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Closer Cooperation
 
Randy

Cooperation is on the key concepts embodied by IAF. Randy Dougherty provides an update on how the IAF is closely working with its key stakeholders.

Cooperation is one of the key concepts embodied by IAF.  Other key concepts include:

Cooperation is one of the key concepts embodied by IAF.  Other key concepts include:

  • Consensus
  • Confidence
  • Equivalence of conformity assessment
  • Equivalence of accreditation
  • Certification in one country being accepted in another country in the interest of international trade

I take this opportunity to give an update on some cooperation, and apologize in advance for not giving an update on all cooperation.

…with ILAC

Even though the IAF-ILAC Joint Committee on Closer Cooperation (JCCC) was disbanded at the 2009 JGA in Vancouver, the cooperation between ILAC and IAF has continued to deepen and improve. 

  • The Joint Executive Committee (JEC) meetings have proven to be successful with more and more being discussed within the JEC and fewer issues being ILAC or IAF specific. 
  • March 2010 was the first attempt at changing what had, up to then, been the IAF Technical Committee meeting, into ILAC and IAF coordinated meetings; and due to the unforeseen circumstances in Tunisia this also became our first attempt to have the meetings directly hosted and managed by the Secretariats.  It was a success.  We hope to duplicate this success with the meetings in Frankfurt this year. 
  • Peter Unger as the ILAC Chair, and I as the IAF Chair, have been working very closely together to expand the recognition of both ILAC and IAF, and acceptance of the mutual recognition arrangements:  the ILAC MRA and the IAF MLA.   We have made joint presentations to several groups explaining how, through the peer evaluation process and the ILAC-IAF Arrangements, stakeholders can have confidence in accredited conformity assessment results so that CABs can be “accredited once and accepted everywhere” and there can be “one test, inspection, or certification, accepted everywhere”. 
  • In addition, through the JEC, in response to speaking invitations, we have made it a practice to have the agreed speaker present information on both ILAC and IAF.

So even though we are still two different organizations, we are continually getting better at working together, and at presenting united positions to the world.

…with ISO

When we first established the joint IAF-ILAC-ISO Joint Working Group, our meetings were a bit stormy.  This may have been normal as groups go through the various stages of team building—forming, storming, norming and performing—but I think our relationship with ISO and ISO/CASCO is very good.  At the most recent meeting of the JWG in March 2012, we have concluded that most of the items in the IAF-ISO Action Plan have been completed.  We have also worked through the very thorny issue of understanding how the CASCO conformity assessment toolbox, the ISO/IEC conformity assessment standards, and the ILAC and IAF documents fit together.  I am very encouraged by the strong commitment by the ISO Secretary General Rob Steele, the CASCO Chair Lane Hallenbeck, and the CASCO Secretary Sean MacCurtain, to work closely with the ILAC and IAF to continually improve accredited conformity assessment.

…with IEC

The relationship with IEC is continuing to evolve in a positive direction.  As you may recall, we formed the IEC (CAB)-ILAC-IAF Steering Committee in 2009 in Vancouver and signed an MOU in 2010 in Shanghai.  “CAB” is the acronym for the Conformity Assessment Board of the IEC.  The website,  http://www.iecee.org/cab/cab-ilac-iaf-steering.html has been established, and in Frankfurt, a task force to develop guidance for the unified assessments was set up.  The Steering Committee will also be meeting.

…between ABs

Since IAF fully implemented GD3, the guidance on cross-frontier accreditation, and has mandated annual reporting by accreditation bodies to the MLA Committee, it is my personal perception that the level of cooperation between accreditation bodies has improved significantly. But I can attest from personal experience that cooperation is not easy.  In fact, IT IS VERY HARD WORK.  I think it is easier for each of us to do our own assessments for supporting our accreditations.  Even though it is hard work and not easy, I hope we all continue to cooperate.  I still have the hope that one day we will fulfill the vision of a past IAF Chair Dr. Takashi Ohtsubo, that IAF member accreditation bodies work as a network to provide a globally recognized accreditation with assessments provided by the local accreditation body.


Accredited certification delivers real added value
 
IAF Survey

To gain a clearer understanding of the ‘value’ of accredited certification, IAF carried out a survey of businesses in 40 different economies. The survey aimed to clarify the drivers for seeking certification, the factors involved in choosing a certification body, and the extent of any benefit derived from the certification process. A full report of the results can be downloaded from the IAF website.

Over 4,000 responses were received from businesses of all sizes operating across a diverse range of industries. While the majority of respondents were responsible for managing quality within their organization, over a quarter of respondents were either finance directors, marketing managers or other senior management personnel. This indicates that the value of certification is recognized across the spectrum of business functions, and not just in the traditional quality management arena.

This is positive news for accreditation bodies that invest a significant amount of time and resources in raising awareness of the benefits of accredited certification among businesses, government departments and regulators. The primary motivation for this is to enable organizations to make an informed choice on which certification bodies they use. Using an accredited certification body should assure the organization that it will get the business benefits and value it pays for. But was this recognized by those who responded to the IAF survey?

The real value of certification

Over 80% of all respondents reported that certification had added value to their organization. As a more quantifiable measure, around half of all participants have seen an increase in sales as a direct result of the certification.

Internal business improvement was given by nearly half of all participants as the main driver for seeking certification, while approximately one third said it was a requirement of their customers.  However, respondents overwhelmingly stated that certification was important to their customers.  Despite only 12% citing it as the main reason for gaining certification, over 80% confirmed that certification had helped them meet national regulatory requirements. 

Taken together, these figures indicate that certification is something that organizations are choosing to seek, primarily to improve internal operations and to provide customer confidence, rather than something that is done begrudgingly merely to tick compliance boxes. It’s not just the larger companies that are realising these benefits though, as nearly two thirds of respondents work in SMEs, half of which have less than 50 employees.

How important are certification bodies?

Over 90% of those who took part in the survey confirmed that their certification body was accredited by a recognized accreditation body, with nearly three quarters stating that accreditation was either essential or very important in their line of business. Only 3% reported that accreditation was not important.  When asked about the importance of the certification being covered by the IAF Multilateral Recognition Agreement (MLA), 35% stated that the acceptance of their certification in overseas markets was very important.

The survey also revealed that the vast majority of organizations use certification bodies that are based in their local economy, with less than one in 10 seeking certification from an overseas organization. To help them through the process, 60% of respondents reported that they commissioned the services of an external consultant.

Is there value for money?

