated.

Continual improvement for consistency of application approaches for relevant international conformity assessment standards among Accreditation Bodies is a strategic direction which has been discussed recently and is showing significant progress. The action for improvement of the Technical Committee process for creating new working items has been implemented. The IAF online consistency forum dealing with potential inconsistencies has been launched. The IAF MD 20 Competence for Accreditation Body Assessors Workshop, as an action to facilitate the implementation of the IAF Mandatory Document, was successfully held in New Delhi.

It is worth noting that the participation of Conformity Assessment Body and Industry/User Association Members in Working Groups (WGs) and Task Forces (TFs) of the IAF Technical Committee has greatly contributed to the development of harmonized application approaches. Currently, there are 19 WGs/TFs in the Technical Committee with Co-Conveners from Conformity Assessment Body or Industry/User Association Members among a total of 25 WGs/TFs.

Communication and promotion for wider acceptance of accreditation, including accredited conformity assessment results and the IAF MLA by regulators and end users, is a Strategic Direction of the IAF Strategic Plan. World Accreditation Day 2016 focused on the support accreditation provides as a tool for all areas in the public sector and was celebrated across the world. World Accreditation Day 2017 will focus on how accreditation delivers confidence in construction and the built environment.

Following the success of the Public Sector Assurance website, which provides access to over 200 practical case studies and 70 research papers to demonstrate the value of standards and accreditation for the public sector, IAF and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) have started a new initiative to seek ways to collect and share data that show the benefit of standards and accredited conformity assessment to businesses.

The business case for the project, IAF Database for Accredited Management Systems Certifications, will be developed for further discussion and decision by IAF Members.

IAF, jointly with ILAC, are continuously enhancing engagement with relevant international organizations with positive progress, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers to Trade Committee (WTO/TBT), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the World Health Organization (WHO), Codex Alimentarius and more.

It is a great honor that all IAF Members are involved in and make contributions to IAF enhancement. Each important step of IAF development cannot be made without Members’ support. Moreover, the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) and the Quality Council of India (QCI) are commended for their excellent work in organizing the 2016 annual meetings in New Delhi with a good venue, accommodation and more. The Chairs and Members are very thankful for this wonderful and satisfying conference management.

Recent IAF Publications

IAF has published one new document and three revised documents since the last edition of the IAF Newsletter, including one Policy Document, two Documents for General Information, and one promotional document. IAF documents are available free of charge in the Publications area of the IAF website (

New documents:

IAF MLA Annual Report 2015
(July 2016)
This report on the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) sets out the detailed activity that is carried out as part of the peer evaluation process, to ensure that regulators, specifiers, and businesses can have confidence in accreduted certification and the IAF Arrangement.

IAF ID 13:2017 IAF Medical Device Nomenclature (IAF MDN) Including Medical Device Risk Classifications
(Issue 1, issued on 30 January 2017; Application from 30 January 2017)
This document, developed to support of IAF MD8 and MD9, provides long established medical device names and classifications, where risk classifications do not exist in the Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN).

Revised documents:

IAF PL 3:2016 Policies and Procedures for the Expansion of the Scope of the IAF MLA
(Issue 3, issued on 14 November 2016; application from 14 November 2016)
Provides policies and procedures for the expansion of the scope of the IAF MLA based on publicly owned (including Regulatory) Normative Documents and privately owned Sector Schemes.

IAF Public Document Responsibility (IAF-EC-11-11 Rev11)
(18 November 2016)
Lists the IAF Main Committee responsible for each publicly available IAF document.

IAF Representatives, Liaisons, and Contacts (IAF EC-11-10 Rev. 9)
(18 November 2016)
Lists the IAF representative(s) and liaison(s) to external committees and organizations, and the contact individuals in those committees and organizations.

Update from the IAF Technical Committee

In 2016, the Technical Committee (TC) met twice, 1-2 April 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany, and 28-29 October 2016 in New Delhi, India.

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) technical documents that have been endorsed and published during the year are:

1.    IAF MD 19:2016 IAF Mandatory Document For The Audit and Certification of a Management System operated by a Multi-Site Organization (where application of site sampling is not appropriate)

2.    IAF MD 20:2016 Generic Competence for AB Assessors: Application to
ISO/IEC 17011

3.    IAF ID 12:2015 Principles on Remote Assessment

The documents have now been posted on the IAF website for all members to access.

On 29th October 2016, there was a Workshop on IAF MD20:2016. The trainer was Cynthia Woodley. The training included presenters from the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), the The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The workshop was successfully conducted with appreciation from all members. The Technical Committee would like to thank all the trainers for their contributions.

During the General Assembly 2016, the Technical Committee proposed Resolutions, which were adopted by the General Assembly:

IAF Resolution 2016-13 – Accreditation Scoping for Energy Management Systems (EnMS)
The General Assembly, acting on the recommendation of the Technical Committee, resolved to endorse Table 2 Technical Areas from ISO 50003:2014 Energy management systems -- Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of energy management systems as a Normative reference for the accreditation scope and grouping of sectors for witnessing of energy management systems.

IAF Resolution 2016-14 –Transitional Arrangement for the Revision of ISO/IEC TS 17021-2:2012
The General Assembly, acting on the recommendation of the Technical Committee, resolved that the transition period for the next revision of ISO/IEC TS 17021-2:2012 Conformity assessment -- Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems -- Part 2: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of environmental management systems, will be two years from the date of publication of the revised standard.

IAF Resolution 2016-15 – Migration Arrangement for ISO 45001
The General Assembly, acting on the recommendation of the Technical Committee, resolved that the period for migrating accredited certifications from OHSAS 18001:2007 to ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems -- Requirements with guidance for use will be three years from the date of publication of ISO 45001.

IAF Resolution 2016-16 – Endorsement of ISO 45001:201X as an IAF normative document
The General Assembly, acting on the recommendation of the Technical Committee, resolved to endorse the soon to be published ISO 45001:201X as a normative document.

