"From Good to Great" : discover EA Strategy 2025 to develop accreditation in Europe
Dr Andreas Steinhorst, EA Executive Secretary

Foreword by Dr Andreas Steinhorst, EA Executive Secretary

Dear all, 

As you know, the importance of accreditation of conformity assessment bodies has substantially increased over the last decades. The European Commission, the European Free Trade Association, national authorities and stakeholders have recognized that accreditation is essential for the correct operation of a transparent and quality-oriented market, in order also to safeguard a high level of protection of public interests, such as health, safety and protection of the environment.

Given this position and the growing need for accreditation, it seemed fundamental for EA and its members to consider how EA should develop and adapt to the changing demand, to provide confidence to all stakeholders and users of accreditation and ensure effective support to its members – the National Accreditation Bodies.

A project team, led by Peter Strömbäck (CEO SWEDAC), was constituted to build a long-term strategy that can be summarized as follows. To be a reference for accreditation in the world, that enables an open and global market for competitive business, and provides reassurance to consumers in a sustainable society, EA has to ensure confidence in accredited conformity assessments results, through harmonized operation of accreditation activities, in support of European and global economies.

To achieve our vision and mission, 3 strategic objectives with supporting core values have been defined to support the implementation of our strategy, enabling the membership organization to speak with one voice and reach the desired position 2025.

We want to thank the high level, valuable work achieved by our project team and we are very proud to present this major document for EA. It will be essential for what we, the EA committees and our EA members, will do in the coming years to develop accreditation at the European and international levels, getting “from Good to Great”.

For further information about our strategy, please read "EA Strategy 2025 : from Good to Great"

Feedback on the meeting and the harmonization workshop on application and understanding of ISO/TS 22003
EACC WG Food annual meeting

ACCREDIA, the Italian NAB, hosted the EACC WG Food annual meeting, from 13th to 15th June in Milan, Italy.

The Food Working Group of EA Certification Committee is dedicated to: 
- the development of consistent accreditation of entities delivering certification in the food and feed sector 
- facilitating and promoting exchange of information to enhance harmonization and use of best practices among all the members.

Attended by 21 participants from the EA Members and one representative from DG AGRI (European Commission) and major stakeholders such as FAMI-QS, GLOBALG.A.P, IIOC Food College, this 2-days meeting was the occasion to discuss about:

  • the revision of the EU-Regulation on Organic production (REG EU No 834/2007)
  • the setting up of a Task Force Group for the revision of EA 6/04 M EA Guidelines on the Accreditation of Certification of Primary Sector Products by Means of Sampling of Sites
  • the content of a future document on geographically protected food products
To get more information about the meeting and the harmonization workshop on application and understanding of ISO/TS 22003, click here

EA Multilateral Agreement Council (MAC) organized a newcomer training

To support further development of the EA pool of evaluators, EA organized a training workshop dedicated to potential new evaluators, hosted by RvA, the Dutch NAB, from 13th to 15th June in Utrecht, Netherlands.

The workshop, co-convened by Paulo Tavares, Chair of the MAC (IPAC, the Portuguese NAB), Christina Waddington (FINAS, the Finnish NAB) and Ed Wieles (RvA, the Dutch NAB) intends to give the participants the specifics of a peer evaluation and a basic level of understanding of the requirements and their application. It aimed also to provide the potential team members with insight in the processes supporting the peer evaluation system. The objective is to qualify as many participants as possible as trainees or team members directly, in order to reinforce the EA evaluation resources to serve a busy peer evaluation program. 

To get more information about this workshop, please click here

EA Laboratory Committee organised a workshop on Accreditation of RMP against ISO 17034:2016
workshop on Accreditation of RMP against ISO 17034:2016

EA organized a workshop on Reference Materials Producers against ISO 17034:2016, hosted by ACCREDIA, the Italian NAB, on 30 and 31 May in Milan, Italy.

Last year, as part of the EA project to extend the EA MLA to include the accreditation of Proficiency Testing Providers against the requirements of ISO/IEC 17043, the EA Laboratory Committee (LC) ran a successful 2-day workshop in the UK on this activity. Following on from this, the EA project has turned its attention to extending the EA MLA to include the accreditation of Reference Material Producers. In a context of migration of accreditation from ISO Guide 34 to the new ISO 17034, the EA LC decided to plan an another 2-day workshop on accreditation of RMP. 

This workshop, co-convened by Jeff Ruddle (UKAS, the UK NAB) and Henk Deckers (RvA, the Dutch NAB) was intended to support the expansion of the EA MLA to include ISO 17034 (not ISO Guide 34) and considered the differences between the two documents but all outcomes shall be based around ISO 17034.

