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Supporting Public Policy and World Markets with Efficient Processes

Since the last IAF General Assembly held in Milan, Italy in November 2015, much progress has been achieved for the implementation of IAF Strategic Plan (2015-2019). In particular, many important outcomes came out of the Frankfurt, Germany Mid-Term Meetings held in April 2016.

Improvement of the Operation of the IAF MLA. Improving the operation of the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (IAF MLA), including the MLA peer evaluation process and consistent application of relevant international standards, is an important part of the IAF Strategic Plan.

The MLA peer evaluation process. Revisions to two primary MLA related documents, IAF ML2: General Principles on the Use of the IAF MLA Mark and IAF ML4:Policies and Procedures for a Multilateral Recognition Arrangement on the Level of Single Accreditation Bodies and on the Level of Regional Accreditation Groups were published in May 2016. The revision to IAF PL3: Policies and Procedures for Expansion of the Scope of the IAF MLA is currently out for ballot to all IAF Members.

The main changes to these three documents were to:

(1) improve the rules of the peer evaluation process to allow for expansion of sub-scopes under a main-scope of the IAF MLA, in order to achieve more efficient expansion of the IAF MLA to meet the needs of the market. The IAF MLA Committee will implement the new peer evaluation approaches.

(2) further improve the IAF endorsement process for standards or normative documents, which have not yet been endorsed as scopes of the IAF MLA. This includes possible use of the scheme endorsement process of Recognized Regional Accreditation Groups, taking into account the progress of relevant working items.

The consistent application of standards. Progress is being made on the ongoing improvement of consistent application processes for relevant international conformity assessment standards among Accreditation Bodies. Recent improvements in this area support a Strategic Direction of the organization.

Coordination mechanisms among the IAF Accreditation Body Information Exchange Group (ABIEG), the IAF Conformity Assessment Body Advisory Committee (CABAC) and the IAF User Advisory Committee (UAC) are being enhanced to improve the direct communication between Accreditation Bodies (Abs), Certification Bodies (CBs), and industry/user members for specific items.

The development of an IAF online consistency forum dealing with potential inconsistencies is progressing; the forum should be available in the next few months. This forum will provide CBs, industry/user members, and ABs the opportunity to discuss issues of consistency and to work together efficiently to find solutions. The IAF CABAC will take the lead in identifying areas of potential inconsistencies.

Coordination between IAF and Regional Accreditation Groups. The continual improvement of coordination and consistency among IAF, the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and Regional Accreditation Groups is another IAF Strategic Direction where recent progress has been made.

At its meeting in April 2016, the Joint Task Force of the IAF/ILAC Executive Committees on the Regions further clarified that the application documents for ISO/IEC conformity assessment standards (developed by IAF/ILAC and the IAF/ILAC A-series documents for peer evaluation of single ABs) “shall be adopted by Regional Accreditation Groups”. However, Regional Accreditation Groups may still develop additional application documents and peer evaluation documents to meet their own specific needs. In order to promote consistency and reduce the duplication of work, the work done by Regional Accreditation Groups to develop the additional documents shall be shared with respective committees of IAF/ILAC.

A liaison mechanism between the IAF Technical Committee (TC) and Regional Accreditation Groups has been established to share the technical work programme of each Regional Accreditation Group with IAF. The IAF TC Agenda now includes the sharing of the work programme from each Region. In addition, the new approach of the TC operation as proposed requires New Work Item Proposals (NWIPs) to cover the needs of at least 3 Regions and stakeholders.

Promotion for Acceptance of the IAF MLA. Accreditation is a global tool that supports public policy and facilitates trade. Standards, conformity assessment, and accreditation are all market-based tools that can be used by government policy makers to deliver better regulation, environmental protection, public safety, fraud prevention, fair and efficient markets, and public trust. Communication and promotion of wider acceptance of accreditation, including accredited conformity assessment results and the IAF MLA by regulators and end users is a Strategic Direction in the IAF Strategic Plan.

World Accreditation Day. June 9th marks World Accreditation Day. This year, World Accreditation Day focused on the support accreditation provides as a tool for all areas in the public sector – including for national/local governments and regulators. World Accreditation Day is celebrated across the world with the hosting of national events, seminars, and press and media coverage, to communicate the value of accreditation to government, regulators and the leaders of the business community.

Public Sector Assurance website. The Public Sector Assurance website (http://www.publicsectorassurance.org/), a joint IAF, ILAC, ISO and IIOC initiative, was designed to demonstrate to government, regulators, and public sector organizations with benefits-based case studies, research, and promotional materials how standards and accredited conformity assessment can add value. The site presently contains 177 case studies, 49 research papers, and 21 supporting materials. In addition, a link on the Regulators Forum of the International Organization for Standardization's Committee on Conformity Assessment (ISO/CASCO) to the Public Sector Assurance website is now available.

Project for an IAF database of accredited management system certifications. The IAF Database Management Committee at its meeting in April 2016 agreed to develop a business case to support the building of a database and share it with IAF Members for their consideration prior to the Joint IAF-ILAC Annual Meetings in New Delhi in October 2016. Further progress in this initiative is reported in a later article in this newsletter.

Engagement with relevant international organizations. IAF and ILAC continuously enhance engagement with relevant international organizations to promote the value of accreditation and the IAF MLA to regulators and end users.

During the IAF-ILAC-ISO Joint Strategic Group meeting held in May 2016 in Dubai during the ISO/CASCO Plenary meetings, IAF and ISO agreed to develop a high level joint expected outcomes document for all ISO/CASCO certification standards.

IAF and ILAC have provided input into a research project that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is carrying out on international regulatory co-operation and trade. The project aims at assessing the fundamental linkages between changes in regulatory settings and the welfare of countries.

IAF and ILAC recently contributed to the revision of Recommendation on Creation and Promotion of International Agreements on Conformity Assessment and Recommendation on Recognition of Conformity Assessment Procedures and Results, two documents being developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies (WP.6) which is a forum for dialogue among regulators and policy makers.

In June 2016, IAF provided input to the World Health Organization (WHO) “WHO Global Model Regulatory Framework for Medical Devices Including IVDs” in support of the IAF Accreditation Initiative for ISO 13485 to support regulators.

IAF is exploring opportunities to enhance its relationship with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the field of the ISO 14065, for the accreditation of the validation and verification bodies to support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. IAF also applied for Observer Membership in the UNFCCC in May 2016.

IAF and ILAC contributed to a Thematic Session on Regulatory Cooperation between Members Energy Efficiency organized by the World Trade Organization Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT) regarding how the IAF/ILAC network supports energy efficiency through accreditation, including through the IAF MLA for ISO14001, ISO14065, and proposed new scope for ISO 50001 energy management systems.

IAF also contributed to the Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade - 2016 Annual Forum co-organized by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the International Trade Center (ITC) for a session on "Working with Businesses for Credible, Streamlined Clearance Procedures – improving safety, security and confidence through trade facilitation".

The IAF Executive Committee, the IAF Communication and Marketing Committee, the IAF User Advisory Committee, and the IAF Secretariat continue to work actively to communicate and promote accreditation and the IAF MLA to regulators and end users.


2016 IAF-ILAC Joint Annual Meetings

IAF and ILAC will be holding their 2016 Joint Annual meetings in New Delhi, India from 26 October – 04 November. 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, http://www.iaf-ilac2016.org/, where the program, payment information and details about the venue are also available. Members are encouraged to register before 31 August 2016 in order to take advantage of the early bird registration discount. Meeting fees are payable in USD and can be paid either by wire transfer or credit card. Accepted cards include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

The meetings will be held at the Lalit New Delhi, which is offering a group rate of USD 135/night for a single room and USD 150/night for a double room. This special rate is available until 30 August 2016 and includes Wi-Fi and a complimentary breakfast when booked through the hotel. Rooms are also available at The Hans, which is offering a group rate of USD 75/night for a single room and USD 85/night for a double room. This hotel is a few minutes walk from the Lalit.

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

Queries regarding logistics, registration, payments, invitation letters, etc. should be directed to the Conference Secretariat responsible for managing the meetings:

Indiattitude

Attitude Events Pvt. Ltd.

335/352, Tower B2, Spaze Itech Park,

Sec. 49, Sohna Road, Gurgaon - 122002

E-Mail: iaf-ilac2016@indiattitude.com

Phone: +91 124 4409364

Recent IAF Publications

IAF has published four new documents and five revised documents since the last edition of the IAF Newsletter, including two Policy Documents, two Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) Documents, two Mandatory Documents, two Documents for General Information, and one Joint IEC-ILAC-IAF document. One document has also been withdrawn during this time. IAF documents are available free of charge in the Publications area of the IAF website (iaf.nu).

 

New documents:

IAF PL 8:2016 Rules for the Use of the IAF Logo
(Issue 1, Version 2, issued on 12 April 2016; application from 12 April 2016)
This document sets out the rules for the use of the IAF Logo (as opposed to the IAF MLA Mark).

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)
(Issue 1, issued on 31 March 2016; application from 31 March 2017)
This document is mandatory for Certification Bodies (CBs) of Management Systems for the consistent application of Clause(s) 8.2 and 9 of ISO/IEC 17021-1: 2015, for all situations involving the audit and certification of Management Systems operated by organizations with a network of sites where application of site sampling is not appropriate.

IAF MD 20:2016 Generic Competence for AB Assessors: Application to ISO/IEC 17011
(Issue 1, issued on 25 May 2016; application from 25 May 2018)
This document ensures the consistent and harmonized application of ISO/IEC 17011 for defining the generic competence for assessors.

IECEE-ILAC-IAF Guidance for the Conduct of Unified Assessments in the Electrotechnical Sector
(April 2016)
The purpose of this document is to provide the basic background and guidance on how unified assessments are prepared, conducted and completed.

Revised documents:

IAF PL 6:2016 IAF Memorandum of Understanding
(Issue 6, issued on 26 February 2016; application from 26 February 2016)
The IAF Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is the basic membership document of IAF. All Members of IAF are required to sign the MoU and to abide by the commitments they make in it.

IAF ML 2:2016 General Principles on the Use of the IAF MLA Mark
(Issue 3, issued on 11 May 2016; application from 11 May 2016)
This document describes principles on the use of the IAF MLA Mark by signatories of the IAF MLA and by CABs accredited by IAF MLA accreditation body signatories.

IAF ML 4:2016 Policies and Procedures for a MLA on the Level of Single Accreditation Bodies and on the Level of Regional Accreditation Groups
(Issue 8, issued on 11 May 2016; application from 11 May 2016)
This document defines the policies and procedures that IAF will use to maintain and extend a MLA among both AB Members and Regional Accreditation Group Members which operate a MLA. It also provides the text of the IAF MLA for signature by individual Accreditation Bodies and Recognised Regional Accreditation Groups when they join the MLA.

IAF Public Document Responsibility (IAF-EC-11-11 Rev10)
(15 May 2016)
Lists the IAF Main Committee responsible for each publicly available IAF document.

IAF Representatives, Liaisons, and Contacts (IAF EC-11-10 Rev. 8)
(15 May 2016)
Lists the IAF representative(s) and liaison(s) to external committees and organizations, and the contact individuals in those committees and organizations.

 

Withdrawn documents:

1. IAF Governance Document - IAF Charter (2001)
It was agreed by the IAF Executive Committee during their Frankfurt 2016 meeting that this document be withdrawn, as it is now obsolete.


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Update on Development of an IAF Database of Accredited Management Systems Certifications
In December 2015, IAF members voted to approve a set of principles for continuing consideration of development of an IAF database of accredited management systems certifications.   