IAF Resolution 2016-17 – Accredited MS Certification Document
Further to Resolution 2015-14, The General Assembly, acting on the recommendation of the Technical Committee, resolved that in order for a management system certification document to be considered accredited, it must display the accreditation symbol, and/or, reference the accreditation status of the CB including the identification of the AB.

The General Assembly further agreed that management systems certification bodies: 1. must transition certification documentation to include the accreditation symbol, and/or, reference the accreditation status of the CB including the identification of the AB, at the time of recertification decision; no later than 06 November 2019;

2. when granted initial accreditation (for a standard or scope), as of 06 November 2016, the CB must transition (re-issue) previous unaccredited certification documents, within one year after the accreditation decision;

3. must apply this resolution to all management system standards.

Note: If there is an exception to the above, the client must justify the exception to the CB and AB, and if accepted by both the CB and AB, the certification is still considered accredited.

IAF Resolution 2016-18 – Extension of IAF MD19 Application Date
The General Assembly, acting on the recommendation of the Technical Committee, resolved that the application date of IAF MD 19: IAF Mandatory Document For The Audit and Certification of a Management System operated by a Multi-Site Organization (where application of site sampling is not appropriate) be extended one year to 31 March 2018.

It should be noted that the IAF Consistency Forum has been launched recently. The members are encouraged to take part in the Forum aiming at promoting consistency among the members’ practices.

Special thanks to Trevor Nash - IAF TC Vice-Chair, Joan Brough-Kerrebyn – IAF TC secretary and all the WG/TF Convenors. You all have made a successful meeting.

Thank you to all IAF TC members for the contribution during the past year.

From Left to right - Trevor Nash (TC Vice-Chair), Joan Brough-Kerrebyn (TC Secretary), Ekanit Romyanon (TC Chair)

Update from the IAF User Advisory Committee

The User Advisory Committee (UAC) under the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) structure is the interface/link between the market, and the committee that represents the industry and voices its expectations on the accreditation topics. Today the following organizations are members of the UAC: QuEST Forum, The Quality System for Feed Additives and Premixtures (FAMI-QS), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC), GLOBALG.A.P, International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG), Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), Bruel & Kjaer Sound & Vibration Measurement A/S, Dental Trade Alliance (DTA), ENEL Servizi S.r.l., and the Federation of German Industries (BDI).

According to the terms of reference as shown in PL5:2016 (§7.13.3), the UAC has the following mandate:

  1. To represent the interests of end-users of accredited conformity assessment.

  2. To achieve consensus amongst members of the UAC as to the needs and expectations of end-users of accredited conformity assessment and to communicate this to IAF.

  3. To assist IAF in determining how well the needs and expectations of end-users of accredited conformity assessment are being fulfilled.

  4. To become informed and knowledgeable of IAF’s organization, structure, operations, and activities; and, in particular, to be informed of the Executive Committee, the MLA Committee, and the Technical Committee activities in aiming to ensure accredited conformity assessment is fulfilling the expectations of end-users.

  5. To provide advice and assistance to IAF for the development and implementation of strategies to ensure accredited conformity assessment is fulfilling end-user expectations, and to continually improve the value and effectiveness of accredited conformity assessment.

  6. To monitor the response of IAF to the UAC’s recommendations.

  7. To meet at least once a year or as often as necessary. Decisions and actions between meetings may occur by email.

This mandate for the UAC provides an opportunity for end users to provide constructive feedback to IAF.

During the meeting in New Delhi, it became quite clear to all members that despite coming from different sectors, as users of accreditation we are all confronted with similar issues (though in a different context). Issues like Accreditation Body (AB) inconsistencies (e.g. accreditation cycle), AB Assessors’ Competence, Peer Assessment data sharing and new technologies are the most common issues in the accreditation process. The committee decided to further define common topics on which we can all work together, and provide concrete feedback to IAF for further improvement and harmonization.

The work that is ongoing under the IAF Task Force (TF) on Conformity Assessment Schemes, was also discussed during the meeting. This topic is quite important for the UAC members because currently the criteria under which an AB evaluates the suitability of a Sector Specific Scheme to be under accreditation varies. This variation could create further unfair competition among the schemes, which might serve the same interest but might have undergone a different assessment process. Thus, it is important that common assessment criteria for all schemes shall be established and adopted by IAF. UAC members support the subsequent creation of an IAF document for the assessment/evaluation of the Conformity Assessment Schemes.

Additionally, UAC members confirmed their continuous support of the IAF Strategic Plan in the following ways:

Strategic Direction 02: To improve the peer evaluation process, including ensuring the availability of competent peer evaluator resources at the international and regional level.

  • Strategic Action #2-5: To involve stakeholders in peer evaluation activities and/or make peer evaluation conclusions available to stakeholders upon request.

Strategic Direction 03: To promote wider acceptance of accreditation, including accredited conformity assessment results, and the IAF MLA by major stakeholders e.g. regulators and end users.

  • Strategic Action #3-1: To expand collaborative relationships with technical, stakeholder and partner organizations to promote the value of accreditation and the MLA.

  • Strategic Action #3-2: To increase the evidence base to demonstrate the value of accreditation and the MLA.

  • Strategic Action #3-3: To establish a mechanism to capture information regarding Regulatory and Public Authority and other user recognition of accreditation and the MLA, to use as references and case studies.

  • Strategic Action #3-4: To utilize existing sources and create new networks to use as communications channels to promote accreditation and the MLA.

  • Strategic Action #3-5: To identify the underlying reasons for non-recognition, so that suitable actions can be taken to address them.

Strategic Direction 04: To improve consistency of accreditation practices among ABs.

  • Strategic Action #4-2: To obtain feedback from customers regarding potential inconsistencies between ABs for consideration by the IAF Technical Committee for improving harmonization, and by the MLA Committee at peer evaluations.

The UAC is also currently working to define a plan to raise greater awareness of the activities of IAF and UAC, to increase the participation of other industry sectors and stakeholders that use accredited third party certification in their activities. UAC seeks further cooperation with the IAF AB members, as the latter have a close link with the industry representatives in the economies where they operate.

