News From EA

Highlights of the 43rd EA General Assembly – Rome, 22-23 May 2019.

Hosted by ACCREDIA, the Italian Accreditation Body, the EA 43rd General Assembly (GA) gathered 92 delegates from 45 EA National Accreditation Bodies (NABs), the European Commission, EFTA, and 8 EA Recognized Stakeholder organizations.

 

In 2019, ACCREDIA celebrates its 10th anniversary, an opportunity to communicate the development of accreditation in Italy, which found its roots in standardization and that was triggered by the development of a European market where technical barriers have been progressively removed.

 

Interaction amongst the members and debate on major strategic issues such as the new structure and decision-making process of EA illustrated once again the continuous involvement and commitment of EA members in the European Accreditation infrastructure.

 

Concrete Steps were Agreed

Further to a discussion on the best location for the EA Secretariat, the General Assembly acknowledged the decision made by the Executive Committee to maintain the EA Secretariat in Paris. The GA endorsed the proposal to revise the Rules of Procedure (RoP) and to adjust them to the new structure agreed in November 2018, with a new Executive Board and Technical Management Board (TMB).

 

The responsible Task Force Group proposed to transfer decision-making power from the General Assembly to the Executive Board, TMB, and Technical Committees, in order to be more efficient and to have faster decision-making processes without undermining the principles of democracy and transparency which are deeply rooted in EA’s values. This was supported by the Members.

 

It is important to note that the reports by the Committees and Council Chairs highlighted also that the ‘One Voice Policy’ is at work and has already produced concrete results on the international scene.

 

The General Assembly endorsed the decision of the Executive Committee to renew and sign the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement (BCA) with the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). A previous BCA between both parties was signed on June 2016. Based on the CETA CA Protocol, this agreement establishes the terms, conditions, and procedures of cooperation between EA and SCC for technical support of activities aimed at mutual recognition of NABs and accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies operating in the EU and Canada.

 

New Officers in EA Executive Committee

The GA elected as new Executive Committee members for the term 01 January 2020 – 31 December 2021:

  • Cecilie Laake, NA (the Norwegian NAB) as the new EA Vice-Chair succeeding Maria Papatzikou (ESYD, the Greek NAB)
  • Orbay Evrensevdi, TURKAK (the Turkish NAB), new Chair of the Inspection Committee succeeding Rolf Straub (SAS, the Swiss NAB)

The other members of the Executive Committee elected for the 2020-2021 term are:

 

EA Multilateral Agreement Council Chair: Paulo Tavares, IPAC
EA Horizontal Harmonization Committee Chair: Gabriel Zrenner, DAkkS
EA Laboratory Committee Chair: Laurent Vinson, COFRAC
EA Certification Committee Chair: Kevin Belson, UKAS
EA Inspection Committee Chair: Orbay Evrensevdi, TURKAK
EA Communications & Publications Committee Chair: Lucyna Olborska, PCA
Four additional members of the Executive Committee: Emanuele Riva, ACCREDIA
  Jiří Růžička, CAI
  Ed Wieles, RvA
  Martin SENČÁK, SNAS
Three members of the Financial Oversight Committee: Todor Gunchev, BAS
  Stephan Finke, DAkkS
  Jesper Høy, DANAK

 

The General Assembly elected Todor Gunchev (BAS) as the FOC Chair.

 

Revised and Approved Documents

Two New Work Item Proposals were agreed by the General Assembly in order to revise:

  1. EA-4/18 Guidance on the Level and Frequency of Proficiency Testing Participation
  2. EA-1/17 EA Rules of Procedure (see above)

Additionally, the GA accepted two additional new work items for the development of 2 new documents:

  1. The Certification Committee recommended the preparation of Guidance on the Accreditation and Certification of Anti-Bribery Management Systems to ISO 37001: 2016 (under ISO/IEC 17021-1).
  2. Further to the Horizontal Harmonization Committee (HHC) March 2019 workshop on the “risk-based-approach”, a concept that has been reinforced in the new ISO/IEC 17011, the HHC recommended development of an informative document containing a list of risks in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011:2017 which Accreditation Bodies may take into account when preparing assessments, accreditation programs, or performing scope extensions of CAB’s. The document is also meant to provide the list of possible risks related to impartiality at the National Accreditation Body management level.

The General Assembly ratified the positive ballots on the adoption of 3 major EA documents:

  • Revised EA-2/15: EA Requirements for the Accreditation of Flexible Scopes
  • Revised EA-2/13: EA Cross Border Accreditation Policy and Procedure for Cross Border Cooperation Between EA Members
  • The new EA document EA-1/23: EA Policy to speak with “One Voice”

In line with its policy to not duplicate IAF/ILAC work and automatically adopt IAF/ILAC publications unless they prove to create a concern with regards to EA and EU policies, the General Assembly adopted:

  • IAF MD 5:2019 - Determination of Audit Time of Quality, Environmental, and Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems;
  • IAF MD 11:2019 - IAF Mandatory Document for the Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 for Audits of Integrated Management Systems;
  • IAF MD 17:2019 - Witnessing Activities for the Accreditation of Management Systems Certification Bodies;
  • IAF MD 22:2019 - Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 for the Certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OH&SMS);

as mandatory documents for all EA Members.

 

The next General Assembly will be hosted by NAH, the Hungarian National Accreditation Body in Budapest, on 20 and 21 November 2019.

 

In 2020, when EA will be celebrating its 20th anniversary, OLAS (Luxemburg) and HAA (Croatia) will host the spring and autumn EA General Assembly meetings.

 

All the resolutions adopted during the 43rd EA General Assembly are available at www.european-accreditation.org/page/ea-approved-resolutions.