Highlights of the EA Certification Committee Meeting in March 2017
The last meeting of the European Co-operation for Accreditation Certification Committee (EACC) took place on 15 and 16 March 2017 in Antalya, Turkey, where it was hosted by the Turkish Accreditation Agency (TURKAK).
The discussions at the 33rd EACC meeting were led by the EACC Chair, Kevin Belson, from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). Notable outcomes included:
- The EACC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), starting with those discussed in September 2016, should be published on the EA website by this summer in order for them to be used by EA National Accreditation Bodies (NABs) as advice and recommendations by the EACC.
- EACC Working Group (WG) Environment has presented a final revised EA-7/04: Legal Compliance as a Part of Accredited ISO 14001: 2004 Certification, which was endorsed by the CC. The document was subsequently positively balloted within EA and published on the EA website.
- A strategic group discussion consolidated the outcome and feedback from discussions held in September 2016 on consultancy and certification. Much common ground emerged from plenary oral reports and discussions, even if some sectors appeared to be rather specific. The only controversial issue, forwarded to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) for further discussions and opinion, is whether or not publishing a list of consultants is marketing.
- An EA common position on energy audits reached by EACC WG Environment was endorsed by the whole Committee as an EACC recommendation to be widely disseminated through the EACC FAQs.
- Further to its recent publication, the EACC will recommend the EA General Assembly, in May 2017, to adopt ISO/IEC 17021-3:2017 as Level 4 standard for all EA members.
Many other discussions took place with good progress on numerous ongoing work items, and will continue at the next meeting on 12-13 September 2017:
- EA-6/03: EA Document for Recognition of Verifiers under the EU ETS Directive, still being revised by EA Network Group European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), should be presented to the EACC in September 2017 for endorsement by the Committee.
- Further to the adoption of a new work item in late 2016, revision of EA-6/04: EA Guidelines on the Accreditation of Certification of Primary Sector Products by Means of Sampling of Sites is being started by EACC WG Food.
- Regarding guidance documents, discussions need to be further progressed with regard to the development of guidance documents for selection of Conformity Assessment standards, as well as for application of ISO/IEC 17065, EN 15224 and, to lesser extent, ISO/IEC 17024.
- Because it was agreed that EA/IAF and NACE codes needed harmonisation, a specific discussion will be held at the next meeting, in advance of which CC members will be asked to answer a short survey for fruitful input to meeting discussions.
- Other important issues to be followed up in September 2017 are: how to remind Certification Bodies’ customers of transition periods, validity of certificates after withdrawal of EA MLA status, and need for harmonisation activities, notably about the new ISO/EC 17021 series.
EA Certification Committee