UAC Members and Guests

2017 IAF-ILAC Mid-Term Meetings
The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) will be holding their 2017 Joint Mid-Term Meetings in Frankfurt, Germany from 31 March – 07 April. Joint meetings are held twice a year and offer a valuable opportunity for communication and collaboration between the two organizations.

Members can register on the official meeting website, where the program, payment information and details about the venue are also available. Members are encouraged to register before 17 February 2017 in order to take advantage of the early bird registration discount; early bird fees are 110 USD per day while regular fees are 130 USD per day. Meeting fees are payable in USD and can be paid either by wire transfer or credit card. Accepted cards include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Japan Credit Bureau.

The meetings will be held at Le Méridien Parkhotel Frankfurt, which is offering a group rate of EUR 125/night for a single room and EUR 165/night for a double room. The special rate is available until 01 March 2017 and includes Wi-Fi and a complimentary breakfast when booked through the hotel. Le Méridien Parkhotel is centrally located and easily accessible by taxi and public transit from the airport and rail station.

Meeting papers will be available to registered delegates on a file-sharing area of the meeting website, accessible from early March and throughout the meetings.

Queries regarding logistics, registration, payments, invitation letters, etc. should be directed to the event organiser responsible for managing the meetings on behalf of IAF and ILAC:

Chantel Beaupre
011 613-680-6950
Skype: SaySomethingInc.

The next IAF/ILAC joint meetings will be the IAF-ILAC Joint Annual Meetings held from 21 October – 30 October in Vancouver, Canada. These meetings will include the yearly IAF and ILAC General Assemblies as well as a Joint General Assembly featuring presentations from related organizations.

EMA Innovating in Accreditation for the Care of the Environment and Veterinary Medicine

Eco-Labeling Type III Accreditation Program
This year, the Mexican accreditation entity, a.c. (EMA) has launched an accreditation scheme to certify Environmental Product Declarations also known as Eco-labeling Type III. This document provides, in a transparent and verifiable way, information on the environmental performance of a product based on its Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) by an independent third party.

This scheme is especially important in the construction sector, since the demand for sustainable building certifications such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has been increasing in recent years.

It is the first accreditation body in the Americas and sixth in the world to be published on the official website of the administrator of the program "The International EPD® System", which allows that all our clients accredited as Certification Bodies of Products in Eco-labeling Type III are recognized as the same internationally.

We invite you to consult our website for all the information related to the Accreditation Programs in the Environmental Sustainability Sector.

Accreditation Program for the Certification of Clinics and Veterinary Hospitals
On October 14, the Accreditation Program for Certification Bodies of Veterinary Clinics and Hospitals for Companion Animals was launched.

The objective of this accreditation service is to promote Good Veterinary Practices through an accredited voluntary scheme of certification, based on ISO 17065 and Guide to Good Veterinary Practices for Establishments of Companion Animals; the last one developed by Veterinarians from various institutions from Mexico. It also seeks to promote the integration of the veterinary sector.

IAF Members Sign MoU Supporting New International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF)
The Italian National Accreditation Body (ACCREDIA), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Entidad Mexicana de Acreditacion, a.c. (EMA) and National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) have recently signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) for the establishment of the International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF), joining fellow IAF Members the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), Dubai Accreditation Center (DAC), General Coordination for Accreditation (CGCRE), Egyptian Accreditation Council (EGAC), Entidad Nacional de Acreditacion (ENAC), Gulf Cooperation Council Accreditation Center (GAC), Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ), Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) and United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

IHAF aims to harmonize conformity assessment practices in the Halal field and establish Multilateral Recognition Agreements among member bodies that will facilitate Halal trade globally. Halal products and services include food and beverages, cosmetics and personal care, pharmaceuticals, apparel, logistics, finance, tourism and hospitality, and more. Halal products are in high demand by various sectors, with stakeholders ranging from consumers, traders, manufacturers, and government. Halal accreditation bodies will serve to ensure safety and transparency in certifying and verifying Halal products, as demand for these products continues to grow.

EA Supporting Ground-Breaking Trade Accord Between Canada and the European Union

The Canada and EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a high quality agreement that reinforces Canada’s fundamental relationship with the European Union (EU). The CETA agreement covers all aspects of Canada’s broad trading relationship with the EU, including goods, services, investment, government procurement and regulatory cooperation. It will provide Canada access to the world’s largest market with more than 500 million people in 28 countries, and a combined GDP of $20 trillion.

In June 2016, European Accreditation (EA) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) signed a bilateral cooperation agreement (BCA) aimed to support the CETA by enabling the implementation of the Conformity Assessment Protocol provided for in the CETA agreement, allowing for the mutual acceptance by Canada and the EU of test results and product certifications delivered by each other’s recognized bodies. This protocol, that covers more than 10 product sectors, will help facilitate trade and open doors for EU and Canadian companies.

The EA-SCC agreement “will be essential to supporting the Government of Canada’s trade agenda and opening up tremendous opportunities for Canadian companies who wish to grow and expand into the European market”, asserts John Walter, SCC Chief Executive Officer.

Indeed differing regulations and standards between countries can cause delays and restrict market access for industry. Such a mutual recognition of accreditation bodies through the CETA Conformity Assessment Protocol will help to address these issues by allowing conformity assessment bodies in Canada and the EU to be recognized in certain areas through one mutually accepted accreditation.

For Andreas Steinhorst, the EA Executive Secretary, the EA-SCC cooperation agreement should be welcomed as “a key element for the implementation of CETA and its protocol on the mutual acceptance of the results of conformity assessment. The agreement is going to support the elimination of import duties and technical obstacles to trade, saving European exporters around €500 million a year. Furthermore, it will strengthen the consumers’ trust in marketed products”.

This major cooperation agreement signed by EA demonstrates again the importance of the role played by accreditation, which proves a crucial milestone in trade agreements and free movement of goods and services at a global level.