While the survey identified that achieving certification could be fairly complex, businesses rated the competence of accredited certification bodies highly, and confirmed that the time to navigate the process met with their expectations. Asked whether the certification bodies provide value for money, 62% of respondents agreed. 

Summary

The findings of the survey confirm that businesses are generating significant benefits and added value from accredited certification. Not only is it being used as a tool to deliver internal business improvement and to meet regulatory compliance, but businesses confirm that it has a positive effect on revenue. Given that the majority of businesses that responded to the survey (57%) employed less than 249 people, accredited certification clearly benefits small to medium sized organisations, as well as large multinationals. 

Businesses taking part also reported high levels of satisfaction with the certification process in terms of the timeframe to achieve certification and the competence of the assessment teams. Given these positive findings, businesses perceive accredited certification as providing value for money.

Nearly all of the businesses that took part in the survey (91%) selected an accredited certification body, providing an assurance that these organisations have the required competence and impartiality to do so as evidenced by fulfilment of international standards and requirements.

The IAF has an ongoing initiative to capture feedback from the market in order to deliver value added outcomes, and so we would like to thank those who took part in the survey. IAF would also like to thank Databuild, a leading independent market research company, for their help in developing the survey and approving the results.   

 


World Accreditation Day - June 9th 2012
 
WAD

Major events, press campaigns, workshops and seminars will take place on 9th June in over 90 countries to raise awareness of the value that accreditation plays in the supply of safe food and clean drinking water.

To celebrate the day and to support the activities that are taking place in each economy, ILAC and IAF have created a set of materials which are available to download from the IAF website 

We all need access to sufficient food and water to live, which as a minimum, must be affordable, nutritionally adequate, and safe.

Food and water supply chains are changing rapidly due to factors such as greater urbanisation, technological advances in processing and treatment techniques, changes in consumer demand and tastes, and increasing globalisation of supply chains.

Further to this, consumers are taking an interest in the origin of the food they eat or the source or mineral content of a bottle of water. They may also have concerns about the environmental impact or the trading ethics of the products they consume.

Given these factors, it is critical that consumers have confidence in the safety, security, and authenticity of the food and water they consume. This confidence is gained through the application of common food safety management systems, supported by credible testing and inspection regimes, both within national economies but also across international borders from ‘source to consumption’.

There are a growing number of organisations that check compliance with these standards by providing services such as laboratory testing, calibration, inspection services, and certification services. However, it is accreditation that confirms that these organisations are impartial and competent to provide these services.

Accreditation covers multiple disciplines throughout the supply chain to ensure that those who check the operators in the food and water industry can demonstrate that they are working to the appropriate standards.

Accredited testing laboratories are used to analyse for contaminants or to declare that produce is authentic. On-going surveillance and sampling is required to check that products leaving the factory meet the claims on the label week-in and week-out.

Food safety management systems are used by organisations involved in all aspects of the food and water supply chain, to demonstrate the ability to control safety hazards until the point of consumption. Routine hygiene audits are carried out by accredited inspection bodies.

There are also an increasing number of accredited schemes that relate to fair trade, organic food, the treatment of animals, and impact on the environment.

Accreditation bodies that are evaluated as competent sign arrangements that support the acceptance of accredited results and certificates across national borders. These arrangements, which are managed by the IAF and ILAC, remove the need for additional tests, checks or certification at each country of entry. They also provide Regulators with an internationally recognised stamp of approval to demonstrate that a supplier is complying with agreed standards.


Cgcre hosts IAF/ILAC Joint General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

It is with great pleasure that Cgcre will be the host of the IAF/ILAC Joint General Assembly, which will be held from 16th to 26th October, 2012, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We are most pleased to invite all IAF members to attend the IAF/ILAC General Assembly and to join the Working Groups/Task Forces meetings.

This event will be a forum for dissemination and discussion of the latest advances in the broad area of accreditation. It is a valorous opportunity to interchange ideas and reach new knowledge. We believe that participants will take a precious advantage of each scheduled meeting and this event will certainly play an important role in the development of the accreditation activity under national and international framework conditions.

We hope that the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro can be the stage of important decisions that significantly contribute to a better performance of the accreditation activity and that you can also enjoy the hospitality and natural beauty of our amazing city.


New CASCO Publications due in 2012

2012 will be extremely rich for the ISO committee on conformity assessment (ISO/CASCO) in terms of publications. ISO/IEC 17020:2012, Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection, which provides requirements for inspection bodies was published on 1 March. And a technical specification on requirements for third party audit report in management system (ISO/IEC TS 17022) was published on 1 April.

Additional key ISO/CASCO documents for certification bodies will be published later this year. The important and long awaited standard on product certification, ISO/IEC 17065, which will replace the ISO/IEC Guide 65 is expected in August, while ISO/IEC 17024 on the certification of persons is nearing publication with a projected date of late June.

A further important development in 2012 is the potential start of the revision of ISO/IEC 17021 (requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems).  A ballot by ISO/CASCO members to end in June will determine the next steps. The scope of the revision will be on the clauses incorporated without change from the 2006 version into the 2011 one. The committee is also pleased with the establishment of three new working groups this year.


Medical Device Regulators show an interest in IAF based accreditation for ISO 13485

Regulatory agencies that require a valid ISO 1385 certificate to register a medical device in their country are taking a genuine interest in the new IAF Accreditation System for ISO 13485.  The Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia has now adopted the new IAF program and successfully used it to track down a phony certificate with the help of IAF member accreditation bodies. 

At a recent inaugural meeting of the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF), the IAF initiative for ISO 13485 was presented to leading regulatory authorities from China, Brazil, the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia.  A representative from the World Health Organization was also in attendance.  The new IAF Brochure for IAF ISO 13485 initiative was appreciated by attending medical device regulators.   One of the regulators that took a copy of the brochure has since requested that the new IAF program be presented at an upcoming Asian Harmonization Working Party meeting.


Message from the PAC secretariat

Invitation to PAC Annual Meetings – Hong Kong - June 2012.

I am pleased to invite you to the PAC Plenary meetings, to be held in Hong Kong, China, from 16 – 23 June 2012. The meetings will be hosted by HKAS.

The program contains a good mix of presentations, training, review of technical issues and open discussion. A Seminar entitled “The Emerging Trend of Accreditation and Certifications” will start the week’s activities, covering subjects such as the Benefit of MLAs to Business, Accreditation and Market Access in Europe, the Certification Industry in Hong Kong, HACCP, ISMS, Green Certification, The Chinese Medicine trade, GHG accreditation and verification. Speakers include representatives of PAC, EA and various Hong Kong certification bodies and regulators.

