The EA MLA Council decides on extension of scopes and new signatories to the EA MLA
 

The EA Multilateral Agreement (MLA) Council has just met for its 38th meeting in Bucharest (Romania) on the 4th and 5th October 2017. This meeting was the occasion to welcome 2 new signatories with ALGERAC and MOLDAC.


The EA Multilateral Agreement Council (MAC) which manages the peer-evaluation process and decides on MLA signatories, held its biannual meeting in October, during which the following decisions have been made.

Andreas Hönnerscheid (DAkkS, the German NAB), Bostjan Godec (SA, the Slovenian NAB) and An Van Den Bergh (BELAC, the Belgium NAB) were elected as members of the MAC Management Group.

  • ALGERAC, the national accreditation body of Algeria, becomes an EA BLA signatory in the field of Testing, Calibration and Inspection;
  • MOLDAC, the national accreditation body of the Republic of Moldova, becomes an EA BLA signatory in the field of Testing (including medical examinations according to ISO 15189), calibration, inspection, product certification and management systems certification.
  • LA, the national accreditation body of Lithuania, becomes an EA MLA signatory in the field of Medical Examinations according to ISO 15189.
  • BELAC, RENAR and SWEDAC, become signatories of the EA MLA for the accreditation of Proficiency Testing Providers (EN ISO/IEC 17043).
  • AA, the national accreditation body of Austria, remains an EA-MLA signatory status in the fields of Testing (including medical examinations according to ISO 15189), calibration, inspection, product certification, persons certification, management systems certification and validation and verification.

 All these decisions are effective from the 5th October 2017. 

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34th meeting of EA Laboratory Committee on 25-27 September 2017 in Berlin
 

The EA Laboratory Committee (EA-LC), hosted by DAkkS, the German NAB met on 25-27 September 2017 in Berlin.

The first day in the afternoon, a workshop was proposed. It gathered nearly 60 participants representing 43 NABs and 6 stakeholders keen to discuss the new ISO/IEC 17025 and how to prepare for its implementation. A lot of fruitful discussions and consistent feedback given by the 6 sub-groups will be used to design the LC train-the-trainer workshop to be held in January in Paris, at COFRAC premises. During the plenary meeting, several issues were discussed:

- EA Strategy 2025: a TFG was appointed to review and identify critical areas where harmonization would be needed, in order to define clearly the activities in terms of their “accreditability” for new schemes and consider a preferred standard to be used. The TFG will also have to look at how to implement the EA Core Values in the work and operations of the EALC.

- EEE-PT WG report: the LC agreed to mandate the EA LC Management Group to review the results of the survey circulated by the WG on the use of EA-4/18 and propose a new work item (NWI) for the revision of EA-4/18 Guidance on the level and frequency of proficiency testing participation. The EEE-PT WG is ready to revise the document, as required by EA. The MG will report back to the WG before their November 2017 meeting.
Regarding the Guidelines for the assessment of ILC with few participants in the accreditation process, the LC approved the final draft and decided to circulate it for a reduced 30-days EA comment period. 

The EEE-PT WG reviewed EA-3/04 Use of Proficiency Testing as a Tool for Accreditation in Testing and recommends its withdrawal. The LC members supported the recommendation and will submit the relevant resolution to the General Assembly for decision at its November meeting.

- EURACHEM report: the LC agreed to reconsider whether EA-4/14 Selection and Use of Reference Materials shall be maintained as an EA separate document when the EURACHEM mirror document on Selection and Use of Reference Materials will be available for review.

- Cooperation with EGOLF – Accreditation for EXAP standards: LC appointed COFRAC (the French NAB), DAkkS (the German NAB), ENAC (the Spanish NAB), BELAC (the Belgian NAB), ACCREDIA (the Italian NAB), UKAS (the English NAB) as the members of the EGOLF TFG and Tadeusz Matras, PCA (the Polish NAB) as the Convenor to investigate the accreditation practices in force in the scheme and the reasons why NABs are taking one route or another. A link with Construction Products regulation and the EA Certification Committee will be activated in due course in the project.

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Highlights of the HHC 18th meeting
 
HHC 18th meeting

The EA Horizontal Harmonisation Committee (HHC) held its 18th meeting on 19-20 September in Brussels and fruitful discussions were generated by the 45 attendees.

The Committee was chaired for the last time by Ignacio Pina. Gabriel Zrenner, from DAkkS, will be the new HHC Chair. Ignacio was elected as the new EA Vice Chair in May and started his mandate immediately after the election.

The HHC, like the other technical committees, was invited to consider how to contribute to the tasks arising from the implementation plan of the EA Strategy 2025. A TFG was appointed to discuss one of the prominent objective of the plan, encapsulated in the “One voice” concept and will have to draft a general policy on where and how to harmonise standards used for accreditation.