In early 2016, there was a call for nominations by members to participate on a database management committee (DMC).  In February, we announced the members of the DMC, as follows:

AB Representatives:
Randy Dougherty (ANAB)
Emanuele Riva (ACCREDIA)
Kylie Sheehan (JAS-ANZ)

CB Representatives:
Marcus Long (IIOC)
Pierre Sallé (IAAR)
Ivan Savov (EFAC)

User Representatives:
Sheronda Jeffries (QuEST Forum)
Grant Ramaley (DTA)


The first meeting of the DMC was 4 April 2016 in Frankfurt during the mid-year joint meetings of IAF and ILAC.  At this meeting, the DMC members nominated Randy Dougherty as Chair and Marcus Long as Vice Chair, and the IAF Executive Committee appointed them later that week.

The first priority is to develop the business case for an IAF Database. The DMC submitted a draft business case to all IAF members for their comment in July of 2016. This business case will be an Item for the IAF General Assembly in New Delhi, India, with the IAF membership to be asked to endorse moving the project forward to formally approach to potential suppliers and develop a final business case.

The DMC would be pleased to hear from IAF members with any ideas and suggestions for the database and in particular any contacts at potential suppliers.

Updates from the UAC

The IAF User Advisory Committee (UAC) continues to meet via WebEx and face-to-face, with receptions following the face-to-face meetings for fostering enhanced communication and collaboration among members and IAF leaders. Attendance at UAC meetings continue to improve with representatives from the following industry and user organizations typically participating:  the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V. (BDI)/Siemens AG, the Quality Excellence for Suppliers of Telecommunications Forum (QuEST Forum) represented by Cisco Systems, Global Procurement Italy (GP Italy), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC), GLOBALG.A.P., and the The Quality System for Feed Additives and Premixtures asbl (FAMI-QS).  The IAF Chair, Vice-Chair and MLA Chair also typically attend UAC meetings.

11th UAC Meeting Participants

At the 2016 Joint IAF-ILAC Mid-Term meetings in Frankfurt, Germany, the UAC continued work on implementing the IAF Strategic Plan, assuring that the voice of industry and end-users was clearly and effectively reflected.

After the meeting, at a reception sponsored by FAMI-QS, UAC members and IAF leaders brainstormed responses to two questions:

1.     How can the UAC better provide feedback to the IAF regarding accreditation activities?

2.     How can the UAC engage its current members AND more sectors/industry to participate?

The next UAC meeting will occur via WebEx, with a face-to-face meeting at the 2016 Joint IAF-ILAC Annual meetings in New Delhi, India. Another UAC reception will be held following the meeting, where members will review responses to the questions provided above and will discuss next steps.


African Year of Quality Infrastructure

The Ministers of Trade and Industry of the various economies in Africa have agreed to celebrate the year 2017 as the African Year of Quality Infrastructure. The aim is to create and improve awareness of the Quality Infrastructure within Africa. Why Quality and Quality infrastructure? The capacity of a country’s quality infrastructure institutions, e.g. the standards body, the accreditation system, and the metrology institute impacts directly on the competitiveness of its manufacturers and exporters. The system as established can:

•           raise or lower economic efficiency,

•           facilitate or constrain exports,

•           enable or exclude the participation of small and medium enterprises, and

•           block or promote competitiveness.

In addition, countries have to ensure that they obtain international recognition for the national quality infrastructure, which demonstrates the equivalence between their domestic technical infrastructure and those of other countries. Countries also contribute towards an improved quality of life for their people through use of standards, measurements, conformity assessment and accreditation. This requires the following at a national level:

•           consistent government budgets,

•           constant skills availability,

•           good managerial practices, and

•           alignment of the activities of the technical infrastructure institutions.

The investments required from government will need to provide for a vast range of metrology facilities, a sound accreditation system that can be used to support a country’s certification, testing, calibration and inspection activities, a system to facilitate standards development and harmonization and last but not least, investment in order to gain and maintain the international mutual recognition of the technical infrastructure. Investment by government into technical infrastructure should be informed by needs assessments and economic evaluations.

Africa has, over the last six years, dedicated effort to the development and operationalization of the Pan-African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI) to enable Africa to speak as one voice where standards are required or being developed, where credible conformity assessment activities are undertaken or required and where measurements that facilitate exchange of goods and services are applied, hence the establishment of African Standards Organization (ARSO), African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC), Inter Africa Metrology System (AFRIMETS) and African Electro-technical Standardization Commission  (AFSEC). The PAQI vision is to be an efficient, effective, sustainable and internationally recognized Pan-African Quality Infrastructure contributing towards achievement of African socio-economic goals. The mission of PAQI is to strengthen the regional and global competitiveness of Africa’s goods and services and contribute towards an improved quality of life for the African people through prudent use of standards, measurements, conformity assessment and accreditation.

While we all agree that there can be many definitions of quality, within the African Context, quality can be defined as follows by various stakeholders:

  • Consumers:

•           Value for money

•           Safe products

•           Healthy food

  • Industry:

•           Access to standards, traceable measurements and accredited conformity assessments.

•           Fair trade – competition on a level playing ground with those from other regions

•           Removal of duplication – test, inspect, certify once

  • Government:

•           Job creation

•           Economic development

•           Safe citizens, safe environment

AFRAC Chair, Mr. Ron Josias and Dr. Elsabe Steyn both in the front row attending the 6th PAQI Meeting in Johannesburg

ARAC News

1. ARAC Cooperation with the other Regional Accreditation Groups

1.1 ARAC-APLAC

Within the framework of the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between ARAC and APLAC, ARAC ensured and followed up on the participation of accredited laboratories by its Accreditation Body members in 4 APLAC Proficiency Testing (PT) Programs.

1.2 ARAC-AFRAC

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

1.3 ARAC-PAC

In the margins of the ILAC and IAF General Assembly in Milan, Italy, ARAC and PAC signed a MoU on 5th November 2015.

The implementation of the ARAC-PAC MoU started by conducting a joint peer evaluation of DAC during from the 15th to the 19th November 2015 in Dubai, UAE.

In addition, the ARAC Secretariat participated in the joint APLAC and PAC Annual meetings held from the 11th to the 18th June 2016 in Taipei, Chinese Taipei.

1.4 AFRAC-ARAC-SADCA

In the margins of the IAF and ILAC Mid-Term meetings, a Technical Cooperation Agreement was signed on April 3rd 2016 between AFRAC, ARAC, and SADCA in order to establish a joint pool of peer evaluators that can be used by the three Regional Accreditation Groups for the conducting of their peer evaluation activities.

The three regions were honored by the presence of the IAF Chair, Mr Xiao Jianhua and the ILAC Chair, Mr Peter Unger who witnessed the signing of this TCA.

2. ARAC Annual Meetings

After much planning, ARAC held its very successful fourth Annual Meetings in Tunis, Tunisia from the 8th to the 11th February 2016.

More than 60 participants from the Arab Accreditation Bodies took part in these meetings. A wide range of issues, which focused on the preparation for the upcoming ILAC and IAF peer evaluation of ARAC, were discussed and successfully resolved.

3. Second ARAC MLA Regional Workshop

In the margins of the ARAC Annual meetings, ARAC held its second Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) Regional Workshop for ARAC peer evaluators and ARAC MLA Committee members, on 08th February 2016 in Tunis, Tunisia.

4. ARAC Regional Training Workshop on ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 and the applicable IAF Mandatory Documents

ARAC organized a Regional Workshop on ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 and the applicable IAF Mandatory Documents for its peer evaluators and the ARAC AB members’ Lead Assessors during from the 31st of May to the 2nd of June 2016 in Tunis, Tunisia.

The objectives of this training were to harmonize the understanding and use of the new version of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 and the applicable IAF Mandatory Documents by the ARAC peer evaluators.

5. ARAC Survey on the implementation of ISO/IEC 17021-1: 2015 and the IAF MDs

With the aim to follow-up on the ARAC Accreditation Body members, especially the signatories, on the implementation of the new standards and the applicable IAF Mandatory Documents, and to ensure the monitoring of the progress of their preparation to be aligned with the new requirements, ARAC is conducting a survey on the implementation of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015; IAF MD05: 2015; IAF MD15: 2014 and IAF MD16: 2015.

6. Activities to Promote the IAF MLA, ILAC MRA and ARAC MLA

In the margins of the 4th ARAC General Assembly meeting held in Tunis, Tunisia, on 11th February 2016, an opening session was organized by ARAC with the participation of more than 60 participants from the Arab Accreditation Bodies and delegates.

During this opening session, the ARAC Chair made a statement where he stressed the benefits and the role of the ILAC MRA and the IAF MLA in supporting inter / intra Arab trade, improving the competitiveness, providing trust in Arab goods and services, and protecting the health and safety of the public and the environment.

7. Celebration of the World Accreditation Day 2016

ARAC AB Members organized a series of events in Algeria, Iraq, Sudan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates to celebrate the 9th World Accreditation Day “WAD” by inviting assessors, experts in accreditation fields, government officials and conformity assessment bodies representatives to participate.

It should be noted that ARAC has made available to its members a WAD 2016 ILAC and IAF brochure translated into Arabic.

8. Preparation of ARAC for the upcoming ILAC and IAF Peer Evaluation: Conducting a Mock Peer evaluation of ARAC Secretariat

With the aim to prepare ARAC for the upcoming ILAC and IAF peer evaluation, a regional peer evaluator Team Leader, Mrs Roxanne Robinson, conducted a mock peer evaluation of the ARAC Secretariat from the 22nd to the 24th of February 2016 in the ARAC Secretariat office in Rabat, Morocco.

9. Upcoming ARAC Key Events

9.1 2nd ARAC Peer evaluators training workshop

The 2nd ARAC Peer evaluators’ training session will be held from the 14th to the 16th of November 2016 and will be undertaken by Mrs Roxanne Robinson (APLAC) and Mr. Mahmoud Eltayeb (ARAC).

9.2 ARAC Meetings

Future ARAC meetings will be held as follows:

• ARAC Mid-Term meetings: 29th to the 31st of August, Egypt.

• ARAC Annual meetings: last week of February 2017, Dubai, UAE.


The contact details of ARAC Secretariat are:

ARAC Secretariat

Email: secretariat@arabarac.org

Phone number: + 212 600 78 56 78


Updates from EA

Highlights of the 37th EA General Assembly

The Spring EA General Assembly was hosted on 25 and 26 May 2016 in Windsor by UKAS, the UK national accreditation body (NAB), seizing this great opportunity to further celebrate both UKAS’ 21st anniversary and 50 years of accreditation in the United Kingdom.

The revision of EA Articles of Association was approved with the main change providing Bilateral Agreement (BLA) signatories with a voting right in the Multilateral Agreement (MLA) Council.

Upon recommendation from the EA Executive Committee, it was agreed that ILAC- and IAF-approved documents that are mandatory for EA members as well as for EA shall be automatically adopted in the future. This is being transferred in the relevant procedure and is already in force.

The General Assembly endorsed the final report of the Accreditation for Notification (AfN) project which has been aiming for several years to identify the Preferred Harmonised Standards to be used by EA members, an EA recommendation for Notified Bodies’ accreditation. The EA Horizontal Harmonisation Committee (HHC) will further revise EA-2/17 INF: 2014 - EA Document on Accreditation for Notification Purposes in light of the AfN project’s results, by notably including the final list of recommended standards into the document and transferring its status from an informative into a mandatory document.