The following training activities will be held in conjunction with the meetings:

  • A Trainee Peer Evaluator Workshop on 16 and 17 June – open to recognised trainees from PAC and other regional groups.
  • An Introduction to PAC and APLAC for new and prospective members of PAC, also on 16 and 17 June. This course is sponsored by PTB, who will provide Dr Manfred Kindler as one of the trainers.
  • ISO/IEC 17021 training course on 21 June – open to all participants
  • Experienced PE workshop on the morning of 22 June – open to team members and team leaders from PAC and regional groups.

PAC standing committees will also meet during the week, with attendance open to all delegates (except where noted on the program).

The Website for the meetings has been launched. The URL is: http://www.pac2012.hk/ and registrations are now open.

 

We extend a warm welcome to all our friends in the accreditation and conformity assessment communities to join us in Hong Kong and we look forward to meeting you and your colleagues in June.


Communication key to EA future development
 
EA

Regulation (EC) 765/2008 places stretching demands on EA as an organisation. In order to meet these demands, and to develop into the organisation the European Commission first envisaged as it sets out to reform this policy area, EA has defined a series of strategic objectives that must be achieved in the next four years. This work will see accreditation becoming more responsive to market needs through simplified processes and decision-making, as well as through forging closer relationships with key regulatory, technical and business stakeholders. EA will seek to build on management practices to evolve the culture of the organisation to face the challenges of its new role. This will be supported by learning from different types of organisations, and by tapping into and sharing the experience and knowledge base within the European accreditation system.

Effective communication, both internal and external, will be a core factor in realising these goals, to achieving a consistent implementation of the Regulation, and to meeting the additional requirements placed on EA by the EU Commission, EFTA and the national authorities.

The EA Communications & Publications Committee (CPC) met in London, United Kingdom in March 2012. Graham Talbot, EA Chair and Chair of both the ILAC MCC and the IAF CMC, opened the meeting by reinforcing the importance that communication will play in supporting EA’s long-term vision.

The EA CPC Chair, Vagn Andersen from DANAK, confirmed that the EA Marketing and Communications Plan 2011-2015 had been endorsed by the EA Executive Committee in November 2011. The Committee would now focus on the implementation of the plan by agreeing a work plan setting out responsibilities and timeframes for completing the activities.

During the next four years, the EA CPC will strengthen the EA brand to reflect its position as an official European institution. This will encompass all EA communications and platforms. Online and electronic tools will be used to communicate with stakeholders, as well as to improve communications within the membership community. The EA website will be re-developed to enable visitors to access the information they require, while the intranet will serve as a hub for sharing information and establishing greater dialogue between members.

In order to widen EA’s stakeholder base, the EA CPC will develop a contacts management plan. This will involve researching contacts, as well as gathering local national contacts, and setting out an engagement plan, with the aim of establishing closer relationships with technical organisations, business intermediaries, and across all Directorates General of the European Commission.

Finally, EA will be carrying out benchmarking exercises to access EA’s growing knowledge base and best practice, to ensure that best practice is captured and that there is greater consistency between members. The identification of performance goals and service levels will provide EA Members with greater insight into their performance and identify areas for improvement.

The next period is a critical phase in the development of EA. As such, the EA CPC has set itself a clear roadmap, which will see it build platforms for communication, and embark on an engagement plan leading to the development of new relationships, and a wider community of stakeholders with an improved understanding of the value of accreditation.


News from EA and its Committees

Enhancing stakeholder involvement in EA Certification Committee discussions

The 23rd Meeting of the EA Certification Committee (CC) took place on 14 and 15 February 2012 in Sofia, Bulgaria, with the first day dedicated to a preparatory meeting with EA-member ABs. As usual, the second day was opened to stakeholder organizations such as CEOC International, Eurolab, EFAC, IIOC and EOQ.

The EA CC includes a “Review Panel” which is an expert group in charge of giving preliminary responses to questions about accreditation raised by CC Members and discussed at each CC preparatory meeting. At its last meeting, the EA CC confirmed that the composition of the Review Panel should include one stakeholder representative in order to increase transparency, avoid duplication of discussions and improve preparation of IAF discussions. Trevor Nash from the European Federation of Associations of Certification bodies (EFAC) has agreed to participate in the next preliminary discussion round of the Review Panel on the questions asked by CC Members for the next EA CC preparatory meeting in September 2012.

Each EA technical committee manages a “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) compilation document which puts together all questions and issues raised on accreditation by the committee’s members and answered at the committee’s successive meetings. As they were started several years ago, the CC FAQs are regularly updated when standards are revised. Similarly it was agreed that this work should be done by the CC Review Panel in cooperation with stakeholders before further discussion and final validation by the EA CC. The FAQs format and accessibility will also be improved for a wider use and publication.

At the European level

A new Working Group for the Accreditation of GHG Verifiers has been set up within the EA CC to meet the European Commission (EC)’s expectation to have a formal network established between EA-member ABs, so as to improve European harmonization of accreditation in the field of greenhouse gas emissions. The two new Monitoring & Reporting (M&R) and Accreditation & Verification (A&V) Regulations were adopted by the EC Climate Change Committee in December 2011, and are expected to be approved by the European Parliament and Council by May 2012. Both regulations apply from 1 January 2013. The terms of reference of the WG have been drafted and approved by the EA Executive Committee in March 2012.

Following the anticipated approval by the EA General Assembly in May 2012, the first task of the EA CC WG for Accreditation of GHG Verifiers will involve revising EA-6/03: EA Document for Recognition of Verifiers under the EU ETS (Emissions Trading System)Directive. The revised document will support a harmonised interpretation and approach to the accreditation of verification bodies according to ISO 14065 and the A&V Regulation. It is intended to be used by accreditation and verification bodies in the process of accreditation for verification of emissions and data in the EU ETS scheme.

The mandatory EA document for implementation of the EU Organic Farming Regulation is still to be circulated among both the CC membership and the EA community for comments. This simultaneous circulation in necessary as the document is urgently needed in the EA CC and for the EA General Assembly.

European and international standardisation

After having been approved by the EA General Assembly in November 2011, the revision of EA-6/02: EA Guidelines on the Use of EN 45011 and ISO/IEC 17021 for certification to EN ISO 3834, building upon the outcome of the workshop jointly organized by EA and the European Welding Foundation (EWF) in December 2010, has started with the establishment of an equally EA-EWF composed TFG and a first, physical meeting in March 2012. Online meetings will follow. The revised document is expected for the September meeting.