Left to right - John Walter, SCC Chief Executive Officer, with Andreas Steinhorst, EA Executive Secretary, signing the SCC-EA bilateral cooperation agreement.

News from ARAC

Following the recommendation of the Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC) Multi-Lateral Recognition Arrangement Committee (MLA), the ARAC Executive Committee meeting held in Tunis, Tunisia in February 2016 approved the proposal for conducting an ARAC Peer evaluators regional training course. The aim of this training is to enlarge future teams of ARAC peer evaluators with a view to improve ARAC peer evaluation activities.

The training targeted potential ARAC peer evaluators from the lead assessors of ARAC Accreditation Body (AB) Members.

Fourteen enthusiastic lead assessors from eight ARAC accreditation body members took part in this training course held on 14-16 November 2016 in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. The participants were selected according to ARAC Procedures, while giving priority to those applicants who had more competence for the ARAC MLA scopes that lacked resources in terms of peer evaluation (inspection, certification of Management System, calibration and medical testing).

The course was developed and led by Mrs Roxanne M. Robinson (International Accreditation Forum [IAF] & International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation [ILAC] Regional Peer Evaluator Team Leader, trainer for Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation [APLAC] Peer evaluators, former APLAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) Council Chair, former ILAC Arrangement Management Committee member and former Chair of the ILAC&IAF Joint Working Group A-Series documents) and Mr Mahmoud Eltayeb (ARAC Chair and Peer evaluator Team Leader); the course covered the requirements and processes of peer evaluation primarily for ARAC, but also included ILAC and IAF requirements.

As a follow-up of this training course, the successful participants will take part in future evaluations of ARAC-Member national accreditation bodies (NABs), first as trainee team members, then as team members.

ARAC wishes to extend its gratitude to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) for supporting the organization of this training course.

ARAC Regional Peer evaluators training course  opening ceremony

The implementation of the ARAC Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) MoU, signed on 5th November 2015, continued by conducting a joint Peer Evaluation of the Dubai Accreditation Center (DAC) during the period 4th – 8th September 2016.

The objective of this Peer Evaluation is maintaining the MLA scope for the accreditation of Quality & Environmental Management System Certification Bodies and to extend the MLA to the accreditation of Food Safety Management System Certification Bodies.

PAC Peer evaluation team and DAC team

2.2.1. Participation of the accredited laboratories by ARAC ABs members at the APLAC PT Proficiency Testing Programs
Within the framework of the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between ARAC and Asian Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC), ARAC ensured and followed up on the participation of the laboratories accredited by its Accreditation Body members at three APLAC PT Proficiency Testing Programs.

ARAC wishes to extend its gratitude to APLAC for this great opportunity to allow ARAC AB accredited laboratories to participate in these programs.

2.2.2.Participation of ARAC Peer Evaluators at APLAC Peer Evaluations
One ARAC Peer evaluator participated in the APLAC Peer evaluation of the National Accreditation Body of Indonesia (KAN) during the period 25-29 July 2016. The ARAC Peer evaluator covered the evaluation of the accreditation of Inspection Bodies according to the standard ISO/IEC 17020.

ARAC and African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC) continue to work closely to identify further areas for cooperation in support of their Technical Cooperation Agreement signed in March 2013. The implementation of this Technical Cooperation Agreement continued with the participation of ARAC Peer evaluators at AFRAC Peer evaluations.

The ILAC and IAF Evaluation of ARAC started with the evaluation of the ARAC Secretariat during the period 20-22 September 2016. The ILAC & IAF Evaluation team was composed of Mr Peter Unger, as a Team Leader, and Mr Stefan Schramm, as a Deputy Team Leader.

The objectives of this evaluation were to evaluate ARAC’s management system, ARAC’s Arrangement, competence of its personnel and implementation of the peer evaluation process and their compliance with IAF/ILAC requirements.

During this evaluation it was agreed that the upcoming steps of the evaluation of ARAC will cover the witnessing of the ARAC Peer Evaluation activities and the MLA Group meetings.

ARAC wishes to extend its gratitude to the ILAC & IAF Evaluation Team for their great efforts and for the very fruitful evaluation days.

Following the Pre-Peer Evaluation of the Jordanian Accreditation Unit (JAU) held during the period 09-13 November 2014 and following the implementation of the corrective actions by JAU, ARAC conducted the full Peer evaluation of JAS during the period 09-13 October 2016. The scope of the evaluation was the following:

•    accreditation of Calibration laboratories according to ISO/IEC 17025;

•    accreditation of Testing Laboratories according to ISO/IEC 17025; and

•    accreditation of Medical/Clinical Laboratories according to ISO 15189.

It should be noted that this peer evaluation was observed by an ILAC Regional peer evaluator within the framework of the evaluation of ARAC by ILAC & IAF.

Successful ARAC Mid-Term meetings (Executive Committee, MLA Committee, MLA Group, Peer Evaluators Working Group, Technical Committee and Communication and Marketing Committee) were held in Cairo, Egypt from 29 to 31 August 2016 hosted by the Egyptian Accreditation Council (EGAC).

More than fifty delegates participated in this event including the members of ARAC committees, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO) and EGAC representatives.

An open session for all ARAC Committee members was organized where they updated on the following items:

•    new ILAC, IAF and ARAC requirements published since the last ARAC meetings and the new documents that will be implemented during the upcoming period;

•    progress of the ILAC & IAF Evaluation process of ARAC that focused on the ARAC committee members’ commitments to the success of the upcoming steps, especially the evaluation of the ARAC Secretariat, the witnessing of the ARAC Peer evaluations and the MLA Group members;

•    report on the updated and new ARAC management system documentations;

•    progress on the registration of ARAC as a legal entity and the preparation of the business plan;

•    qualification of new ARAC Peer Evaluators; and

•    ARAC Strategy 2016-2021 and the upcoming steps for the implementation of this strategy by the ARAC committees starting with the preparation for the Committees’ strategic plans.