Finally, the leader of the EA Strategy 2025 project, Peter Strömback (SWEDAC, Sweden), presented a thorough report on the state-of-play of the reflection and the envisaged next steps in setting the path for EA’s activity over the coming decade. The ultimate objective for the dedicated think-tank is to finalise a strategy to be submitted for approval to the next EA General Assembly on 23-24 November 2016 in Boras, Sweden.


A new Hungarian NAB in EA

A new National Accreditation Body of Hungary (NAH) has been accepted as an EA Full Member as of 1 April 2016.

Further to the termination of activities of NAT, the previous national accreditation body (NAB) of Hungary, on 31 December 2015, a new NAB had to be formally appointed by the Hungarian national authorities in accordance with European Regulation (EC) 765/2008. The appointed National Accreditation Body of Hungary (NAH) sent EA their application for EA Full Membership. After an administrative check by the EA Secretariat, the application was thoroughly reviewed by the EA Multilateral Agreement Council (MAC) Management Group (MG), which recommended that NAH be accepted as an EA Full Member. In light of the MAC MG’s recommendation, the EA Executive Committee decided to accept NAH’s application. According to the mandate given by the EA General Assembly in November 2015, EA Full Members were requested to endorse the decision made by the EA Executive Committee through an electronic ballot; the outcome was positive.

EA is very pleased to rank NAH among EA Full Members effective 1 April 2016. NAH was welcomed to its first EA General Assembly on 25-26 May 2016 during which Mr. Miklos Devecz, the NAH Director General, signed the EA Full Membership agreement.

Pictured from the left: Miklos Devecz, NAH Director General, and Thomas Facklam, EA Chairman, at the EA General Assembly on 25-26 May 2016.

NAH has also applied for the EA MLA signatory status. Based on the recommendation of the EA Secretariat, the MAC MG accepted the application and the peer evaluation of NAH will be organized and conducted according EA-2/02: EA Policy and Procedures for the Multilateral Agreement.

An EA brochure throws light on regulating challenges of accreditation

EA has recently published a new brochure aimed at demonstrating how accreditation supports regulators in ensuring competence and enhancing confidence in the market.

The new EA brochure entitled Accreditation: A Tool to Support Regulators has been written by an ad hoc task force group of the EA Communications and Publications Committee (CPC), whose members worked out a comprehensive brochure promoting the added value of accreditation among national regulators. The objectives were to prove how accreditation shall be seen as a service for the European and international Community, demonstrating compliance with specified requirements for competence, independence and impartiality in conformity assessment.

The brochure puts an emphasis on the international agreements that allow for European and global recognition of reports and certificates issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies through the signatory status of national accreditation bodies to the EA Multilateral Agreement (MLA) and the ILAC/IAF MRA/MLA.

Finally it explains how these advantages for regulators and governments result in benefits for businesses across all sectors by boosting efficiency, reducing controls and supporting export, as well as for consumers by protecting their interests in various areas (health, food, environment, etc.) and creating trust.

To catch up on the exciting world of accreditation, please read the full brochure available from the EA online Media Centre at: http://www.european-accreditation.org/book/index.html#p=1

A couple of new EA Recognized Stakeholders

During the EA General Assembly in May 2016 in Windsor, UK, EA signed two Recognized Stakeholder agreements with the European Testing, Inspection and Certification System (ETICS) and the International Federation of Inspection Agencies (IFIA).

The European Testing, Inspection and Certification System (ETICS), formerly the European Electrical Products Certification Association (EEPCA) whose Recognized Stakeholder agreement with EA has been terminated with immediate effect in Windsor, aims to administrate conformity assessment systems for third party compliance carried out within the electro-technical sector, as well as in other areas linked with product certification including factory inspection and testing. ETICS’ main activity is to facilitate access to the European market for certified products and to guarantee the safety and good quality of products and equipment to consumers.

IFIA is a federation of organisations providing testing/inspection/certification services internationally. Its mission is to improve the methods, standards, safety procedures and rules used by its members for the benefit of themselves and their stakeholders. With most of its 57 members operating in Europe, IFIA will work with EA towards improved consistency to European accreditation and greater integration of the accreditation services provided by EA Members.

Both ETICS and IFIA have been given the EA Recognised Stakeholder status and entered into a new agreement with EA in accordance with EA-1/15 A: 2014 - EA Policy for Relations with Stakeholders.

News from IAAC

This report includes IAAC activities from September 2015 to May 2016.

IAAC Membership

IAAC currently has a total of 51 members, 24 of which are full members, 6 are associate members and 21 are stakeholders.

IAAC MLA Signatories

IAAC has a total of 20 MLA signatory members.  It is a pleasure to report that 5 signatory members expanded their MLA scopes last March.  Currently there are 20 MLA signatories for the scope of Testing Laboratories; 8 for Medical Laboratories; 15 for Calibration Laboratories and 12 for Inspection Bodies; 1 for Reference Materials Producers; 1 for Proficiency Testing Providers; 11 for Quality Management Systems Certification Bodies, 9 for Environmental Management Systems Certification Bodies; 11 for Product Certification Bodies; 3 for Food Safety Management Systems; and 2 for Information Security Management Systems Certification Bodies.

In 2016 one IAAC MLA signatory applied to extend its scope to include Medical Laboratories based on ISO 15189.  By the next IAAC MLAG meeting in September 2016, it is anticipated that IAAC may have up to 4 MLA signatory members with new MLA scope extensions.

Changes reported by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB)

ANAB acquired Accreditation Services Bureau, doing business as Laboratory Accreditation Bureau (L-A-B), in December 2015.  In April 2016, ASCLD-LAB, an IAAC MLA signatory for Testing Laboratories merged with ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).  IAAC and APLAC will carry out a joint peer evaluation of ANAB as a part of its re-evaluation process and are taking these issues into consideration.

IAAC as a Regional Cooperation

IAAC is a Recognized Cooperation for the scopes of Testing (including Medical) and Calibration Laboratories; Inspection Bodies; and QMS, EMS and Product Certification Bodies.  IAAC is in the process of submitting an application to IAF to extend its MLA recognition to include the scope of Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) Certification and Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) and will also submit an application to ILAC to extend its MLA recognition for the scope of Proficiency Testing Providers.

Recent changes to IAAC documents and procedures

IAAC recently approved changes to its MOU and Bylaws.  The MOU changes were mostly to improve readability.  The Bylaw changes included the General Assembly voting rules.  Previously members cast one vote per country, and now it is one vote per member.

The IAAC MD 002 “Policies and Procedures for a Multilateral Recognition Arrangement among Accreditation Bodies” now includes a section describing the content of a final evaluation report for an accreditation body that is a signatory of the MLA of another recognized regional body and/or ILAC and IAF.

Training

IAAC held an online workshop for 7 peer evaluators from across the region qualified for Inspection Bodies in November 2015.  IAAC has scheduled an additional peer evaluators training workshop focused on Inspection Bodies to be held during 2016 in Mexico.  A training workshop for new peer evaluators will be held in Santiago, Chile in July 2016.

Technical Cooperation Projects

Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency Project (R3E)

The 2nd phase of the technical cooperation project titled "Quality Infrastructure Services for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (R3E) in Latin America and the Caribbean" was recently approved and will begin in the second half of 2016.  The project is executed by the 3 regional organizations for accreditation, standards and metrology: IAAC, COPANT and SIM.  Sponsor organizations include PTB of Germany and the Organization of American States (OAS).  The objectives of this project are 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 activities carried out under this project include technical seminars and workshops.

Biodiversity and Climate Change Project

IAAC, together with COPANT and SIM, the Regional organizations for standards and metrology, is participating in a project aimed at strengthening the regional quality infrastructure through programs related to biodiversity and climate change.  Sponsor organizations include PTB of Germany and the Organization of American States (OAS).  The 2nd phase of this project will begin in the second half of 2016.  Currently members from the 3 organizations have submitted program proposals which are in the process of being reviewed for selection by the project’s steering committee.

Cooperation with International and Regional Organizations

Relations with COPANT:

•           Ileana Martinez, IAAC Chair, attended the COPANT General Assembly meetings held in Guayaquil, Ecuador in April 2016 and presented at the Quality Infrastructure Council of the Americas (QICA) workshop at the same venue.

Cooperation with APLAC and PAC:

•           IAAC and APLAC have arranged to carry out 3 joint peer evaluations in 2016.

•           IAAC and PAC are also in close communication to share evaluator resources when feasible particularly in the scopes where evaluators are scarce.

•           IAAC and APLAC invited members to participate in each other's proficiency testing programs, as available.

Cooperation with the African Accreditation Cooperation, (AFRAC), and the Arab Accreditation Cooperation, (ARAC):

•           IAAC exchanges information with AFRAC and ARAC regarding best practices in MLA management.

•           IAAC supported AFRAC by providing  a Peer Evaluator for the evaluation of ENAO from 7 – 11 September 2015.

Cooperation with the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA):

•           Ileana Martinez, IAAC Chair, regularly attends the EA General Assemblies. 

Upcoming IAAC Meetings

The next IAAC General Assembly meetings will be held in Lima, Peru from September 3-9, 2016.  More information is available at http://www.iaac.org.mx/English/Meetings.php


News from PAC

The third joint annual meetings of The Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) and the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) were held in Chinese Taipei, from 11– 18 June 2016. The meetings were hosted by the Taiwan Accreditation Foundation (TAF).

At the meetings, PAC bid farewell to Mr Brett Abraham who completed his term as PAC Chair, and Ms Belinda Mort.  A plaque was presented to Brett during the official dinner, in appreciation of his leadership and contributions to PAC, and to Belinda for her dedicated services as PAC Secretary over the many years.

At the PAC Plenary, Ms Chang Kwei Fern from the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) was elected as the new PAC Chair. Mr Reinaldo Figueiredo from American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was elected as a new member of the PAC Executive Committee.

PAC will be appointing GED Advisory as the new Secretariat, primarily lead by Mr Graeme Drake who has formerly held secretary positions of the ISO Committee on Conformity Assessment (ISO/CASCO), the APEC Standards and Conformance Subcommittee (SCSC) and the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC).

For the PAC MLA activities, there has been substantial growth in the MLA signatories.  Two new members that have joined the PAC MLA are The National Accreditation Center of Iran (NACI) and International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS). PAC has also established its MLA program for certification of Persons.

As of 17 June, PAC has the following MLAs:

QMS:   19 members (new member is NACl)

EMS:   17 members (new member is BoA)

FSMS: 12 (new members are KAB, NSC)

ISMS:  4 (new member is CNAS)

Product: 20 (new members are DAC, IOAS)

GHG:   6 (new member is SLAB)

Persons: 3 (new members are ANSI, IAS, KAN)

Following the Joint General Assemblies (JGA), a new era of cooperation between PAC and APLAC will commence.  There was consensus at the JGA to pursue the formation of a new regional body for accreditation in the Asia Pacific region to advance the objectives of both organisations. This key milestone is the culmination of several years of partnership and close collaboration between PAC and APLAC.

PAC will be embarking on a new exciting journey to advance its objective of facilitating trade and commerce among economies in the Asia Pacific region!



EU Twinning Project between ACCREDIA and MOLDAC

On April 28, 2016, the closing ceremony of the Twinning Light Project (a collaboration project between ACCREDIA, the Italian Accreditation Body, and MOLDAC, the Accreditation Body of the Republic of Moldova) was held in Chișinău, Moldova, in the presence of the Vice Prime Minister of the Moldovan government, Octavian Calmic, and the diplomatic representative of the EU and of the Italian government, Ambassadors Pirkka Tapiola and Enrico Nunziata.