ISO/IEC 27006: 2011 was reveiwed at the last CC meeting at which it was noted that the transition period will end on 1 February 2013. The EA CC will put forward a recommendation to the EA General Assembly in May 2012 so that EA ABs finish the implementation of the new version of 27006 in accordance with the transition period agreed for ISO/IEC 17021:2011.

Guidance work in the pipeline

Approved by the EA General Assembly in November 2011, the drafting of an EA harmonization guidance on the application of ISO/IEC 17021:2011 for OHSAS 18001 is progressing. An initial draft should be presented by TFG OHSAS at the EA CC autumn meeting.

The elaboration of a mandatory guidance document on witnessing practices for management system certification has been progressing through several online meetings organized by the EA Secretariat. Because it proved difficult to find compromises between very large national discrepancies, a cluster approach has been utilised by TFG Witnessing which was given the green light to go ahead with drafting the document. The EA CC also decided that specific witnessing for OHSAS should be discussed by TFG OHSAS in order for the outcome to be integrated into the witnessing document as an added value.

New training planned in 2012

The EA CC will reiterate the positive and fruitful experience of 2011 training on ISO/IEC 17021 and 14065 and organise a training session on ISO/IEC 17024 in 2012. Since the revised standard is expected to come out in June, the training is planned on 24-25 September and 29-30 October 2012. Two back-to-back 1.5-day sessions will be hosted by ACCREDIA, the Italian NAB, in Milan.

The arrangements of a training course on ISO/IEC 17065 in 2013 should be finalized at the next CC meeting to be held on 11 and 12 September 2012 in Helsinki, Finland.


News from IAAC

IAAC Membership

IAAC has maintained its membership at the same levels of last year.  IAAC currently has a total of 41 members from 23 countries in the Americas. 22 are full members, 7 are associate members and 12 are stakeholders.

FQS of USA was acquired by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board, LLC., of USA as of November 2011.

IAAC MLA Group

The IAAC MLA Group currently has a total of 17 signatory members under the following scopes:

For Testing Laboratories (16)

For Calibration Laboratories (12)

For Quality Management Systems Certification Bodies (10)

For Environmental Management Systems Certification Bodies (7)

For Product Certification Bodies (8)

For Inspection Bodies (5)

Visit the IAAC site for further details http://iaac.org.mx/English/Members.php.

Extension of the IAAC MLA

IAAC is currently in the process of becoming a signatory to the ILAC MRA for the scope of Inspection Bodies.  An ILAC evaluation team has already carried out a witnessing of two IAAC peer evaluations.  The first one of ECA, Costa Rica, in January 2011, and the second of OGA, Guatemala, in June 2011.  The ILAC team observed via Skype the MLA Group meeting which was held in Quito, Ecuador, on August 21, 2011.  The ILAC team also carried out an evaluation of the IAAC Secretariat via Skype on October 18, 2011.  IAAC has submitted its response to the findings to the ILAC team.

The IAAC General Assembly agreed to extend the MLA to include the following scopes:

  • Persons Certification Bodies according to the ISO/IEC 17024
  • Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS), according to ISO/IEC 17021,  ISO 22003, and  ISO 22000 at level 5.
  • Information Security Management Systems (ISMS), according to ISO/IEC 17021,  ISO 27006 and ISO 27001 at level 5.
  • Green House Gas Emissions, according to all of the relevant standards.
  • Proficiency Testing Providers, according to ISO/IEC 17043.
  • Reference Material producers, according to ISO/IEC Guide 34, in combination with ISO/IEC 17025.

The MLA Committee assigned working groups for each MLA scope to develop the documentation that is needed to begin the implementation.

The following IAAC members have been accepted as signatories to the IAAC MLA, as of August 2011:

  • OAE of Ecuador was accepted as a signatory to the IAAC MLA for the scopes of Testing and Calibration Laboratories (ISO/IEC 17025); Quality Management Systems (ISO/IEC 17021); Product Certification Bodies (ISO/IEC Guide 65); and Inspection Bodies (ISO/IEC 17020).
  • ONA of Paraguay was accepted as a signatory to the IAAC MLA for the scopes of

Testing Laboratories (ISO/IEC 17025); Product Certification Bodies (ISO/IEC Guide 65); and Inspection Bodies (ISO/IEC 17020).

  • ECA of Costa Rica was accepted as a signatory to the IAAC MLA for the scope of

Product Certification Bodies (ISO/IEC Guide 65); and Inspection Bodies (ISO/IEC 17020).

  • Ema of Mexico was accepted as a signatory to the IAAC MLA for the scope of

Inspection Bodies (ISO/IEC 17020), as of August 2010, however the MLA certificate was signed in August 2011, since a minimum of 3 signatories was needed to launch this scope.

A2LA of United States was accepted as a signatory to the IAAC MLA for the scope of Inspection Bodies (ISO/IEC 17020), as of August 2010, however the MLA certificate was signed in August 2011, since a minimum of 3 signatories was needed to launch this scope.

  • Cgcre of Brazil has been an IAAC MLA signatory for the scope of Testing Labs since 2002, and now Cgcre was accepted as a signatory to the IAAC MLA for the scope of Testing Laboratories (ISO/IEC 17025 which also includes Medical/Clinical Laboratories under ISO 15189), as of August 21st, 2011.
  • OGA of Guatemala was accepted as a signatory to the IAAC MLA for the scope of Calibration Laboratories (ISO/IEC 17025), as of March 14th, 2012.

Training Activities:

IAAC carried out the following training activities:

• Workshop on “Experience Exchange on Best Practices in Accreditation”, sponsored by PTB of Germany, was held in Santiago, Chile on March 8-9, 2012. 

• Workshop on the “Development and operation of Proficiency Testing schemes”, sponsored by PTB of Germany, was held in Santiago, Chile on March 12-13, 2012.   

• A Peer evaluator training workshop for new peer evaluators will be held in Quito, Ecuador, on November 27-29, 2012. 

IAAC Proficiency Testing programs

IAAC T006 Proficiency Test for Sugar Analysis

An IAAC regional proficiency testing program on sugar analysis was organized by OGA of Guatemala and concluded in November 2011.  28 laboratories from 11 IAAC member accreditation bodies participated.