These meetings were achieved with fruitful results especially in terms of:

•    decision on the MLA Signatories: Dubai Accreditation Center became an ARAC MLA Signatory for Product Certification;

•    review of the ARAC MLA application received so far and the planning of the upcoming ARAC Peer evaluations;

•    the preparation for the 3 Peer evaluations which will be witnessed by an ILAC & IAF Peer evaluation team; and

•    follow-up of the conducted ARAC Peer evaluations (conducted jointly with ILAC and PAC).

ARAC wishes to extend its gratitude to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) for supporting the organization of the ARAC Mid-Year Meetings 2016.

Participants at the ARAC Mid-Term meeting opening ceremony

As a result of a 30-day ballot, the ARAC General Assembly members approved on 7th November the ARAC Strategy 2016-2021 which is based on the following six strategic thrusts:

•    become a Recognized Regional Accreditation Cooperation within IAF and ILAC;

•    enhance the ARAC Peer Evaluation System and MLA;

•    boost ARAC’s visibility and standing both within the Arab region and internationally;

•    serve the interests of and provide support to ARAC members;

•    be the regional reference point for accreditation capacity building; and

•    ensure ARAC is financially self-sustainable.

ARAC Committees are working on the preparation of their Roadmaps for implementation of this strategy.

ARAC Annual meetings: 19-23 February 2017 in Dubai, UAE

The contact details of the ARAC Secretariat are:

ARAC Secretariat
Phone number: + 212 600 78 56 78

Certification Issues Considered in EA
The European Accreditation (EA) Certification Committee (CC) held its last meeting on 13-14 September 2016 in Tallinn, Estonia, where it was hosted by the Estonian Accreditation Centre (EAK).

Strategic brain-storming
A half-day strategic group discussion was dedicated to the relationship between certification bodies and consultants. EA CC members were divided into several groups to discuss and answer the following questions:

- What activities can a CB do that are not consultancy?
- Can a CB publish a list of consultants? If yes, what kind of controls would be needed?
- At what point does a CB “cross the line” and break the rules of ISO/IEC 17021-1, ISO/IEC 17024 or ISO/IEC 17065?

Certification-related documents
This is a topic that comes up for discussion on a regular basis, therefore it was agreed that a clear and repeatable EA position is needed. The next steps will be agreed upon based on the collated feedback from the workshop groups, which may include a follow-up workshop at the next CC meeting in March 2017.

After a long-term elaboration process, mandatory EA-3/13: EA Document on the Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 for the Certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) was published in June 2016. The EACC Task Force Group (TFG) was disbanded in Tallinn. The EA document has been put forward as EA’s input to the IAF Technical Committee (TC) where the issue is being discussed.

EACC WG Environment achieved a revised draft of EA-7/04: Legal Compliance as a Part of Accredited ISO 14001: 2004 Certification, which was endorsed by the CC. The document, which has been sent out for comments within EA by end of 2016, should be finalized in the first half of 2017.

EACC WG Food is about to revise mandatory EA-6/04: EA Guidelines on the Accreditation of Certification of Primary Sector Products by Means of Sampling of Sites. A first draft is expected for discussion at the EACC meeting in March 2017.

Evaluation of the need for guidance documents and revisions to some standards
The EACC agreed that the results of the implementation survey just carried out by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), which are being discussed within the ad hoc IAF working group (WG) to assess whether some guidance is needed or not, show that many clauses of ISO/IEC 17065 need more a clarification than a full revision of the standard. The EACC TFG previously appointed to assess the need for guidance to ISO/IEC 17065 will consider the results of the IAF survey as an input to IAF.

In parallel, the EACC supported CEN/CENELEC TC1 in its decision to postpone the 2017-planned revisions of ISO/IEC 17065 and ISO/IEC 17024 for a further 5 years.

Finally, the need for drafting guidance on accreditation under EN 15224 will be discussed at the next CC meeting.

New Managing Director of DAkkS

With effect from 1 September 2016, Dr. Stephan Finke is the new Managing Director of the German accreditation body Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (DAkkS). He succeeds Norbert Barz, who in the autumn will be handing over the role to his successor and leaving the company (due to his age) at the end of 2016 after seven years in the position. Holding a doctorate in industrial engineering, Finke most recently served as Business Development Manager at ABB Switzerland.

"We are very pleased to have secured the services of Dr. Stephan Finke, an authority in the accreditation and conformity assessment sectors and recognised expert in the fields of laboratory testing and product certification, for Germany's national accreditation body," says Dr. Norbert Schultes, chairman of the DAkkS shareholders' meeting and also Division Head at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy with responsibility for DAkkS. "With many years as head of testing laboratories in the field of energy transfer, Dr. Finke brings extensive management experience, expertise in quality control and excellent networks of contacts in sectors important to the accreditation system. We are confident that with this succession, DAkkS can demonstrate and continue to develop its important role as a service provider for industry and consumers, as well as its position as one of the largest accreditation bodies in Europe," says Schultes with reference to the expectations of Finke".

After completing his studies and doctorate at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Finke served as head of high-performance testing at FGH Engineering & Test GmbH, while also committing his expertise to the PEHLA association for electrical high-performance testing, where he has been a member of the Management Committee since 2012. In 2012, Finke moved to the power and automation technology group ABB Switzerland in Zurich, where until 2015 he headed the testing of high voltage products. For several years, he has also committed his energies to the national and international standardisation bodies Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik (DKE), Swiss Electrotechnical Committee (CES) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the field of electrical engineering.

Ten Progressive Years of Sri Lanka Accreditation Board
The Sri Lanka Accreditation Board for Conformity Assessment (SLAB) is the National Accreditation Authority for Sri Lanka established under the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board for Conformity Assessment Act. No.32 of 2005. The Board functions under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, Sri Lanka. SLAB has the responsibility to promote accreditation activities and provide the necessary accreditation services to facilitate conformity assessments in the provision of goods and services for domestic and export markets.

SLAB celebrated its 10th Anniversary in October 2015. In celebration of its 10th Anniversary, SLAB organized a SLAB – CAB Conformity Trade Fair, an Awareness session on accreditation and a CEO’s forum.