In 2015, ACCREDIA was awarded the “Twinning Light” project for the support of MOLDAC in preparing for the EA - the European Co-operation for Accreditation - peer evaluation. Following the successful completion of the peer evaluation, MOLDAC is now permitted to sign the EA MLA Agreement of mutual recognition whereby conformity assessments of products and services issued by conformity assessment bodies and laboratories which are accredited by MOLDAC will be recognized in the European and world markets, thereby helping the development of Moldova’s economy.

For this project, which lasted 8 months, ACCREDIA activated a major training program, with the involvement of its 3 departments: Certification and Inspection, Calibration and Testing Laboratories.

It involved nearly 20 technical experts and assessors over 140 work-days and  more than 30 trips as well as numerous joint audits and seminars together with MOLDAC personnel.

The general aim was to improve the commercial competitiveness of the Republic of Moldova and to harmonize the quality of its infrastructure through conformity to European and international standards, making a contribution to the improvement of international political, economic and commercial relations with the European Union.

ACCREDIA is involved in a number of international projects, including last year, with the support of EGAC, the Egyptian Accreditation Body, for the implementation of the accreditation infrastructure in Egypt.

ACCREDIA also collaborated with the Turkish Ministry of Labor as part of the Taiex project, the instrument of technical assistance and institution-building of the European Commission aimed at third world countries. Its objective is to provide technical assistance for the correct interpretation of EU legislation, for the implementation of EU standards and rules and for their application in terms of their respective national standards.

ACCREDIA President, Giuseppe Rossi, said, “We are very proud of having been chosen by the European Commission for this project and of being able to make our contribution to the strengthening of the Moldovan Accreditation Body, with the objective of enhancing safer international commercial ties.

This, together with other programs in which we are involved, confirms the role and the growth of ACCREDIA’s international reputation, created thanks to the competence of its staff, which has brought us to an important position in the international network of Accreditation Bodies, as can be seen with the appointment of Emanuele Riva, Director of the Department of Certification and Inspection to the position of Vice-President of IAF, and to the Executive Committee of EA.”

Updates from ANSI

ANSI Achieves Accreditation Body Qualifications under the European Union Electromagnetic Compatibility and Radio Equipment Directives

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has successfully demonstrated compliance with all accreditation body qualifications under the European Union (EU) Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive and Radio Equipment Directive (RED). ANSI will offer notified body (NB) accreditation under the conformity assessment standard ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity Assessment - Requirements for bodies certifying product, process and services.

ANSI is listed under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) U.S. Accreditation Bodies for NB Activities webpage, and is recognized as successfully establishing compliance with all accreditation body qualifications included in Section 10 of the NIST Requirements and Application for U.S. Conformity Assessment Bodies Seeking (EMC) Directive 2014/30/EU Notified Body Status and the NIST Requirements & Application for U.S. Conformity Assessment Bodies Seeking EU (RED) 2014/53/EU Notified Body Status.

ANSI’s latest recognition falls under guidelines of the NIST-National Voluntary Conformity Assessment System Evaluation (NVCASE) program, which assists federal agencies in organizing product certification and related activities to ensure that products or processes comply with U.S. or foreign requirements included in trade agreements such as Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs). NVCASE assesses accreditors based on the criteria of ISO/IEC 17011:2004, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, and the NVCASE Program Handbook, NISTIR 6440:2004 ED.

“ANSI is honored to receive this continued recognition as part of our 15-year partnership with NIST on the NVCASE program,” said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president for accreditation services. “NIST’s continuing recognition of the Institute’s accreditation services helps foster global commerce. Manufacturers who sell electrical and radio equipment can rely upon a single set of test results and product certifications accepted across national borders.”

For more information on ANSI’s accreditation services, visit www.ansiaccreditation.org.

About ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is made up of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.

The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

ANSI Accreditation Meets Requirements of National Defense Authorization Act

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed into law on November 25 marks changes for military on all levels— including the launch of pioneering legislation of quality assurance of certification programs and standards for professional credentials obtained by members of the Armed Forces. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) proudly reports that its accreditation for certification organizations would meet the requirements of the legislation—reflecting the latest example of government reliance on accreditation as a mark of quality and excellence in the national workforce.

“This law is groundbreaking as it puts in place a mechanism for quality assurance of certifications thereby recognizing only those certification programs that meet a national/international standard,” said Vijay Krishna, Ed.D., ANSI’s director of personnel credentialing accreditation programs.

Programs accredited by ANSI under the Personnel Certification Accreditation Program (PER) are in compliance with the legislation —highlighting the enormous value associated with ANSI accreditation. This is specifically described in the legislation, Section 559 – Quality Assurance of Certification Programs and Standards for Professional Credentials obtained by members of the Armed Forces, outlined here.

Specifically, the legislation requires that credentialing bodies be accredited by an accreditation body that “meet[s] a recognized national or international standard.” All ANSI accreditation programs follow the process outlined in the international standard ISO/IEC 17011, General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies. The process, which represents the basis for mutual recognition of accreditation bodies in countries around the world, includes using specially trained assessors to review documents submitted by applicants against defined requirements, conduct on-site assessments, and make recommendations to the ANSI accreditation committee that is responsible for making the accreditation decisions. ANSI’s compliance with the 17011 standard also assures that ANSI-accredited credentials are ultimately seen as equivalent and are transportable across borders.

The legislation further requires that the accreditation body “apply a recognized national or international certification standard in making its accreditation decisions regarding certification bodies and programs.” ANSI’s Personnel Certification Accreditation Program accredits against ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024, General requirements for bodies operating certification schemes for persons, an American National Standard and international standard that is widely recognized as a globally accepted benchmark for bodies managing the certification of persons.

“ANSI accreditation, which is recognized nationally and internationally, assures the consistency and integrity of credentials,” said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. “This new legislation demonstrates that lawmakers understand the hallmarks of quality credentialing, and of the key role that accreditation plays in demonstrating quality.”

About ANSI Accreditation

ANSI Accreditation provides assurance that standards, goods, and services meet essential requirements throughout the global supply chain – engendering consumer trust and fostering competitiveness. Increasingly, procurement authorities, government agencies, and program/scheme owners are specifying accreditation in order to demonstrate the technical competence and impartiality of conformance services and processes. These assessments enhance confidence between buyers and sellers as they mitigate risk.

Read more about the legislation here, and see more about ANSI’s accreditation programs here.

ANSI and Gold Standard Join Forces to Enhance the Auditing Process for Gold Standard Energy Projects

The climate agreement reached at the COP21 in Paris this month recognizes the need for robust, transparent accounting of emissions, providing a clear mandate for standards operating in this space. Monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) are essential elements of climate and development initiatives, ensuring that project investments go further to deliver greater impacts – a key outcome from Gold Standard programs. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Gold Standard are working together to develop a new accreditation scheme that will extend the list of auditors eligible to review Gold Standard energy projects while also improving the quality of audits through better oversight.

Historically, only designated operational entities (DOE) registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have been eligible to act as auditors for Gold Standard projects. While Gold Standard will continue to recognize DOEs, this new scheme also opens the doors to ANSI Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Validation and Verification Bodies (VVBs), providing additional validation and verification options for project developers and implementers.

The energy program will be the first scope that ANSI and Gold Standard collaborate on, with goals to add additional sectors in the future.

“We are really excited about this new partnership,” said Owen Hewlett, chief technical officer for Gold Standard. “By working with auditing experts such as ANSI, we are able shape the system to improve efficiencies and quality while also providing more choice to the market.”

“We are looking forward to this starting point in the ANSI–Gold Standard partnership and also to expanding the program to encompass other areas in the future. We also look forward to working with the ANSI accredited VVBs as they will now be able to offer ANSI accredited services to Gold Standard energy projects,” said Ann Howard, director of the GHG program at ANSI.

For more information on how you can become a Gold Standard–approved Validation and Verification Body (VVB), please contact Ann Howard at ahoward@ansi.org.

About Gold Standard

Gold Standard works to create a climate-secure world where sustainable development brings life-changing benefits to communities everywhere. The organization’s role as a standards and certification body is to maximize the impact of climate and development activities. Gold Standard designs processes that amplify the impact of efforts to deliver clean energy and water, responsibly manage land and forests, and transform lives of the world’s poor. The organization then verifies those outcomes, inspiring greater confidence that drives investment to accomplish even more.

Gold Standard was established in 2003 by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other international NGOs as a best practice standard to ensure projects that reduced carbon emissions under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) also delivered on their dual mandate to foster sustainable development. Now with more than 80 NGO supporters and 1,100 projects in over 70 countries, Gold Standard’s projects have delivered billions of dollars in climate and development outcomes in local communities all around the world. Learn more at www.goldstandard.org.

About ANSI’s Accreditation Program

ANSI offers an accreditation program for organizations providing third-party validation/verification services for the reduction and removal of greenhouse gases (GHG). A member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), ANSI is the only U.S. body accrediting to ISO 14065. The ANSI Accreditation Program for Greenhouse Gas Validation/Verification Bodies operates according to requirements defined in under ISO/IEC 17011:2004, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies. For more on ANSI’s complete portfolio of accreditation programs, visit www.ansi.org/accreditation.


Updates from BSCA

BSCA celebrates WAD 2016

Following its annual tradition, the Belarusian State Centre for Accreditation (BSCA) celebrated World Accreditation Day on June 9, 2016.

Promoting accreditation as a tool to support public policy, WAD 2016 became a platform for the 5th meeting of BSCA Accreditation Council, as it is the body where most public policy makers meet to discuss accreditation issues. Apart from governmental ministries, the Accreditation Council includes in equal shares the scientific organizations, Consumer Rights Protection Society, associations of producers and entrepreneurs as well as accredited conformity assessment bodies.

The Accreditation Council meeting Chair emphasized the importance and benefits of accreditation as an instrument for ensuring accurate and impartial results that can be relied upon by government to execute their regulatory and legislative duties. Ms.Tatyana Nikolaeva – Director of the Belarusian State Centre for Accreditation – presented a report on the activities of BSCA from 2010-2015 and its further development strategy. These thorough discussions helped identify pillars to be strengthened and improved in future.



BSCA expands bilateral cooperation

BSCA uses the tool of bilateral cooperation in accreditation to respond to real-life necessities of international trade and thus, to support economic links between Belarus and its trade partners.

Recently BSCA signed a Memoranda of Understanding with the Accreditation Body of Serbia, the Bureau of Accreditation of Vietnam, the National Accreditation Center of Iran, the Gulf Cooperation Council Accreditation Center, the Bulgarian Accreditation Service, and the National Committee for Accreditation of the Republic of Indonesia.

So far, BSCA has signed 19 Agreements/Memoranda. Direct cooperation with partner accreditation bodies makes knowledge flow easier and offers a handy channel for professional communication between both ABs assessors and accredited CABs.

Thus, in pursuance of a Memorandum, colleagues from LATAK (the Latvian National accreditation body) visited BSCA in June 6-10 to share its experience in the application of ISO/IEC 17021 (parts 1,2,3). The workshops brought together about 80 persons. Representatives of certification bodies and BSCA staff had a chance to upgrade their skills and knowledge to better comply with the requirements of the international standards.



BSCA pre-evaluated by EA team

2016 started with a challenging event for the Belarusian State Centre for Accreditation (BSCA). From January 18-22 2016 an EA team pre-evaluated BSCA for compliance with the criteria for signing the EA bilateral recognition agreement in the following fields: testing, calibration, certification.