IAAC T007 Proficiency Test on Powdered Milk

An IAAC regional proficiency testing program on "Minerals and Vitamin C in Powdered Milk" was carried out by INTI and OAA of Argentina, and concluded in December 2011. 

There was a total of 37 laboratories that participated in this program; 32 laboratories from the IAAC region, 4 laboratories from the APLAC region and 1 laboratory from the SADCA region.

Technical Cooperation Projects

PTB Projects

Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency Project

Beatriz Garcia, IAAC Chair, signed the agreement for the technical cooperation project titled :"Quality Infrastructure Services for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (R3E) in Latin America and the Caribbean", together with the Chairs of COPANT and SIM, as well as with PTB and OAS representatives.  The project was signed in Braunschweig, Germany, on March 26, 2012, as part of the events regarding the celebration of the125th Anniversary of the PTB.

The objective of this project is to strengthen the capabilities of the regional Quality Infrastructure organizations SIM, COPANT and IAAC and of their national members in providing services for the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources and to promote mutual coordination in order to support the implementation of the respective national energy policies.

The implementation agreement and the project brochure have been posted on the IAAC website at: http://www.iaac.org.mx/English/DocsPU.php

The event photos may be seen at http://www.ptb.de/en/org/q/q5/_qi_energy.htm

Environmental Protection and Food Safety Project

IAAC recently completed the 2007-2011 technical cooperation project sponsored by the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt , (PTB), of Germany, titled "Regional Cooperation for Environmental Protection and Food Safety in Latin America and the Caribbean."

Cooperation with International and Regional Organizations

Cooperation with IAF and ILAC

Randy Dougherty, IAF Chair; and Peter Unger, ILAC Chair, attended the IAAC General Assembly meetings held in Quito, Ecuador, in August 2012; and also the midyear meetings held in Santiago, Chile, in March 2012.

An IAF-ILAC marketing seminar is scheduled to be held during the IAAC meetings in August 2012.

Cooperation with PAC:

Belinda Mort, PAC Secretary, attended the IAAC meetings held in Washington, D.C., USA, in February 2011; and in Quito, Ecuador, in August 2011, thanks to the generous support of the Ecuadorean Accreditation Body, (OAE) of Ecuador.

IAAC and PAC carried out two joint peer evaluations in 2011.

Cooperation with APLAC:

Michael Fraser, APLAC Secretary, attended the IAAC meetings held in Washington, D.C., USA, in February 2011; and in Quito, Ecuador, in August 2011, thanks to the generous support of the Ecuadorean Accreditation Body, (OAE) of Ecuador.

IAAC invited APLAC members to participate in its proficiency testing programs during 2011; and APLAC invited IAAC members to participate in its proficiency testing programs during 2011. 

IAAC and APLAC carried out one joint peer evaluation in 2011.

Cooperation with EA:

Graham Talbot, EA Chair, attended the IAAC General Assembly meetings held in Quito, Ecuador, in August 2011.  Ileana Martinez, IAAC Vice-Chair, attended the previous EA General Assembly.  IAAC regularly receives EA documents under comments or voting.

Cooperation with SADCA:

IAAC invited SADCA members to participate in its proficiency testing programs during 2011.  Masego Marobela, SADCA Chair, attended the IAAC General Assembly meetings in Quito, Ecuador, in August 2011, thanks to the generous support of the Ecuadorean Accreditation Body, (OAE) of Ecuador.

Cooperation with AFRAC:

IAAC enjoys close cooperation ties with AFRAC.

Victor Gandy, IAAC Secretary, attended the African Accreditation Cooperation, (AFRAC), General Assembly meetings held in Mauritius, in October 2011. 

Masego Marobela, AFRAC representative, attended the IAAC General Assembly meetings in Quito, Ecuador, in August 2011, thanks to the generous support of the Ecuadorean Accreditation Body, (OAE) of Ecuador.

Cooperation with ARAC:

In 2012, IAAC will sign a Statement of Technical Cooperation with the Arab Accreditation Cooperation, (ARAC), in order to implement activities to strengthen cooperation between the regions.

IAAC meetings

The IAAC General Assembly meetings will be held on August 11-17, 2012, in Cartagena, Colombia, and will be hosted by the Organismo Nacional de Acreditación de Colombia (ONAC).

IAAC Information and Publications

Further information on IAAC members and IAAC documents is available at the IAAC website: www.iaac.org.mx


Development of New Accreditation Services in Hong Kong

The testing and certification industry has been identified by the Task Force on Economic Challenges (TFEC) as one of the six economic areas where Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages and has good potential for further development. TFEC was established by the Chief Executive of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). To spearhead the development of the testing and certification industry, the Government of the HKSAR set up the Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification (HKCTC) in 2009.  HKCTC submitted its report to the Chief Executive of the Government of the HKSAR in March 2010.  HKCTC recommended that Hong Kong Accreditation Service (HKAS) should ensure that its services meet the changing needs through providing new accreditation services in response to demand from the industry. 

Development of New Accreditation Services for Certification of Food Safety Management System, Occupational Health and Safety Management System, and Information Security Management System

In the past few years, heightened public concerns over food safety, workplace health and safety, and information security have driven many Hong Kong organisations to implement food safety management system (FSMS), occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) or an information security management system (ISMS) in order to demonstrate their commitment and compliance with these respective requirements.  As a result, the demand for certifications of these management systems is increasing.  In response to the demand for accreditation services of management system certifications and to support the development of the industry, HKAS extended its scope of accreditation to these three management systems under the Hong Kong Certification Bodies Accreditation Scheme (HKCAS) in 2011, viz., FSMS certification to ISO 22000, OHSMS certification to OHSAS 18001, and ISMS certification to ISO/IEC 27001. 

HKAS established a task force under the Accreditation Advisory Board Working Party for Certification Bodies to develop the accreditation services for each of these new management system certifications.  HKAS invited representatives from certification bodies, relevant government bureaux/departments, users of accredited services, universities, industries and other interested parties to join these task forces.  The task forces provided advice to HKAS on the accreditation criteria, other technical and administrative aspects of accreditation, including training requirements, appointment of assessors and promotion of the new services. The results of their efforts were published as HKCAS Supplementary Criteria for each management system certification with which accredited certification bodies must comply.