22 NAB assessors and potential team members have been trained during these two days to discuss the experiences of NABs active in this area and share experiences to learn from each other in order to develop a common understanding of the key elements associated with assessing a RM Producer. 

To get more information about the workshop on Reference Materials Producers against ISO 17034:2016, please click here

2 EA CPC members invited to speak at a workshop organised by APLAC PIC / PAC Communications and Marketing Committee
Joint APLAC PIC/PAC annual meeting

The APLAC, the Asian Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, and the PAC, the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation, held their 4th Joint Annual Meetings, including the 23rd APLAC General Assembly, from 16th  to 24th June 2017 at Bangkok, Thailand.

On June 17, 2017 APLAC PIC and PAC Communications and Marketing Committee (CMC) co-hosted a joint workshop on “Decoding how accreditation can be a global tool to support public policy”. With 31 participants from 20 countries, this workshop was aimed to provide opportunities for them to learn about case studies form Public Sector Assurance - www.publicsectorassurance.org - and decode how accreditation can be a global tool to support public policy, by selecting case studies on different economy’s “specialty” and 2 EA members of Communication and Publications Committee (CPC) were invited :

  1.  "Accreditation gives credibility to classification of hotels in France" by Sébastien Laborde - COFRAC and EA CPC member
  2. "Spreading India’s traditional knowledge of Yoga worldwide: Scheme for Voluntary Certification of Yoga Professionals" by Anil Jauhri - NABCB
  3. "Appropriate Evaluation for High Quality Medical Examination in Japan" by Katsuji Shimoda - JAB
  4. "Accredited food assurance schemes guarantee defined standards of food safety" by Jon Murthy – Marketing Manager at UKAS and EA CPC member
To get more information about this workshop, click here

SAVE THE DATE: EA will co-organise a round table at the 18th International Metrology Congress (CIM 2017 - Paris)

The 18th International Metrology Congress (CIM 2017), the annual meeting about R&D and best practices for measurement in industry, is organized from 19th to 21st September 2017 in Paris (France).

The event allows to:
- improve measurement, analysis and testing processes, and control risks,
- follow the evolution of techniques, advances in R&D and discover industrial applications
- explore the exhibition showcasing innovations and solutions

As the official guardian of the European accreditation infrastructure, EA is a part of the organization team of this congress and has been invited to participate and facilitate the round table on “Measurement and conformity declaration: ISO 17025, what’s new?” on the 19th of September (9.00 - 11.00 am).

Expected in mid-2017, the new version of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard tries to respond to some inadequacies in the current version. One of the major changes concerns measurement uncertainty and its use in declaring compliance.

This round table would be the occasion to debate on 3 topics:
- What are the major changes in metrology?
- What are the new decision rules for declaring compliance?
- How should the risk approach be established?

Representatives of specifiers such as public authorities, whose influence is exerted through regulation, private-sector specifiers, who impose their own standards or specifications and users, mostly in industry (clients requiring testing, owners of measuring equipment for calibration laboratories), will be central to fuel the discussions, animated and co-organised by EA, with the participation of:

  • Trevor Thompson, Head of Operations Support, ISO WG44 BSI member for revision of 17025 (UKAS – United Kingdom) and EA Laboratory Committee Vice Chairman,
  • Pierre Claudel, Testing, Calibration and Certification Director (?CETIAT - France),
  • François Daubenfeld, Head of Metrology (PSA Group - France),
  • Pascal Launey, Quality director, (LNE - France),
  • Laurent Vinson, Laboratories Division Director (COFRAC - France) and EA Laboratory Committee Chairman.
To benefit of early bird registration fee and get more information about CIM 2017, click here

Accreditation: supporting the needs of global regulators

Global arrangements through ILAC and IAF underpin the international acceptance of traded products. Through accredited sources, economic operators can demonstrate that their products meet market requirements so that market operators can use these products with confidence. This system also enables governments to regulate products in the knowledge that the market will have the means of meeting both voluntary and regulatory requirements in a transparent way.

Independent accredited conformity assessment of certification, testing, calibration and inspection services provides an essential tool that can be used by the public sector to meet policy objectives. Jointly developed by IAF/ILAC/ISO/ IEC/IIOC, Public Sector Assurance showcases how accredited conformity assessment is used around the world by central government, local government and regulators to deliver positive benefit. It features case studies that illustrate the value of accreditation to government officials and regulators in delivering results in key policy areas. It also provides independent research and supporting information which demonstrates the tangible benefits of conformity assessment to the public sector. 

To read more information about the benefits of using accredited conformity assessment, click here

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