Relevant Standards and corresponding EA, IAF, ILAC guidance were used to evaluate BSCA.

Based on the interviews, documentation analysis and witnessing assessment activities, the EA team concluded that BSCA has competent staff, an appropriate structure within the organisation and performs professional assessments on site. As a result of the above mentioned activities, the EA team recommended the continuation of the peer evaluation process of BSCA.

 


Silver Jubilee of Accreditation in the Czech Republic

March 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the issuing of the first accreditation certificate in Czechoslovakia. A lot has changed since then. The Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent states, the economy has developed, and new industries have arisen. There have been great breakthroughs in science and technology, as well as an evolution of approach to the environment and to the importance of quality of services and management in daily life. The European Union was established and has been expanding and strengthening its role in Europe ever since. Free movement of goods and services has become imperative for markets worldwide and accreditation became an essential tool to reach this aim. To commemorate this important anniversary, the Czech Accreditation Institute (CAI) is preparing to publish a book about the past 25 years of accreditation in various perspectives. A number of newspaper articles and interviews regarding accreditation and its 25th jubilee in the Czech Republic have also been published.

The most significant event in the 2016 Silver Jubilee festivities was a celebratory seminar held by CAI on 18 March 2016 in partnership with members of the Czech Senate, which was attended by a number of esteemed guests including the Executive Secretary of the European Co-operation for Accreditation, Dr. Andreas Steinhorst, and representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Significant representatives of public and private authorities operating in the accreditation system as well as renowned experts in its various sectors attended the event and gave presentations focusing on the use of accreditation in their respective fields. Important speeches were given, interesting information was told, outstanding figures of the Czech accreditation system received awards for their extraordinary contribution to the creation and development of the Czech accreditation system, and best wishes were given to CAI for its future work and development. The seminar was concluded by musical entertainment by the Clarinet Quartet of the Prague State Opera and a toast to the future of accreditation. Then the festivities continued informally in the historic lounges of the Waldstein Palace.

CAI has also formed and trained its own multidisciplinary running team for the 2016 Volkswagen Prague Marathon Relay, comprised of an accreditation program manager for building and other laboratories, a deputy director of the department of laboratories, an accreditation program manager for inspection bodies and product certification and, of course, a lawyer. The CAI running team finished the race in 04:08:05 with massive support from their colleagues and families, setting a time to beat for next year’s runners.

CAI shall continue celebrating the Silver Jubilee of accreditation in the Czech Republic with various events taking place in 2016 and invites you to join the festivities. Let’s toast together to the next quarter-century of accreditation!



Q1 & Q2 2016 bring significant achievements for DAC

International Recognition

After successful peer evaluation and subsequent balloting and decision by the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) MLA group, the Dubai Accreditation Department (DAC) became a signatory to the PAC MLA for product certification. The decision was taken by the PAC MLA group during its meeting held 15th June 2016 in Chinese Taipei. DAC is the first and only accreditation body in the Gulf region that has signed the MLA for product certification. DAC is already a signatory to the PAC and the IAF MLAs for QMS & EMS.        

The joint peer evaluation of DAC was conducted by the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) and the Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC).

DAC has completed two cycles of ILAC recognition. Its second re-evaluation for the third recognition cycle was jointly conducted by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC).

DAC management with PAC/ARAC peer evaluation team

 

New accreditation scheme

DAC has accredited the first lifeguards' certification body in Dubai as per international standard ISO/IEC 17024:2012. The accreditation was granted to First Security Group, Dubai. The certification scheme covers certification of pool lifeguards, shallow water lifeguards, and beach lifeguards.

Ms. Amina Ahmed Mohammed, Director of the Accreditation Department, advised that the certification scheme was launched with the collaboration of the Public Health & Safety Department of Dubai Municipality. She said that Dubai has a large number of pools in hotels, residential & sports complexes, and water parks besides vast pristine beaches. Thousands of lifeguards are working at these water facilities. The Dubai government’s intent is to provide quality of life to residents and visitors. Being the tourism hub of the region, Dubai attracts large number of tourists from around the world; the safety of residents and visitors is paramount for the Dubai Government. All lifeguards working in Dubai will be required to be certified under this scheme.

 

Halal accreditation

The Dubai Accreditation Department (DAC) has launched an accreditation scheme for Halal certification bodies as per UAE standard “General Requirements for Halal Certification Bodies UAE S.2055-2:2014”. The DAC has already received many applications from certification bodies based in UAE and various other countries. The document review and assessment process has already been completed for some halal accreditation bodies. The DAC halal accreditation scheme covers certification of products, management systems, testing and inspection processes.

DAC arranged a series of training sessions for DAC staff and assessors on halal accreditation. The training included class room training on UAE halal standards and witness of on-site certification assessments in abattoirs and food processing industries. Workshops on halal testing and inspection requirements of various products were conducted.

DAC also arranged a series of awareness and training seminars for halal certifiers and other stakeholders. DAC has arranged two awareness training courses in Dubai on halal certification scheme. Engineer Noaf Ahmed Al Naqbi, head of certification bodies accreditation section in DAC and Engineer Muhammad Shahid Rasool, Principal accreditation specialist, were the resource persons for the training. Delegates representing various halal certifiers from UAE, USA, Canada, UK, Spain, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the Netherlands attended the awareness training sessions.

DAC staff attending training on Halal accreditation


Updates from EGAC

The Egyptian Accreditation Council (EGAC) is the sole accreditation body in Egypt. It is recognized by Presidential Decree number 312/1996 as the national body for the assessment and accreditation of conformity assessment bodies. Presidential Decree number 248/2006 re-organized EGAC to be the sole accreditation body in Egypt and gave EGAC independence for the evaluation and accreditation of conformity assessment bodies.

•           EGAC’s vision is to have accreditation at the top of the conformity assessment activities, and to give confidence in the competence of the conformity assessment bodies to ensure the credibility of their reports and certificates in compliance with international standards.

•           EGAC’s objectives are to inspire confidence in the competence of organizations providing calibration, testing, inspection and certification services, and to actively seek mutual recognition arrangements with similar regional and international parties.

•           EGAC’s activities include accreditation of testing labs according to ISO/IEC 17025, calibration labs according to ISO/IEC 17025, Medical labs according to ISO 15189, inspection bodies according to ISO/IEC 17020, and certification of management systems according to ISO/IEC 17021.

•           EGAC plays a very important role in the Egyptian economy as it sits at the top of the Egyptian Quality system and contributes to increasing exports, and the competitiveness capability of Egyptian products in international markets.

•           EGAC is recognized in all its current scopes of accreditation and plans to extend its signatory status to include the scope of FSMS according to ISO/IEC 17021-1.

•           EGAC also extends vertically by adding new scopes of accreditation to its accreditation scheme like persons certification according to ISO/IEC 17024, product certification according to ISO/IEC 17065 and extending its scope to include accreditation of proficiency testing (PT) providers according to ISO/IEC 17043.

•           EGAC spreads horizontally beyond the Arab region into Europe and Asia.

•           EGAC has been an associate member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) since June 2004 and became a full member of International Accreditation Forum (IAF) in May 2006. EGAC applied for recognition under the ILAC/IAF MRA/MLA in August 2006 and signed the MRA/MLA agreements with ILAC and IAF in 2009 with the agreements being renewed in 2013. We expect a joint re-evaluation to occur in February 2017.

•           EGAC became an associate member of EA (Contract of Cooperation) in 2010 and is planning to apply for mutual recognition with EA in 2017.

•           EGAC was recognized by the ARAC Accreditation Council in 2014 and the AFRAC Accreditation Council in 2014.

•           EGAC also participated in the preparation and launch of the bylaws of the new International Forum for HALAL Products.

•           EGAC is a part of a twinning project with EU represented by BMWi of Germany, DAKKS of Germany and ACCREDIA of Italy. The project is entitled “Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of The Egyptian Accreditation Council (EGAC)” aims to support the Egyptian Accreditation Council and to prepare EGAC to sign an MLA agreement with EA.

•           In the framework of activities of EGAC – EU twinning project, a series of five seminars were held on Benefits of Quality and Accreditation in Supporting and Development the Capabilities of Industrial Community in Egypt and Enhancing the Competitiveness of Egyptian Products. These five Seminars planned to be held all over Egypt in different areas of Egyptian Governorates.

•           A small group of representatives from different industrial and concerned private sector organizations in various parts of Egypt participated in the seminars.



ema Celebrates World Accreditation Day 2016

For 9 years, the Mexican accreditation entity, a.c., ema, has joyously celebrated World Accreditation Day. and this year it was under the theme "Accreditation: A Global Tool to support Public Policy".

The celebration took place on June 10 in the company of authorities, associates and representatives of academia, business people, and stakeholders.

In this forum, the importance of joint work between ema and the authorities was highlighted, noting that accreditation supports public policies for the benefit of Mexican society to safeguard its health, safety and heritage.

Recognition to Commitment to Accreditation

As part of this celebration, 21 Conformity Assessment Bodies including Testing, Calibration, Medical and Forensic Science Laboratories, Certification Bodies, Inspection Bodies and Proficiency Testing Providers were recognized for their commitment to accreditation. Congratulations to all winners.


Update from KENAS

NEW AREAS OF ACCREDITATION FOR KENAS

The Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) has entered into an agreement through the PEPFAR program to engage in capacity building and development for Point of Care Testing (ISO/IEC 22870) and Medical Reference Laboratories (ISO/IEC 15195) programs with KENAS. These are new areas of accreditation that KENAS Health and Safety Scheme are exploring for purposes of growth.

The agreement involves assessor training on both ISO/IEC 22870 and ISO/IEC 15195 Standards; Technical committee training on documentation criteria, development of information brochures and facilitating awareness meetings across the country. CLSI and KENAS will work together for a period of one financial year.

THE WORLD ACCREDITATION DAY CELEBRATIONS IN KENYA

“Unless we do what we do what is effective in public policy, then we shall not be where we are supposed to be as a country,” said Dr. Robert Monda, the Chairperson of the Board at KENAS during the World Accreditation Day 2016 celebrations. Dr. Monda sensitized the guests through the different ways that accreditation can support public policy such as market self-regulation and in other cases, businesses acknowledging standards to demonstrate their assurance mechanisms to minimize risks.

It is obvious that more engagement is needed in government to ensure that the public is protected and that our economic growth is guaranteed in order for us to improve the quality of life of Kenyans.

The panel session during the WAD meeting

The Chief Guest speaker was Dr. Gitahi, the group CEO of AMREF Health Africa. He highlighted the importance of accreditation in the health sector reiterating that fair health services can only be provided through consistency, accuracy of test results, reliability and competence of medical practitioners and this can be achieved through accreditation and standardization.

The National Construction Authority (NCA) was represented by Engineer Akech who spoke on safety and sanity in the built environment by embracing standards and accreditation of building inspection bodies.

Engineer Wangai of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) emphasized the fact that partnership is one way to go to ensure that accreditation is embraced as a tool to support public policy. He underlined that NTSA had recently informed the motor vehicle inspection bodies to seek accreditation so as to improve their competence in providing the inspection service. This was a result of collaborative discussions and agreements between KENAS and NTSA.