In order to enhance the expertise in and the professional standards of these certification systems, a series of training courses and seminars were organized to provide adequate training to technical assessors/experts and certification body personnel for each new certification system. In 2011, HKAS organized 10 training courses or seminars. International experts and experienced peer accreditation bodies personnel were invited to share their experience and knowledge with our local technical experts. Speakers and trainers included Ms. Natalie Mison from JAS-ANZ, Ms. Tina V. Garner from ANAB, Prof. Edward Humphreys, convener of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC27/WG1 and Chair of the UK SC27 Committee, and Mr. Alex Ezrakhovich, member of ISO/CASCO WG21.

Future Developments

Climate change brings about more severe weather conditions and poses an unprecedented, global challenge for everyone.  The heightened public awareness and concern over climate change have driven the development of a low-carbon economy and the initiative of enhancing energy efficiency.  Last year, the Government of the HKSAR devised Hong Kong’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Agenda and proposed setting a target to reduce the carbon intensity level in Hong Kong by 50%–60% by 2020 as compared to that in 2005.  In the 2011-12 Policy Address and Policy Agenda, the Government of the HKSAR new initiatives are set out to promote efforts in combating climate change by carrying out carbon audits on major Government buildings and public facilities; encouraging companies to participate in identifying more room for carbon reduction; and exploring the possibility of setting up a carbon footprint repository.  On-going initiatives to promote energy efficiency include preparing for the full implementation of the Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance in September 2012; promoting energy conservation in government buildings; and implementing energy efficiency demonstration projects.  

In response to the need of accreditation services on environmental protection to support the future development of the low-carbon economy in Hong Kong, HKAS is preparing to develop the new accreditation services for verification/validation of greenhouse gases (GHG) assertions to ISO 14064-1/ ISO 14064-2 and energy management system (EnMS) certification to ISO 50001.  Similar to other accreditation services, respective task forces have been established and technical assessors are being identified. 

To kick start the process, we invited two overseas experts, Dr. Chan Kook Weng, Chair of ISO/TC 207 SC7 (Green House Gas Management and Related Activities) and Mr. Trevor Floyd, Chairman of the West Midlands and Mid Wales Branch of the Energy Institute in UK and co-author of ISO 5001 to be the speakers. Other speakers included representatives from Environmental Protection Department of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Science and Technology Park. We also provided a talk on the procedure and criteria for seeking accreditation. The seminar was attended by over 100 people.

The target launching date of the new services for GHG validation/verification and EMS certification is 4th quarter of 2012.


Poland (PCA) kicks off its World Accreditation Day activities

The Polish Centre for Accreditation delivered a seminar for participants and guests of the 14th International Trade Fair of Analytical, Measurement and Control Technology, EuroLab 2012, representing large, leading laboratories and manufacturers of test equipment. PCA has also organized seminars at the previous years’ Trade Fairs.

In her opening speech, Ms Lucyna Olborska, Deputy Director of Polish Centre for Accreditation, emphasised that PCA personnel, in accordance with the theme of this year’s World Accreditation Day 2012 “Accreditation: Supporting safe food and clean drinking water” announced by ILAC and IAF, had developed the focus for the seminar.

The two-hour seminar encompassed four lectures. The first lecture covered the accreditation of testing laboratories and product and management system certification bodies carrying out activities relevant to food and drinking water. It highlighted the significance of the EA MLA and ILAC MRA, to which PCA is a signatory, in supporting confidence and acceptance of the accredited results of certification, inspection, calibration and testing. In the lecture, certain provisions of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council were recollected to point out the accreditation activities related to market surveillance.

The second lecture concerned the technical competence of the accredited laboratories testing food and drinking water, and the next one covered the accreditation of food and drinking water testing (GMO testing, sensory testing, the flexible scope of accreditation, the reference and designated methods) and the activities aimed at the harmonization of the assessment of the competence.

The final lecture of the seminar provided an overview of the activity of the accredited certification bodies in the following areas related to food:

1)      organic farming,

2)      traditional and regional products,

3)      agricultural and food products – certification of compliance,

4)      FSMS in accordance with PN-EN ISO 22000.

It also gave information on the participation of the certification bodies in the assessment of the compliance of food products according to private certification scheme BRC Global Standard for Food Safety as well as two new schemes; QAFP (Quality Assurance for Food Products) and QMP (Quality Meat Program).

The seminar overheads are available on the PCA website: www.pca.gove.pl


Accreditation continues to gain Regulatory recognition in Dubai

Dubai Police commends the work of the Dubai Accreditation Department

Dubai Police praised the Dubai Accreditation Department (DAC) for its efforts and contributions in making the Emirate of Dubai a better and safer place to live. In this regard, Dubai Police awarded an appreciation certificate to the Dubai Accreditation Department in a graceful ceremony. Major General Rashid Al Mazroui of Dubai Police presented the certificate to Ms. Amina Ahmed Mohammed, Director of DAC. DAC is operating various accreditation schemes for certification bodies in the fields of safety and environment, including accreditation for food safety management systems, environmental management systems and occupational health and safety assessment series.

DAC signs MoU for accreditation with Dubai Health Authority

The Dubai Municipality has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Health Authority for cooperation of accreditation in health sector in Dubai. Engineer Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, and Mr. Qadi Saeed Al Muroshid, Director General of Dubai Health Authority, signed the MoU. According to the MoU, the Dubai Health Authority formally recognizes the Dubai Accreditation Department (DAC) as the provider of accreditation services in the health sector of Dubai. To date, DAC has already accredited 19 medical laboratories according to ISO 15189:2007.


SANAS’s support for South Africa’s Industrial Policy Framework

The South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) is the sole national accreditation body responsible for an internationally recognised and effective accreditation and monitoring system for the Republic of South Africa. In this regard SANAS has been supporting government departments in the protection of health, safety, the environment and economic growth objectives and has thus contributed towards the achievement of government’s strategic objectives to advance South Africa’s trade and industry as well as supporting regional integration and relations to advance South Africa’s trade, industrial policy and economic development objectives.

The Industrial Policy Action Plan 2 (IPAP2) of the South African Government called on SANAS to play a continuous strategic industrial policy role in the achievement of IPAP objectives. In 2011/12 SANAS focused its time and efforts on the development of two new accreditation programmes, namely the accreditation programmes Measurement and Verification of Energy Efficiency and Responsible Tourism.

The accreditation programmes for Measurement and Verification of Energy Efficiency (EE) was finalised in 2011. This programme will support industry’s efforts to save energy and will also enable the industry to access an income tax allowance. In terms of the income tax allowance, industry will be entitled to claim an allowance for EE savings resulting from activities in the production of income. This allowance will enable the industry to capture the full profit from the energy savings during each year in which incremental EE savings are realised. The Inspection Bodies will be accredited to ISO/IEC 17020, SATS 50 010 and any relevant interpretation thereof. 