During its short history, SLAB has introduced eight accreditation schemes: ISO/IEC 17025 for Testing laboratories in 2006, ISO 15189 for Medical laboratories in 2008, ISO/IEC 17021 for System Certification in 2009, ISO/IEC 17025 for Calibration laboratories in 2009, ISO/IEC 17065 for Product Certification in 2013, ISO/IEC 17024 for Certification of Persons in 2014, ISO/IEC 17020 for Inspection Bodies in 2013 and ISO/IEC 14065 for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) verification bodies in 2015. The new schemes in the offer are Information Security Management Systems (ISMS), Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Proficiency Testing (PT) Service Providers.

Up to October 2016, SLAB has granted accreditation for 63 Testing laboratories (Chemical testing [40], Biological testing [12], Mechanical testing [20] and Electrical testing [04]), 19 Medical laboratories, 06 Calibration laboratories, 05 Certification bodies (QMS [03], EMS [03], FSMS [03], OHSAS [01], Product certification [01] and Certification of persons [01]), and 02 Inspection bodies and 02 Greenhouse validation and verification bodies.

SLAB is an International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA) partner for Testing, Calibration, Medical Testing and Inspection; International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (IAF MLA) partner for System & Product Certification; and Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) MLA partner for GHG Validation & Verification. SLAB is currently looking forward to becoming an IAF MLA partner for GHG Validation & Verification and Certification of Persons.

As endorsed by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Sri Lanka, to create a quality conscious culture in the country, the technical measures being taken on quality, environment, food safety, occupational health and safety, energy etc. must be controlled and monitored through stipulated standards and technical regulations. SLAB has been advised to coordinate activities in relation to this and as the initiating step on this regard, SLAB organized a National Regulatory Conclave to create a platform for all regulators to identify the current demand of the industries and international market and to review and introduce regulations in regard.

SLAB is moving forward helping to create a quality conscious culture in Sri Lanka.

Highlights of the 38th EA General Assembly

Significant achievements were made at the last EA General Assembly held on 23 and 24 November 2016 in Borås, Sweden.

The Autumn European Accreditation General Assembly (EA GA), hosted by the Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (SWEDAC), was the last GA meeting attended by Geir Samuelsen as the EA Vice-Chair. EA thanked the Director General of Norwegian Accreditation (NA) for his great contribution to making the association’s issues progress since 2014. The call for nominations of the new EA Chair and Vice-Chair, to be elected at the next EA GA in May 2017, should be launched among EA Members by the end of the year.

A great number of resolutions have been adopted in Borås, the most outstanding of which are listed below.

Regarding EA documents, the General Assembly approved EA-1/17 S5: Levying of Membership Fees as revised by the Executive Committee, as well as the revised terms of reference of the MLA Council and the Horizontal Harmonisation Committee. All three documents should be republished on the EA website.

Acting upon recommendation from the Certification or Laboratory Committee, three new work items have been agreed by the General Assembly to:

  • revise EA-6/04: EA Guidelines on the Accreditation of Certification of Primary Sector Products by Means of Sampling of Sites;

  • review/revise EA-2/14: Procedure for Regional Calibration ILCs in Support of the EA MLA; and

  • elaborate an Informative Document on Joint EA - EDQM Communication regarding cooperation when carrying out joint audits/assessments in Official Medicines Control Laboratories.

The General Assembly has welcomed the International Accreditation Forum’s (IAF) move to develop a new approach to accreditation sub-scopes under the Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA), with a simplified process closer to EA's own practices and principles.

Last but not least, the EA Strategy 2025 setting the path for EA’s development over the coming decade, which had been presented at the GA in May, has been adopted by the General Assembly which congratulated the Strategy Project Group and the Project Manager, Peter Strömbäck from SWEDAC, for the excellent work achieved. The Strategy outlines EA’s course “from good to great” to achieve its vision and a desired position. Three strategic objectives that translate the Strategy and set out the plan to achieve the vision are:

  • Good governance to deliver consistent and sustainable results.

  • Close cooperation with regulators and stakeholders to strengthen accreditation at the European and international level.

  • Continue to develop accreditation to support innovation and growth in existing and new areas.

The final implementation plan of the Strategy will be submitted to the next General Assembly in May 2017.

All EA resolutions from 2010 onwards can be downloaded from the online EA Media Center here.

Workshop Demonstrates the Value of Standards and Accreditation in the Insurance Sector

IAF supported the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and its Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) to organise and host a seminar to explore the role and benefits of standards and accreditation in managing risk for the insurance industry. The workshop brought together experts from conformity assessment and the insurance industry, standards developers and business representatives to discuss issues such as extreme events and business continuity planning, reducing exposure to product liability claims, the challenges of globalised supply chains, and how technology will affect the sector.

The session, which was moderated by Anthony Hilton, Evening Standard Finance Correspondent, included speakers from the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL), Zurich, Mitsubishi Corporation, Liberty Global, Pyrology Limited and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Matt Baker, Howden Insurance Brokers, also provided an overview of the scheme that they have developed for the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited organisations, and how they use accreditation against ISO standards to evaluate risk. Michael Mainelli, UKAS non-executive, also delivered a presentation that brought out the key points from research carried out by the Z/Yen Group ‘Opportunities for Standards in Insurance’ which showed that the adoption of voluntary standards and accreditation would be particularly suitable around product development, product information and processes in insurance.

Many of the speakers from the sector cited the benefits that they receive having adopted international standards covered by accreditation. Mr Ono Takahiro, from Mitsubishi Corporation Insurance, stated that the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) provides a more attractive loan rate and discounted insurance premiums to commercial businesses that have accredited certification of their business continuity management system to ISO 22301 / 22313. This has helped the bank to manage its risk exposure as it has encouraged firms to build resilience and to be in better control of their risks. Matt Baker, Howden Insurance Brokers, shared their experience of setting up a scheme for UKAS-accredited organisations, where there are robust standards in place, there is a clear process of demonstrating compliance to those standards, and there are consequences for non-compliance. This has allowed them to work with an engaged insurer to offer discounts on premiums and better policy coverage. Analysis of the claims record demonstrates that standards and accreditation reduce the number of claims and therefore reduce insurer losses.