ACP-TBT-EU AND KENAS COMPLETE SUCCESSFUL PROJECT TO OVERCOME TECHNICAL BARRIERS TO TRADE

As a developing country, Kenya cannot underestimate the importance of compliance with reliable Quality Infrastructure requirements (standards, technical regulations, metrology, conformity assessment and accreditation). It is in this regard that the European Union (EU) funded the Capacity building project for the Quality Infrastructure Institutions of Kenya i.e. KENAS and KEBS (Kenya Bureau of Standards). The project was implemented under the framework of the ACP-EU-TBT (African-Carribbean – Pacific – European Union- Technical Barriers to Trade) programme and financed by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund. The project started in November 2015 and finalized on May 2016 under the implementation of Spanish company called Prysma.

The overall objective of the specific project implemented in Kenya is to enhance Kenya’s Quality Infrastructure. The specific actions involved enhancing the understanding of World Trade Organisation TBT and Trade Facilitation Agreements in Kenya in KENAS and KEBS. In addition, the project aimed at enhancing the institutional capacity of both Quality Infrastructure institutions for delivering technical assistance on Quality Management System (QMS) for the private sector in Kenya.

The goals were successfully completed with additional tasks performed according to the schedule that was agreed upon by the beneficiaries of KENAS and KEBS. As per key findings in the project, there were difficulties pointed out on regional standardization activities at East African Community (EAC). They reiterated the importance to continue capacity building activities within the region. There was engagement with the private sector in the following three areas: textile, leather and the flower industry.

KENAS and UGANDA ACCREDITATION NATIONAL FOCAL POINT SIGN a MoU

The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives in Uganda, Ambassador Julius Onen, and Sammy Milgo, Managing Director of KENAS signed a MoU of collaboration in all areas of accreditation, knowledge management, technical skills enhancement and transfer.

This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the KENAS offices in Nairobi on Thursday, 21st January 2016 during a courtesy visit by the Uganda Delegation to KENAS. This MoU is a progressive step towards regional cooperation with the National Focal Points.



Update from MAURITAS

APPLICATION TO BECOME A SIGNATORY TO THE MULTILATERAL MUTUAL RECOGNITION ARRANGEMENTS OF ILAC/IAF/AFRAC/SADCA

The Mauritian economy is moving rapidly from a system based on trade preferences to one based on global competition. Many national agencies involved in conformity assessment infrastructure are helping in eliminating technical barriers to trade.

So to ensure that the Mauritius Accreditation Service (MAURITAS) accredited certificates issued by conformity assessment bodies are accepted across all borders, MAURITAS applied to become signatory to the Multilateral/Mutual Recognition Arrangements of ILAC/IAF/AFRAC/SADCA in July 2015.

MAURITAS provided the requisite documentation which was reviewed and accepted by the evaluation team prior to the on-site pre-evaluation.

ILAC and IAF appointed an evaluation team on 02 December 2015 comprising of:

• Mr Alok Jain – Team Leader (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, NABL)

• Mrs Maureen Mutasa – Team Member (Southern African Development Community Accreditation Service, SADCAS)

• Mrs Sonia Mahdoui Melki – Team Member (Tunisian Accreditation Council, TUNAC)

• Prof. Adel Shehata – Trainee Evaluator for Testing (National Institute of Standards, Egypt)

The pre evaluation visit took place from 21 to 25 March 2016. During the evaluation, both the MAURITAS office and the apex body representing the National Metrological Infrastructure were visited by the evaluation team.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, MAURITAS Staff and the Pre-evaluation team

The following accreditation assessments were witnessed by the evaluation team:

(i) Testing: 1 re-assessment (2 days; chemical, environmental & biological testing)

(ii) Calibration: 1 surveillance (1 day; mass)

(iii) Management System Certification Body: 1 surveillance (1 day; QMS)

The evaluation team raised seven (7) non-conformities, seven (7) concerns and fourteen (14) comments. Proposed corrective actions were made and submitted to the evaluation team in April 2016.  A first response has been obtained from the team. MAURITAS has started implementing the corrective actions and will submit the documented evidence to the team of evaluators by the end of June 2016.

Events Dedicated to the World Accreditation Day in Kazakhstan

On May 12, 2016 in Kazakh Agro Technical University, named after S. Seifullin, the National Center of Accreditation organised an extended meeting of the Accreditation Council on a topic: “Accreditation: Global tool to support Public Policy”.

The event was timed to the World Accreditation Day which an international community celebrates annually on June 9. The motto of 2016 is: “Accreditation: Global tool to support Public Policy”.

Product conformity assessment is conducted by the certification bodies and /or testing laboratories to ensure its compliance with national and international standard requirements. And the competence of such bodies and laboratories, in its turn, is confirmed by a single authorized body. In Kazakhstan this function is performed by the National Centre of Accreditation (NCA).

Accreditation in the field of conformity assessment is a basis for conformity assessment, as it determines the competency of certification bodies, testing, calibration and medical laboratories to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks.

The accreditation system for conformity assessment of the Republic of Kazakhstan is mature and complies with international standards. The legal basis of the national accreditation system is defined by a separate law “On Accreditation in the field of conformity assessment”; procedures and document forms are regulated by the normative legal acts and documents of a management system based on the requirements of international standard ISO/IEC 17011, “Conformity assessment -- General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies”.

Several speakers gave presentations at this meeting:
-While opening the meeting, the Vice-Minister of Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Albert Rau, emphasized the importance of accreditation to implement Public Policy.
-The Chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee of the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Aliakpar Matishev, described the work being done in the field of product safety and public health, mentioned the ongoing tests in accredited laboratories to reduce the risk of injurious action to the life, health, and environment including flora and fauna, and also described the amendments to the Law “On Protection of Consumers' Rights”.
-Deputy Chairman of Technical Regulation and Metrology Committee, Galymzhan Dugalov, provided information regarding the current state of the Kazakhstan accreditation system and prospects for its development. In particular, he mentioned that the quality infrastructure of Kazakhstan complies with an international model, described the accreditation body achievements, mentioned improvement of a single accreditation system in the industry, and ongoing work on the accreditation process automation.
-Former Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in the Republic of Kazakhstan (2005-2011yy.) Mr. Dusan Podgorsky spoke about modern tasks of accreditation and control over the market.
-The Chairman of the Trade Unions Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Abelgazi Kussainov, presented a history of the technical regulation system in the Republic.
-Head of the testing laboratory of JSC “SNPS-Aktobemunaigas”, Kulyash Kaliyeva spoke about the role of accreditation to ensure the quality of products manufactured at the JSC “SNPS-Aktobemunaigas”.
-The President of the Association of Legal Entities “National Association of Construction Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan”, Ermuhanov Adelsha, spoke about the necessity to use an accredited conformity assessment in the construction industry.

In order to clarify the use of an accredited conformity assessment, the international organizations in the field of conformity assessment, such as ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation), IAF (International Accreditation Forum), ISO (International Organization for Standardization), IIOC (Independent International Organization for Certification) developed a website www.publicsectorassurance.org to provide examples of how accredited conformity assessment is used around the world.

After listening to and discussing the presentations by the participants of the Accreditation Council Extended meeting, it was proposed to activate cooperation between the line ministries and accreditation body, and to continue informing state entities and public regarding the need of accreditation to comply with the international standards.

 

Mr. Serik Kurmangaliyev

Director General

National Center of Accreditation (NCA) of the Republic of Kazakhstan


Singapore Accreditation Council – Regulator Workshop and Customer Day

The Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) celebrated World Accreditation Day (WAD) 2016 by organizing a Regulator Workshop and Customer Day on 9 June 2016.  The two events were based upon the theme of: “Accreditation - A Global Tool to Support Public Policy”.  Dr Llewellyn Richards, Chief Executive of International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ), was invited as a keynote speaker for both events. Dr Richards shared his insights on the effective use of accreditation to support regulatory work and how the regulatory landscape and global trends affect the conformity assessment bodies (CABs).

The SAC Regulator Workshop was a great success, with over 50 participants representing 18 ministries and agencies attending. The workshop served as a key platform for the various regulatory bodies to share their experiences and clarify doubts on the use of accreditation in their regulatory regime. The key discussions included talks on the competency of assessors in niche areas and how accreditation reduces regulatory burden.  The SAC Chairman, Mr Renny Yeo, concluded the workshop by further emphasizing the importance of continual collaboration between SAC and the regulators to co-create solutions to support the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate SAC’s 30 years of accreditation

At the Customer Day, SAC celebrated its 30 years of accreditation and presented accreditation plaques to 40 newly accredited CABs. One segment of the event was a discussion forum that engaged the participants on various topics, including adoption of technologies for conformity assessment, strengthening the testing, inspection and certification (TIC) players to meet industry needs, and mandatory issuance of endorsed certificates and reports.


SADC Commemorates 2016 WAD

June 9, marks World Accreditation Day (WAD) as a global initiative jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation-related activities. The inaugural WAD was celebrated in 2008. The theme for 2016 World Accreditation Day is Accreditation: A global tool to support Public Policy and focuses on the support accreditation delivers as a tool for all areas in the public sector – national and local government, regulators. As in previous years, the day was celebrated across the world with the hosting of major national events, seminars, and press and media coverage, being undertaken in order to raise awareness on the importance of accreditation and to communicate the value of accreditation to Government, Regulators and the leaders of the business community.

This year commemoration activities in the region ranged from seminars/conferences to press releases, television to radio interviews and street marches to targeted marketing visits. World Accreditation Day conferences were held in 5 countries namely: Botswana; Lesotho; Swaziland; Zambia and Zimbabwe. In preparation for the commemorations SADCAS provided all Nationbal Accreditation Focal points (NAFPs) with a press release, WAD conference template and text to a speech which was to be made by a SADCAS representative.

In Botswana WAD Commemorations were celebrated as a mini-conference with an exhibition in Jwaneng on the 9th of June 2016. The conference was attended by over 61 stakeholders from different conformity assessment bodies from the health, engineering and food processing sectors from both the private and public sectors as well various regulators. The conference was organized by the Department of Industrial Affairs, Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry under which the National Accreditation Focal Point for Botswana is housed. Prior to the WAD commemorations a press release on WAD was distributed to various media houses to promote the 2016 WAD. The commemorations were also promoted by holding a consultative meeting on the 24th of May 2016 at the Office of the District Commissioner (ODC) which was attended by the Jwaneng Town Leadership from ODC, Jwaneng Town Council, Tribal Administration, and Jwaneng Chamber of Commerce (JCC). Several follow-up meetings to update the District Commissioner`s office and the Jwaneng Town Mayor`s office were also conducted during the week to update them on the progress of the preparations. 

The official opening of the conference was conducted by the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development- Honourable Frans Van Der Westhuizen who was introduced by the Jwaneng District Commissioner Ms. Kolobetso Sejakgomo, whilst the welcome remarks were conducted by Honourable Councilor Obed Monkge on behalf of the Jwaneng Town Mayor, His Worship Mr Tsietsi Oodira-Kwenje. The Key Note address titled Accreditation: A Global Tool to Support Public Policy” was performed by the SADCAS Technical Manager Mrs Jeanne Françoise-Ranorovelo.

 

Part of the audience during the workshop.

