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.