Antonio Terracina, Director of the Italian Workers' Compensation Authority, INAIL, reported how OHSAS 18001 had improved health and safety in the work place. INAIL provides significant discounts in premium to organisations that have accredited certification to OHSAS 18001, which has seen the number of certified organisations rise to 4,500. However, the number of accidents in the workplace has fallen significantly by 27% across the economy. Some sectors have seen significant reductions, namely Construction (33%), Rock and Glass (43%) and Textiles (64%).

A short video summary of the workshop can be seen on the ISO Facebook Live page.

The presentations can also be viewed on the event website.

ISO and the accreditation community will continue to work together with the insurance sector to ensure that these benefits have a wider reach, and to ensure that the standards development process can better support how insurers manage risk.

Update on the ISO/CASCO 2016 Technical Work
In 2016 ISO/CASCO published 2 International Standards and 1 Technical Specification:
  • ISO 17034, General requirements for the competence of reference material producers was published in November and replaces the ISO Guide 34:2009. It specifies general requirements for the competence and consistent operation of reference material producers and sets out the requirements in accordance with which reference materials are produced.

  • ISO/IEC 17021-9, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems - Part 9: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of anti-bribery management systems, was published in October. It's a new Technical Specification that complements the existing requirements of ISO/IEC 17021-1 with specific competence requirements for personnel involved in the certification process for anti-bribery management systems (ABMS).
  • ISO/IEC 17021-2, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems - Part 2: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of environmental management systems was published in December. This International Standard replaces the ISO/IEC TS 17021-2:2012 and specifies additional competence requirements for personnel involved in the audit and certification process for environmental management systems (EMS).
ISO/CASCO has been also revising 2 key conformity assessment standards:

The ballot on the Draft International Standard (DIS) ISO/IEC 17011, setting the general requirements for accreditation bodies, closed mid-November and was largely approved by ISO/CASCO and IEC P-members. The working group (WG) 42 will meet from 21-23 February 2017 to address the DIS comments and depending on the nature of the changes decide whether a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) stage is necessary or if the document can go straight to publication. In line with the 7th edition of the ISO Directives (Part 1) the FDIS is now optional and the WG experts can decide to include it based on the DIS results (2/3 majority of the P members in the TC/SC that vote + no more than ¼ of all votes cast are negative) and comments received (if the DIS comments result in a technical change the experts should decide whether an FDIS vote is needed).

Another document under review, ISO/IEC 17025, setting the competence requirements for testing and calibration laboratories, has reached the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, meaning that interested parties will have the opportunity to submit feedback on the draft as of December 29, and for a period of 3 months. The WG44 will meet in July and based on the ballot results and DIS comments, it will decide either to move the document straight to publication or the FDIS stage.

OECD and UNIDO Publications to Support Accreditation

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has actively contributed to the recent publication of reports from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that confirm how the international accreditation system supports regulatory co-operation and cross-border trade.

The role of International Organisations

Research conducted by OECD identified that International Organisations (IOs) play a growing role as standard setting bodies in supporting regulatory co-operation, with evidence showing that IOs contribute to International Regulatory Co-operation (IRC) by:

  • offering platforms for continuous dialogue on regulatory issues;

  • facilitating the comparability of approaches and practices;

  • providing member countries with flexible mechanisms to identify and adapt to new and emerging regulatory areas or issues;

  • contributing to the development of a common regulatory language; and

  • developing international legal and policy instruments.

The OECD gathered unique evidence from 50 international organisations on their governance, operational modalities, rule-making practices and approaches to assessing implementation and impacts, which is presented in the report International Regulatory Co-operation: the Role of International Organisations in Fostering Better Rules of Globalisation (launched 2 November 2016). This comparative analysis takes into account the diversity of mandates, expertise and strengths of the 50 participating IOs.

By establishing the international accreditation arrangements based on the mutual recognition of certificates and reports issued by conformity assessment bodies, the development of common rules and policies, and the harmonising of accreditation practices, the report identified that the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF) play a growing role in supporting regulatory co-operation.

This OECD work on IRC and IOs is part of a broad study into the various mechanisms available to governments to promote regulatory co-operation, and their benefits and challenges. A full copy of the report is available from the OECD website.

Global accreditation: Reducing trade costs
UKAS (through ILAC and IAF) and Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC) also provided input into a separate OECD report. Research was conducted to investigate whether appropriate accredited conformity assessment systems can reduce trade costs, while balancing national regulatory objectives. The report cites the ILAC and IAF global arrangements, and states that they can help to reduce conformity assessment costs by allowing exporters to rely on their own countries conformity assessment bodies, thereby avoiding duplications in laboratory testing, shipment of samples to the destination country’s bodies and related costs in expenditures and time delays.

The report, which is available on the OECD website, also states that expansion of the global accreditation arrangements would further reduce trade costs.

UNIDO: Supporting the expansion of accreditation systems
To support this expansion, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, has recently published two documents:

A guide to opening the door to international trade – setting up accreditation bodies in Developing Countries

How accreditation can support UNIDO achieve its Global Sustainable Development Goals

Celebration of World Accreditation Day 2016 by MAURITAS

On the occasion of World Accreditation Day celebrated every year on 9th June, the Mauritius Accreditation Service (MAURITAS) organized a half-day seminar on accreditation.

The theme for the Year 2016, as jointly declared by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), was “Accreditation: A global tool to support Public Policy”.

Around 60 participants attended the event, comprising personnel from Testing and Calibration Laboratories, Certification bodies and Inspection bodies from both the public and private sectors. Guests from the National Standards body, Regulatory Authorities and Government Bodies were also invited.