This was followed by six presentations from the following institutions namely; National Food Control Laboratory (NFCL) by Ms. Esther Rugara; Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) by Mr Teddy Ditsabatho; Botswana National Veterinary Laboratory (BNVL) by Ms. Samantha Letsholo; Department of Occupational Health and Safety (DOH&S) by Mr Johannes Mosanawe; Botswana Bureau of Standards by Mr Pilot Masunga and Department of Clinical Services, Ministry of Health (MOH) by Ms. Dineo Motsisi. The closing remarks were delivered by Mr Gideon Mmolawa (Acting Director of Industrial Affairs). In the key note address Ms Ranorovelo explained that the challenges faced by governments and society in trade, health, consumer and environmental protection and security all call for the need for technical competence of conformity assessment bodies. She showed that accreditation is now increasingly accepted as the most transparent, non-discriminatory mechanism to assure competency of conformity assessment service providers. The use of accreditation by regulators and businesses in the world around us is expanding. She also indicated that the wider adoption of accreditation by regulators in our region is still an issue that requires attention and she also reiterated that SADCAS encourage Governments to embrace accreditation and use it as a tool to support public policy. In her presentation on the Role of accreditation in supporting food safety, Ms Rugara explained the role that the NFCL plays in the development and review of food regulations and food standards and monitoring compliance thereof. The NFCL is involved in the determination of microbiological and chemical/physical contamination as well as adulteration of food. Even though the NFCL is not yet accredited, the Laboratory realizes the importance of accreditation in promoting acceptance of results thus reducing duplication of tests and facilitating trade imports and exports. The NFCL is working towards accreditation.

This was followed by a presentation on the role of accreditation in supporting safe drinking in which Mr Teddy Ditsabatho from the WUC explained that safe drinking water could not be detached from accreditation. He indicated that there is an increasing demand from regulators and consumers on compliance to standards and technical regulations. He reiterated that it is imperative for all industry players to embrace accreditation as a primary tool for protection of public health and also for international recognition. In her presentation on the role of accreditation in supporting sustainable animal health, Ms Letsholo from the informed delegates that BNVL was accredited for 41 test methods covering Microbiology, Diagnostic, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Serology, Virology, Pathology and Feed Microscopy. She further explained the benefits that Botswana and BNVL have realized from accreditation such as being able to clearly demonstrate the hygiene status of water used in abattoirs and confirm the effectiveness of their disinfection processes. She further highlighted that BNVL is a stakeholder in the implementation of various One Health Projects, e.g. Rabies and some of the accredited tests available at BNVL are used as tools to monitor various zoonotic and trans-boundary diseases, namely Avian Influenza, Foot and Mouth Disease and Newcastle Disease.

In his presentation on the role of accreditation in supporting occupational health and safety Mr  Mosanawe, from the DOH&S explained that accreditation of safety & health services assures competency and guarantee quality. It therefore reduces risks associated with accidents which are costly to the organization and the national economy, provides a defense in litigation in courts of law especially when there is a case to answer and assists organization to maintain and improve the inspection management, and also enhances credibility and reputation of an organization. The BOBS representative Mr Pilot Masunga in his presentation on the role of accreditation in ensuring the quality of building materials highlighted that implementation of standards and accreditation can help central government, local government, regulators and the public sector to meet policy objectives by using accredited conformity assessment services. He also showed through various case studies instances where the public sector was shown to have utilized conformity assessment to meet public policy objectives around the world and locally. He urged Governments to embrace accreditation in public policies to ensure quality products and services. He however cautioned stakeholders on the challenges associated with accreditation such as: cost, being highly specialized and hence knowledge-intensive and that it requires time and dedication.

In the last presentation entitled Accreditation as a Strategy for the Competence of Medical Laboratories, Ms. Dineo Motsisi on behalf of Department of Clinical Services in the MOH, explained that public medical laboratories operate within the framework set by the “National Policy on Public Health Institutes”. She explained that the MOH use the following strategic initiatives to improve quality health care in the country such as: human resource management and development, improving and building adequate laboratory capacity. She explained that in line with its strategic objectives the MOH had achieved several milestones with Princess Marina, Sekgoma Memorial, Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital Laboratory, Nyangabgwe HIV Reference Laboratory and Botswana Harvard HIV Reference Laboratory having been accredited. She revealed that 7 more laboratories are working towards accreditation.

The conference was reasonably attended and the discussions were robust and lively with participants   urging all CABs to be accredited in order to ensure the credibility of results. The participants also encouraged facilities accredited by SANAS to changeover to SADCAS now that SADCAS is signatory to the ILAC MRA for Testing and Calibration. Participants also encouraged the DOH&S to work towards using private accredited inspection bodies accredited to reduce the financial burden on Government with the Department having to undertake he inspections themselves for which they are still working towards accreditation. Participants lamented on some sub-standard materials used in construction projects (private and public) and further questioned on measures put in place to curtail this. The BOBS representative then explained the BOBS role in import inspections highlighting that not all products in the market are regulated and that there is a list of products that are regulated. He also clarified the difference between certification to ISO 9001 and accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025. The participants also requested the NAFP- Botswana to engage with public procurement entity, the PPADB for the recognition of accreditation in public procurement.

A total of 4 organizations exhibited and showcased their activities at the exhibition during the commemorations, namely; Lamworld Technologies, National Blood Transfusion Laboratory, National Drug Regulatory Unit and the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy and Lamworld Technologies explained their trade using a petroleum mobile testing laboratory, and a mobile calibration Laboratory, respectively, which gave a vivid practical experience on their activities. National Blood Transfusion Laboratory used brochures and presentations whilst the National Drug Regulatory Unit used various portable Testing kits, books/reference pharmacopeia, brochures and presentations to explain their laboratory activities.

SADCAS promotional materials were also distributed during the celebrations and pull up and teardrop banners were also put up at the venue to maximize the awareness on the World Accreditation Day. The 2016 WAD commemorations held in Jwaneng, Botswana was indeed a success.

This year DRC’s WAD celebrations focused on the support accreditation delivers as a tool to support national and local government and regulators. The NAFP used the emailing tool to reach out to more than 100 stakeholders in the country by circulating the French versions of WAD video and brochure. The press release was circulated to the UN Radio called OKAPI which has a wide listener base throughout the country. The press release was publicised in the various national languages. On 14 June 2016, her Excellence Mrs Néfertiti NGUDIANZA BAYOKISA KISULA, the Minister of Trade chaired the inaugural ceremony of a new mineral laboratory of Office Congolais de Contrôle ‘’OCC’’ located in Luisha Bungubungu near Likasi City – Haut Katanga Province. The event was attended by the Ministry’s Senior Officials, the NAFP –DRC and the Chairman of the National Laboratory Association of DRC, ASCOLAB.

In her speech during the event the acting Director General of OCC recognized the important role that accreditation plays as a global tool that helps to address local, national and international needs of governments. “Standards, conformity assessment and accreditation are all market-based tools that can be used by Government policy makers to deliver better regulation, environmental protection, public safety, fraud prevention, fair and efficient markets and public trust” she said .  The laboratory plans to be accredited in 2017. SADCAS has accredited its first facility in DRC and at the same time 6 applications are under accreditation process by SADCAS. 

                                            

The new OCC laboratory

In Lesotho WAD was celebrated on 29 June 2016 Prior to the celebrations, the office of the NAFP held a preparatory meeting together with members of the Lesotho Federation of Laboratories and Officers from the Government’s / Regulator’s Departments on 15 June 2016 during which a programme for the commemorations was decided upon. The WAD commemoration was attended by forty five (45) people from 21 organizations amongst them stakeholders from various Government ministries and regulators, private and public laboratories and the media. The Office of the Principal Secretary – Ministry of Trade and Industry presided on the official opening of the commemoration and thereafter the presentations were made by different organizations. The event was televised on TV Lesotho channel. One of the highlights of the event was the awarding of certificates 25 candidates who attended the ISO/IEC 17025 Standard Training and Auditing held in December 2015.

 

Commemorations in session

Various recommendations were made during the commemorations including the need for capacity development and the need for accreditation especially of CABs operating in the public domain including medical laboratories. Participants of the ISO/IEC 17025 training course held in December were called upon to implement what they had learnt and develop implementation programmes in their respective laboratories. All participants showed a remarkable enthusiasm which should result in significant developments towards accreditation in Lesotho.

In Madagascar, an article about the WAD was developed in French, and was published in Newsletter of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. For cost effectiveness, Madagascar intend to organize a ceremony to commemorate the World Accreditation Day together with the World Standards Day on October 14th 2016 in the west region of Madagascar.

Mozambique, commemorated WAD on the 9th of June 2016 once again through a press release which was published in Portuguese in the electronic media Horizonte and Jornal Fair Play Mozambique.

Swaziland joined the World and commemorated the WAD on the 29th of June, 2016. In line with the theme for 2016 WAD, the NAFP engaged the Cabinet, Principal Secretaries, Members of Parliament and Regulators for the commemoration of the World Accreditation Day. Preparations started off in April with the sensitization of the Cabinet on WAD, the importance of accreditation and the role accreditation plays to policy makers. This was done through a Cabinet Paper. The WAD was then held at Sibane hotel in the form of a breakfast meeting and the event started at 7:30am and ended at 9.00 o’clock.


Participants at the Breakfast Commemorations

A total of 80 people attended the breakfast seminar.  The Programme Director, Georgina Shabangu gave the opening remarks emphasizing the importance of the WAD to the Swazi Nation at large.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Minister was unable to come and he was then represented by Ms Phindile Priscilla Dlamini, the Chief Quality Systems Administrator. A presentation on how accreditation supports public policy was delivered by the 1st NAFP Officer, Ms Sthembiso Sybil Dlamini.  The event was a success and it ended up at a high note with most delegates still longing to hear more on accreditation. The event was widely publicized before and after in the Swazi Observer and Swazi Times.

Zambia commemorated the 2016 World Accreditation Day by undertaking the following activities:

  • Launch Statement by Honorable Margret D. Mwanakatwe, MP, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry on the eve of the 2016 World Accreditation Day;
  • Publication of the Press release in the Zambia Daily Mail Newspaper on 9 June, 2016; and
  • Half day stakeholder workshop held on 9 June 2016.

The workshop which was held at Southern Sun Hotel in Lusaka was officially opened by Mr Tobias Mulimbika, Director- Industry in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. In his opening remarks, the Director welcomed all stakeholders to the workshop and requested all participants to actively participate in the commemoration of the 2016 World Accreditation Day. He went on further to thank UNIDO- Trade Capacity Building Framework for Zambia and Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) for the valuable role they have played in facilitating the commemoration of the 2016 World Accreditation Day. A series of presentations were made starting with the role of SADCAS the role of SADCAS in supporting public policy by Mr. Manuel Mutale, Executive Director, Zambia Bureau of Standards and SADCAS Board Member. This was followed by the 2016 video on WAD and browsing through the public sector website by Mr. Moses Ngosa, 1st NAFP, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. A representative of the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO), Mr Curtis Muleya, then presented on the role of accreditation in supporting safe drinking water followed by a presentation by Dr Obrian Kabunda from the Centre for Veterinary Research Institute on the role of accreditation in supporting sustainable animal health. The second session started off with a presentation on the role of accreditation in ensuring the quality of building materials by Ms. Wendy Nambule Mukape, National Construction Council (NCC). This was followed by a presentation on the role of accreditation as a strategy for the competence of medical laboratories by Mr Davy Nsama, Director Clinical Services, and Ministry of Health. The last presentation was on the role of accreditation in supporting occupational health and safety by Mr Kakoma Chivunda, Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

 

From left to right: Ms Himba Cheelo, CEO, ZWMA, Chief Technical Advisor for UNIDO –Trade Capacity Building Framework for Zambia, Dr  Elsie Meintjies, Mr Manuel Mutale, Executive Director, ZABS and SADCAS Board Member and Mr Tobias Mulimbika, Director Industry, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry

After each session there were lively discussions on the topics covered and a general discussion on all the presentations was ably chaired Mr  Edward Mbuzi, Zambia National Laboratories Association, The meeting noted that there is need for laboratories to ensure they are accredited as this enhances the work of various regulatory bodies and also instills a sense of confidence and trust in the citizens, that conformity to accreditation standards enhances regional and international trade and that the level of participation by industry was very good and UNIDO was impressed by the strides Zambia has made in the accreditation process. The participants raised concerns on block standards being used in construction and suggested there be a mandatory standard. It was also recommended that the National Construction Council find ways to engage Local government on residential construction to ensure structures and materials used conform to the recommended standards in order to safeguard lives as well as property. The need to sensitize organizations on the process of accreditation which would also help in knowledge gap surrounding accreditation was emphasized and it was recommended that the NCC and NWASCO be assisted in achieving their objectives regarding accreditation.