The accreditation program for responsible tourism will be rolled out in 2012/13. This programme is the result of a year’s work of tourism experts and SANAS personnel and was developed after the South African government’s department responsible for tourism in the Republic of South Africa, the Department of Tourism, approached SANAS in 2011 with a request to develop an accreditation programme for responsible tourism in South Africa.

The government of South Africa is of the view that the credibility of the certification schemes associated with the South African Minimum Standards for Responsible Tourism (SANS 1162) will be absolutely essential to attracting socially and environmentally conscious travellers and to positioning South Africa as a bona fide Responsible Tourism destination on the world stage. Certification bodies will be accredited to the relevant ISO/IEC standard, SANS 1162 and any relevant interpretation thereof.


Closing the U.S. Skills Gap: ANSI Joint Member Forum Focuses on Building Economic Growth through a Quality Workforce

Over the last 24, months U.S. businesses have created more than 3.9 million jobs, indicating that the economy is continuing a steady course of recovery. And yet, growing industries are reporting difficulty in finding appropriately skilled professionals, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and maths.

Closing this skills gap formed the heart of discussions at the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Joint Member Forum (JMF), held on March 20 as part of the Institute’s annual spring member meetings. The meeting focused on the range of activities underway aimed at helping the nation meet President Obama’s goal of doubling the credentials of the American workforce by 2020, enhancing the credentialing of personnel, and supporting secondary and post-secondary career pathways.

According to Roy Swift, Ph.D., ANSI’s Senior Director of Personnel Credentialing Accreditation Programs and the event moderator, the skills gap has left 3 million jobs vacant in the U.S. today. Concrete, effective solutions are needed to diminish this divide, and build a “workforce that works.”

During two panel sessions and interactive Q&A periods, JMF attendees sought to build a framework for a stronger U.S. workforce and economy and discussed the standards-based tools that can help enable U.S. educational institutions to better meet the needs of students, future job-seekers, and employers.


View the presentations and photo slideshow of the event.


The role of ACCREDIA, the Italian Accreditation Body, in the mandatory sector

The Italian system of conformity assessment, which operates under ACCREDIA’s authority, took on a new dimension in 2011: accreditation, which had traditionally been in the voluntary sector, was extended to mandatory, or cogent, sectors, in order to implement the Directives of the EU’s “New Approach” and the regulations this entails.

On January 1, 2010, the legislative package was introduced which ushered in these changes: Regulation 765/2008/CE covers accreditation and market surveillance concerning the marketing of products; Decision 768/2008/EC regarding a common framework for the marketing of products, and Regulation 764/2008/EC, which sets out procedures for the application of national technical regulations for products which are legally marketed in another Member State.

In 2010 ACCREDIA completed its set-up phase, strengthening its structure and expanding its role to include the activities of all four accreditation departments: Certification and Inspection Bodies, Testing Laboratories, Testing Laboratories for Food Safety and Calibration Laboratories.

By means of a number of agreements and protocols, in 2011 ACCREDIA undertook new responsibilities granted by government ministries covering the implementation of European Community regulations, Directives and standards  in the relevant areas of competence.

In accordance with Regulation 765/2008, ACCREDIA, rather than the government authorities as was previously the case, can now perform accreditation activities in such cases where it can demonstrate that it has the competence to do so.

In this way the Governmental Authorities have entrusted ACCREDIA with preliminary verification activities as well as the notification to the European Commission of  Bodies operating in conformity with the New Approach and with European regulations.

The transfer of ministerial conformity assessment activities to ACCREDIA took  place in conditions which offer a complete guarantee concerning the activities in question, and full transparency for the market, for economic operators, consumers, and workers; it is the result of the full participation of ACCREDIA in an institutional dialogue whch was to take the form of  specific relations with the ministries involved.

In June, 2011, the agreement was signed with the Ministry of Economic Development entrusting ACCREDIA with the accreditation of CABs operating under 6 Directives: Safety of Toys (2009/48/CE), Measuring Instruments Directives (2004/22/CE), Hot-water boilers (1992/42/CE), Pressure Equipment (1997/23/CE), Equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosible atmospheres (1994/09/CE), Electromagnetic compatibility (2004/108/CE).

Accreditation is an obligatory requirement for the issue of authorisation and the subsequent notification of Bodies to the European Commission by the Ministry of Economic Development.

ACCREDIA has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport on the European Electronic Toll Service (EETS) and a tripartite agreement with the Ministry of Work and the Ministry of Economic Development for the use of marks on Lifts (1995/16/CE), Machinery (2006/42/CE), Low voltage directive (2006/95/CE), and Personal Protective Equipment (1989/686/CEE).

The accreditation of nofified Bodies for Transportable Pressure Equipment has begun, in accordance with Directive 2010/35/CE, consistent with the official communication of the Ministyry of Infrastructure and Transport.

In November, following another agreement, the Ministry of Agriculture entrusted ACCREDIA with the accreditation of the activities of Bodies performing assessment activities in the environmental sector, in accordance with the Directive Noise Emission (2000/14/CE), Greenhoiuse gas emissions (2003/87/CE), Biofuels (2009/30/EC), Renewable energy sources (2009/28/EC), Fluorinated Greenhouse gases (842/2006), and EMAS, (Eco-management & audit scheme) (1221/2009).

The last agreement signed in 2011 regards the accord with the Ministry of Economic Development for activities covered by by the Directive Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (1999/05/CE).

The notification system is essential for authorised Bodies and for companies, in order for them to be able to place the CE mark on their products, ensuring free movement on the European market. The inclusion of the Bodies in the NANDO database makes the ministerial authorisation valid throughout the EU.

Accreditation is an added value for Bodies, providing operative benefits deriving from notification and the guarantee of impartial and independent assessments, without significant additional costs. ACCREDIA’s pricelist operates in collaboration with, and under the surveillance of, the Inter-ministerial Commission and also the Ministry of Economic Development.

ACCREDIA’s new role in the mandatory sector is aimed at increasing the trust of consumers in products carrying the EC brand - from consumers to partners in BtoB relations - under certification by Bodies which have the authorisation of the ministry and notification at the European Commission for registration in the NANDO database.