The Director of MAURITAS delivers his speech during World Accreditation Day 2016

Guests and Participants during World Accreditation Day 2016

On that day, MAURITAS carried out a presentation related to the theme of World Accreditation Day 2016. The programme also included presentations from the Forensic Science Laboratory and the National Environmental Laboratory on accreditation as a tool that helps Government to support public policy in the areas of public security and environment protection respectively.

A video film jointly prepared by ILAC and IAF on the occasion of World Accreditation Day 2016 was also played during the event.

Furthermore, an award ceremony was held where certificates of accreditation were handed over by the Minister to three (3) newly accredited laboratories namely:

  • Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC) Laboratories (Testing Field: Chemical)

  • Alteo Refinery Ltd Laboratory (Testing Field: Chemical)

  • Les Moulins de la Concorde Ltee Laboratory (Testing Field: Food Testing)

Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC) Laboratories (Testing Field: Chemical)

Celebration of World Accreditation Day 2016 raised awareness among the personnel of the laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies. It also brought focus on the importance of accreditation and reiterated how accreditation could be used as a tool to support Public Policy by Government in order to deliver better regulation, environment protection, public safety, fair and efficient markets and public trust.

ANSIā€“PAC Workshop Provides Stakeholder Insights and Overview of ISO/IEC 17065
Originally published 10/24/2016

This month, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), signatory to the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC), hosted a two-day workshop in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with industry and government presentations on ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services. Attendees included 21 international participants from PAC member accreditation bodies.

PAC is an association of accreditation bodies whose objective is the creation of a system granting international recognition of conformity assessment certifications. The ANSI event on October 6-7 provided a section-by-section breakdown of ISO/IEC 17065, and presentations were complemented with exercises that tested the specific clauses highlighted by speakers. Presenters dedicated time differentiating between third-party processes in relation to a regulatory body versus a certification body (CB) and their roles in voluntary consensus standards. Presentations also focused on deconstruction of organizational structures to identify legal entities within a certification body.

Attendees took part in a case study exercise to highlight the roles of a CB and a scheme owner in terms of a certification scheme. Stakeholders gathered suggestions to be brought up to the PAC Working Group on Product for consideration to improve product certification process related to ISO/IEC 17065.

Presenters included Eamon Monahan of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who provided an overview on the implementation of ISO/IEC 17065 to the EPA ENERGYSTAR certification program. William Hurst of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provided a presentation on experience with the application of ISO/IEC 17065 for telecommunication certification bodies (TCBs) in the FCC certification program.

Industry stakeholder speakers included Patricia Gleason of the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI, an ASTM subsidiary), who provided details on understanding third-party certification transitioning from Guide 65 to ISO/IEC 17065. And Keith Mowry of UL provided information and discussion related to implementation of ISO/IEC 17065 on a large certification process with a complex organizational structure.

For more information on accreditation, visit the ANSI website.

News from BSCA

BSCA pre-evaluation to be continued!

Following the pre-evaluation results of the Belarusian State Centre for Accreditation (BSCA) by the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) in January 2016, Members of the Multilateral Agreement Council (MAC) during the meeting held on 4th October in Skopje recommended to proceed with the initial evaluation of BSCA in accordance with EA-2/02 “EA Procedure for the evaluation of a National Accreditation Body”. The scope of the evaluation will be: accreditation for certification bodies of management systems; accreditation for certification bodies for products, processes and services; and accreditation for certification bodies for persons.

The evaluation is planned to take place in 2017.

BSCA and QCI signed the Memorandum of Understanding

BSCA and the Quality Council of India (QCI) signed the Memorandum of Understanding concerning technical cooperation on accreditation.

The Memorandum encourages the exchange of information on accreditation rules and procedures, supports the Parties in the framework of international and regional organizations for accreditation and promotes mutual cooperation on accreditation in accordance with the legislation of the Parties.

The signing ceremony took place during the International Accreditation Forum/International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (IAF-ILAC) Joint Annual Meetings in New Delhi, India, 30 October - 4 November 2016.

BSCA and QCI signing Memorandum of Understanding

A New Associate Member in EA

In November 2016, the European Accreditation (EA) General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the Executive Committee that ARMNAB, the national accreditation body of Armenia, become an Associate Member of EA effective 24 November 2016.

ARMNAB had applied for the Associate Membership status in July 2016. After it was subject to a full administrative check by the EA Executive Secretary, the new application was carefully examined by the EA Multilateral Agreement Council which, at its last meeting in October, recommended ARMNAB’s acceptance as an EA Associate Member.

This new Associate Member makes EA gather now 13 Associate Members, i.e. accreditation bodies located in countries listed as potential candidate members to the European Union (EU) or covered by the EU Neighbourhood Policy.

On behalf of Nune Mkrtchyan, the ARMNAB Director General, Mrs. Nazik Abgaryan (right), signed the EA Associate Membership agreement with Thomas Facklam, the EA Chairman.

Memorandum of Understanding Between EA and ETSI
In June 2016, EA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for information and communications technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converge, broadcast and Internet technologies. ETSI is an industry-led standards development organisation with a membership of 800 manufacturers, network operators, service providers, research bodies, regulatory bodies and academia from over 64 countries. ETSI is the recognized European Standardization Organisation for Telecommunications.

ETSI and EA have the common objective to perform and promote, directly or indirectly, regional and international standardisation with the aim of contributing to the establishment of a global information infrastructure and strengthening the European accreditation structure.

Having a reciprocal interest in avoiding duplication of technical work, ETSI and EA would both benefit from adopting a complementary approach to the standardisation process in domains of mutual interest. A Mapping of Areas of Mutual Interest between ETSI and EA, annexed to the MoU, identifies the work areas agreed on by both organisations. ETSI and EA have both noted the need for structuring and strengthening their relationship by fostering a closer cooperation in developing standards for Trust Service Providers and other areas of conformity assessment and benefiting from EA’s requirements from auditors and national accreditation bodies.

The EA-ETSI MoU, which shall last 3 years before being renewed by mutual consent, was signed by Luis Jorge Romero, the ETSI Director-General, and Thomas Facklam, the EA Chair.

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