The sessions were interspaced with traditional dance group who also performed a play based on the 2016 WAD theme. The closing remarks were given by Dr.  Elsie Meintjies, Chief Technical Advisor, UNIDO.

The half day workshop was successful and it is therefore, prudent that the Ministry makes a follow-up on the required actions as stipulated in the recommendations.  Further, it was extremely heartening to experience an entire industry coming together to commemorate the 2016 World Accreditation Day and to note that the Centre for Veterinary Research Institute has applied for accreditation.

Zimbabwe commemorated 2016 WAD on 9 June in style. They took WAD commemorations to the streets with a march starting from Mukwati Building where the National Accreditation Focal Point – Zimbabwe is housed throughout the centre of Harare City and ending up at the venue of the commemorations a tent pitched at the Causeway Post Office. Stakeholders amongst them regulators, conformity assessment bodies, government representatives, captains of industry and consumers all joined in the march donned in their WAD T shirts including the SACAS CEO Mrs Maureen P Mutasa. Over 200 people participated in the march including the police and drum majorettes. The T shirts were provided by the NAFP - Zimbabwe. The march was led by 2 NAFP Officials holding a banner with the WAD theme on it. Behind them was the Police Band playing with their instrumental music with drum majorettes swinging and dancing to the music. Behind the drum majorettes were stakeholders all cheerfully marching throughout the city centre. At the back were officials holding another banner of the NAFP. The march attracted a lot of attention on the streets. The march was a good 6km took an hour from 10:00 to 11:00 hours at which time the speeches were delivered. 

 Stakeholders donned their WAD T shirts just before the march

The welcome remarks were given by Mrs Eve Gadzikwa Director General Standards Association of Zimbabwe followed by a key note address by Honourable Mike Bimha, the Minister of Trade and Commerce who in his speech noted the benefits of accreditation and the progress that the SADC region had made in its institutional development to address non- tariff barriers to trade amongst SADC Member States and between SADC and other regional trading blocs as well as to promote quality and accreditation infrastructure in the region. He reiterated his Ministry’s commitment to promoting accreditation in Zimbabwe and outlined the efforts made by the NAFP – Zimbabwe which is housed in his Ministry which has resulted in uptake in accreditation with Zimbabwe having the highest number of facilities accredited by SADCAS and the highest number of applications under process.

This was followed by an address by Mrs Maureen P Mutasa the Chief Executive Officer of SADCAS who first explained the relationship between standards and accreditation, then outlined how accreditation can support public policy citing many examples of how accreditation has been used to support public policy globally narrowing down to the region and making reference to the Public Sector Assurance website and highlighting the role that SADCAS has played in those SADC Member States that are serviced by SADCAS.  She then concluded her address by saying that the use of accreditation in supporting public policy in the world around us is expanding. Whilst a number of regulators in the region, have started to use accreditation effectively to support their regulatory and policy objectives many more are not aware of accreditation and are therefore at risk of creating duplicate or costly in house systems. There are no requirements in public policies for the use of accredited conformity assessment services and furthermore there are Government policy makers that do not possess sufficient information which can lead to incorrect application or specification of accreditation requirements. “The wider adoption of accreditation in supporting public policy in our region is still an issue requiring attention” she said. She therefore encouraged governments to embrace accreditation and use it as tool to support public policy.

Closing remarks were given by Mrs Dzimwasha Director Standards in the Ministry of Trade and Commerce who thanked the NAFP for organizing the commemorations, the police band the drum majorettes and all who made the commemorations such a success. The Director of ceremonies Mr D Train then invited all to lunch and drinks courtesy the NAFP – Zimbabwe. Everything was very well organized and went according to programme. Police clearance was obtained before the march thus March was carefully controlled by the Police with an ambulance on stand - by. Thank goodness no one needed medical attention during or after the march.


SADCAS Hosts a Marketing and Communications Workshop

A Marketing Workshop was held by SADCAS on 18 April 2016 at The Farm Inn, Pretoria, South Africa and was attended by 14 NAFPs, 2 SADCAS staff, 2 SANAS staff, 1 MAURITAS staff and 2 KENAS staff. The IAF and ILAC Secretariats Ms Elva Nilsen and Mrs Sharon Kelly were in attendance during the workshop. The workshop was facilitated by 4 experienced marketing professionals who are actively involved in the communication and promotion of accreditation namely: Mr Jon Murthy – Chairman of the ILAC Marketing and communications Committee (MCC) and the IAF Communications and Marketing Committee (CMC); Mr Marcus Long – Vice Chairman of the IAF CMC; Ms Wanji Yang – Member of the ILAC MCC and IAF CMC; and Ms Sylvana Ricciarini – Member of the ILAC MCC.

The workshop was opened by Mrs Maureen Mutasa, the CEO of SADCAS who in her remarks welcomed the delegates to the workshop and outlined the objective of the workshop. She noted that accreditation is still a fairly new concept in the region and therefore promoting the benefits and importance of accreditation and marketing of accreditation services has been the focus of all the indigenous accreditation bodies in the SADC region namely MAURITAS, SADCAS and SANAS. “We are privileged to have experienced marketing professionals who are actively involved in the communication and promotion of accreditation with a perspective from all the main regions of the world as resource persons for the workshop” she said.  She then thanked the resource persons of the workshop for their time and efforts in preparing for the workshop. She also thanked PTB Germany for sponsoring all the participants to the workshop and urged all participants to actively participate in the workshop, and declared the workshop open.

The workshop explored all the main channels of communication their advantages and disadvantages and concluded that whatever channel is used it must be well coordinated and that duplication is good to emphasize the message, and that the message must be simple, clear and focused on target group. The participants were also given an outline of the promotional available at ILAC and IAF (including a demonstration of the ILAC, IAF, ISO, and IIOC public sector assurance website which showcases different examples of where accreditation has been used to support public policy efforts) for use in marketing and communicating the benefits of accreditation. They were encouraged to use these materials in their promotional efforts. It was noted that evidence on the benefits of accreditation through external research, case studies and public sector stipulation is important in communicating and convincing the wide application of accreditation and use of accredited services. The more we can share the evidence the easier it will be to publicize accreditation benefits especially amongst policy makers and regulators. Some time was spent on using websites as a platform of promotion and marketing to show how to get the best out of this tool. On social media it was noted that a significant number of accreditation bodies had moved onto to the social media using tools such as twitter, LinkedIn and Wikipedia. The pros and cons of each social media tool was analyzed and their applicability in our region was discussed fully.

During the experience sharing session Ms Yang emphasized the need to understand the user and what the user wants. She articulated how the Taiwan Accreditation Foundation (TAF) had addressed the needs of the electronic industry of which Chinese Taipei is a major exporter through ensuring international recognition of its accreditation schemes relevant to the sector. In conclusion she urged all participating accreditation bodies to understand their markets and to come up with services that meet both the export and domenstic market needs. In her presentation Ms Ricciarini noted that there is a lot of information available for promoting the benefits of accreditation and marketing accreditation services. She noted that everyone in the accreditation body has a role to play in marketing and that there is usually a good knowledge base in the accreditation body. She also reiterated the need for a coordinated approach and team work in promoting the benefits of accreditation and marketing accreditation services.

The workshop ended with a note of thanks by Mr Viki Mbuya Kanama, the Chairman of SADCA who in his remarks thanked the resources persons of the workshop, Team SADCAS, Ms Linda Diroromwe and Ms Tsitsi Mazibuko for all the logistical arrangements made which made the workshop a success. To SADCAS, the output from the workshop together with the experiences from attending the ILAC MCC and IAF CMC meetings held from 19 to 21 April 2016 served as the basis for the development of the framework for the 2016/17 marketing plan which was subsequently developed on 22 April 2016.



CASCO holds its 31st Plenary and workshop in Dubai

During the week of 2nd May 2016, about 100 delegates, representing 57 member bodies and organizations in liaison, gathered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), for the 31st CASCO plenary and workshop on stakeholders' engagement.

The plenary started with the presentations of the working groups' (WGs) Conveners who provided detailed reports on the standards that have been developed or revised over the last year. The second plenary day was dedicated to the presentation of the working documents, reports from liaisons and CASCO resolutions. One of the resolutions requested that the CASCO Secretariat launch a New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) to develop a document for validation and verification bodies.

The CASCO workshop on stakeholder engagement closed off the plenary week and allowed for exchange of experience and good practices from various geographical regions and organizations. The speakers and participants highlighted the importance of robust process discipline and use of new technologies to engage national stakeholders in the standards development process, as well as the challenge to ensure and maintain a balanced representation. All participants acknowledged that learning from each other was one of the key tools to overcome challenges and continually improve national practices.

The next CASCO plenary will be hosted by Standards Council of Canada (SCC) from 26-28 April 2017 in Vancouver, Canada.



What's new in CASCO working groups?

2016 has been an important year in terms of technical work for CASCO, with eight active WGs and key CASCO standards under revision. Among them is ISO/IEC 17011, setting the general requirements for accreditation bodies. The WG42 met beginning of June to address the comments received on CD2 and moved the document to the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage. ISO/IEC 17025, setting the competence requirements for testing and calibration laboratories, is another key CASCO standard undergoing revision. The ballot on CD2 closed in May and the draft was approved with 96% of positive votes from CASCO members. The experts are meeting in September to address the comments and move the document to the next development stage.

Two competence requirements documents, both developed as Technical Specifications (TS) are being revised and transformed into International Standards (IS). ISO/IEC 17021-2, setting the competence requirements for auditing and certification of environmental management systems, and ISO/IEC 17021-3, defining specific competence requirements for auditing and certification of quality management systems, both reached the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage.     

CASCO has been approached by two ISO Project Committees (PCs) to developed specific auditor competence requirements for anti-bribery and occupational health and safety management systems. Respectively developed by JWG47 and JWG 48, ISO/IEC TS 17021-9 reached the Draft Technical Specification (DTS) stage and will be published along with ISO 37001 this year. The JWG48 produced a Working Draft (WD) and will meet again in autumn to move WD ISO/IEC 17021-10 to the next stage.   

WG45, developing ISO/IEC TR 17028, Example of a certification scheme for services, is meeting 27-29 September in Shanghai to address the WD comments and move the document further. 

ISO/DIS 17034, which sets the requirements for the competence of reference material producers, is at Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) stage and will be published by the end of 2016.

The revision of ISO 19011, Guidelines for auditing management systems, will be carried out in a joint working group with CASCO and under PC302 lead. A call for experts has been launched by CASCO and experts interested in contributing to this work are encouraged to do so by contacting their national CASCO member.

CASCO launched a NWIP to develop ISO/IEC 17029 Conformity assessment – General requirements for bodies performing validation and verification activities. The ballot closes on the 26 August 2016 and should the NWIP be accepted, the WG46, that initially did the research work on validation and verification, will be in charge of this work and a call for experts will be launched.

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