The agreements involve hundreds of thousands of Italian companies, and collaboration between ACCREDIA and the ministries helps to rationalise activities, in keeping with the principles of quality, safety, health, environmental protection and consumer protection.

Another area in which ACCREDIA ‘s role is increasing is in that of the regulation of professions which do not come within the cogent sector, where it is possible to choose accreditation and certification for the attestation of competences.

The Ministry of Economic Development has opened a round of discussions with the participation of ACCREDIA, UNI (the Italian unification Body), CAN, Assoprofessioni, Colap and CNCU in order to find a common way forward – including ficsal matters, welfare and credit – so as to define all relevant questions in a legal context.

“Certified professions” constitute a fundamental item in the politics of employment, especially in a system in which the social and economic networks carry strategic importance in terms of policy and of national growth.

ACCREDIA’s intention is to extend the existing system of personal certification schemes to cover processes of assessment of the competence of Bodies for the certification of new categories of professional persons with requirements which reflect changes in this sector.

In the context of these changes and improvements in the system of conformity assessment, the relationship between ACCREDIA and UNI is of ever-increasing importance with regard to technical standardisation and accreditation and collaboration with the Public Administrative Authorities, for the development of the national economy.


Cgcre´s end user satisfaction survey

From September until November 2011, Cgcre carried out a satisfaction survey with clients of accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies (CAB). The survey was sent to a database of 22,122 clients (informed by the CABs themselves). The response to the questionnaire was through internet, using the Quest Manager software. From the total of clients who received the questionnaire, 1,277 answered it, conferring to the survey a sample error of 2.74%. The confidentiality of the survey was kept, as the software does not allow access to the name of the respondents, only to the answers.

The questionnaire was included open and closed questions. The majority of clients were from companies that supply the internal market, mainly in the Southeast region of Brazil in the areas of civil construction, services, vehicles and electronics. Regarding the general satisfaction with the services provided by CABs, technical expertise/ competence of the CAB´s team, the customer service and the clarity with which the information are provided have received a better grade (Figure 1).

CGRE 1

Figure 1 – Average grade of general satisfaction with the services provided by CABs

In regard to the benefits of using the service of a CAB, the respondents highlighted that it makes the access to internal and external markets easy, besides increasing sales. In the survey, it was also asked if any representative of a conformity assessment body has behaved dishonestly or coercively, and the responses were that in 94% of the cases this has not happened. The survey also revealed that 20% of the respondents use services of conformity assessment bodies not accredited by Cgcre, most laboratories, due to the following main reasons: market does not require accredited bodies, nonexistence of accredited bodies and cost.

Accredited bodies are associated by their competence, reliability of results and market credibility, while non-accredited bodies are associated with a lower cost. It is interesting to observe that the proximity and the physical access are not determining factors and are virtually equal for both. In regard to the main factors that are considered on choosing a conformity assessment body, the following were mentioned: service quality/ technical expertise, price and value of body´s mark, but the location is more important in the case of inspection bodies. On choosing a CAB, it is interesting to note that suggestion from others is preponderant. Regarding Cgcre´s accreditation subsite, 54% of the respondents has never accessed it and those who visited it looked mostly for information about CAB´s scope and accreditation programs.

IAF has carried out a similar survey, but only for the clients of product certification bodies and quality and environmental management system certification bodies. This survey was launched in 56 economies at IAF General Assembly in Shanghai in November 2010. The survey has collected data during a year and received responses from 41 economies with a total of 4191 respondents. The majority of them from the following economies: Czech Republic, Brazil, Swiss, India, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Japan and USA.

Among IAF questions, it was asked the reason the client has chosen the certification. 47% of the respondents stated that the main driver for seeking certification was to improve internal business operations and processes. 32% reported that it was a customer requirement and 13% stated that it was to satisfy regulatory requirements. These answers differed from Cgcre´s survey, where the access to internal and external market and the increase on sales were the main reasons to seek certification. On the other hand, the majority of respondents of IAF´s survey stated that their certified status did not change its sales volume, although, on the point of view of the respondents, 81% agreed that certification is important to their clients.

IAF´s survey has also questioned the competence of the certification team and the majority of respondents rated the teams as highly competent. This answer has corroborated Cgcre´s survey, where the respondents reported that accredited bodies are noted by the competence, giving the best note to this question.

Another question of IAF´s survey regarded the use of services from accredited certification bodies or non-accredited certification bodies. The majority of respondents (91%) reported that they used the services of an accredited certification body, while only 4% use a non-accredited body. 72% of respondents also stated that it was essential or very important that the certification body was covered by accreditation. The percentage of use of non-accredited bodies is lower than it was stated on Cgcre´s survey, where 20% answered that they use non-accredited services. However, as the reasons mentioned on Cgcre´s survey refer to laboratories, this may have led to the difference in the two surveys.

The results of the end-user survey are important for Cgcre to implement actions to meet the mentioned criticisms and suggestions, whenever possible. Thus, the intention is to further improve the services rendered by Cgcre and accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies. This survey will be repeated every two years, contributing to the continuous improvement of Cgcre´s management system.


Mauritas provides Food Safety and Information Security Accreditation workshops

The Mauritius Accreditation Service (Mauritas) together with its development partner, L’agence Française de Dévelopement (AFD) is currently implementing a project for the extension of the accreditation programme for certification bodies involved in the certification of Food Security and Information Security Management Systems with the assistance of the Norwegian Accreditation (NA). 

An awareness session on Certification Body Accreditation on Food Safety and information Security was organized followed by a one-day workshop on Information Security and a one-day workshop on Food Safety for potential technical assessors/experts of Mauritas.  The training programme was organized by Mauritas 14 – 16 March 2012 with Mr. Sigbjorn Gregusson and Professor Svien Johan Knapsbog as resource persons subcontracted by NA for this project.

The targeted audience for the awareness seminar was selected potential assessors/experts and stakeholders involved in accreditation.  A total of 21 participants attended the awareness seminar.  The participants for the workshops were selected potential  assessors/experts and staff of Mauritas.  A pool of 10 technical assessors/experts and 3 staff of Mauritas  was trained on the requirements of the International Standards ISO/IEC 27006 and ISO/TS 22003 during the Workshops.

The expected outcome from the Workshops and Seminar was to provide opportunity to the potential assessors/experts and Mauritas staff to get familiarized with the requirements of the international standards.  The next steps should trigger Mauritas to look for possibilities for the potential assessors/experts, to follow on-site training by observing real assessments of certification bodies in the area of Food Safety and Information Security.



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