The HHC will also have to develop rules for use of the future EA MLA mark, together with the communications and Publications Committee (CPC) and the EA Secretariat. The task has been transferred to the TFG in charge of the revision of EA-3/01 EA Conditions for the use of accreditation
symbols, text reference to accreditation and reference to MLA signatory status
.

The new ISO/IEC 17011 is on HHC agenda and it was confirmed that a workshop would be run on
the new standard during the March 2018 HHC Meeting, after the refresher training session targeted to EA evaluators in December 2017. Consideration will be given as to how this will impact the MLA, i.e. NAB conformity with the new version within the agreed 3-year transition.

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The EA Inspection Committee met on 14-15 September 2017 in Riga (Latvia)
 

The EA Inspection Committee (IC), hosted by LATAK, the Latvian national accreditation body (NAB), met from 14 to 15 September 2017 for its 34th meeting in Riga (Latvia)

(EC DG ENV), the meeting was chaired by Rolf Straub from SAS, the Swiss national accreditation body (NAB) and started with the announcement of Rolf’s re-election for an exceptional 3rd term at
the last EA General Assembly and the election of Orbay Evrensevdi (TURKAK, the Turkish NAB) as EAIC Vice-Chair for the 2018-19 term.

A workshop was held on the first day based on 3 topics (subcontracting and franchising, multisite IBs, how to organise work to meet Regulators’ needs) comprising different questionsconsidered by 6 discussion groups. The outcome of all groups will be consolidated into one single document to draw a conclusion for each question. It was decided that the next workshop at the meeting in September 2018 will focus on testing in inspection, since the topic was very much discussed in Riga.

Special attention was paid to the ILAC G27 Guidance on measurements performed as part of an inspection process. Indeed, the fact that clause 2.3 in ILAC G27, approved for publication by ILAC, provides for the requirement of always using an accredited laboratory to generate results that are used in inspection raised buoyant discussions, stirred up by Lutz Höhne from DAkkS, the German NAB, which submitted a disagreeing comment on this requirement during the comment and ballot phases. 

EAIC agreed to submit a request for clarification of the wording of clause 2.3. of ILAC G27 to ILAC IC meeting in Vancouver, arguing that the clause exceeds the requirement of ISO/IEC 17020 including ILAC P15 and ILAC P8. The ILAC G27 requirement shall be redrafted in a way that accreditation shall be the preferred means to demonstrate compliance with the standard, but in justified situations (on the basis of qualified evaluation/professional judgement) non-accredited contributions shall remain accepted.

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Sharing experiences and brainstorming on new projects, on CPC table for its 32nd meeting in Dublin
 

The Communication and Publications Committee(CPC), hosted by INAB, the Irish NAB, has just met from 13 to 14 September 2017 for its 32nd meeting in Dublin (Ireland).

During this 2-days meeting, many projects have been discussed by the 25 participants to enhance the EA Communications Strategy: in particular, the Committee supported largely the proposed EA Communications and Marketing Plan 2017/2018.

A workshop dedicated to the future refreshing of EA website and intranet, had been planned to collect suggestions of improvements. All the members were very much involved in the discussions to share their experiences and propose new functionalities to support and highlight the great work done by all EA committees and work groups. A Task Force Group, composed by the representatives of ACCREDIA (the Italian NAB), COFRAC (the French NAB), DAkkS (the German NAB), ENAC (the Spanish NAB), PCA (the Polish NAB) and UKAS (the English NAB) was set-up to support the Secretariat in the management of this major project.

A collective thinking was also managed by the Chair of the CPC on the “One Voice Concept”, as part of the implementation of the EA Strategy 2025. Many ideas were raised and will be suggested to the Executive Committees to promote EA Core Values actively, both internally and externally.

Besides, the 32nd CPC meeting was the opportunity for EA members to share their recent activities with a fruitful round table and get relevant information with reporting on the ongoing activities in EA, as well as ILAC and IAF. Jon Murthy, the ILAC MCC and IAF CMC Chair has been a CPC regular member for years. This is much beneficial for CPC and help maintain very close relationships with those Committees.
Finally, the CPC was very pleased to pay tribute to Peter Kronvall for all he could achieve with the Committee during his mandate and welcome the new Chair, Lucyna Olborska, PCA Poland. Exciting challenges will be on Lucyna’s and CPC agenda also for the next 2 years!
The next CPC meeting, hosted by RvA, the Dutch NAB, will be on the 7th-8th March 2018 in Utrecht (The Netherlands).

To get more information about the 32nd CPC Meeting, click here



Feedback on the 34th Certification Committee meeting
 

The 34th meeting of the EA Certification Committee (EA CC) took place on 12-13 September 2017 in Riga, Latvia, where it was hosted by LATVIA, the Latvian national accreditation body (NAB).

With more than 60 participants, including representatives from EA stakeholders, such as EFAC (European Federation of Associations of Certification Bodies), EUROLAB, IIOC (Independent International Organisation for Certification), PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) and IQNet (International Certification Network), the discussions were led by the EA CC Chair, Kevin Belson from UKAS, the UK NAB.

Major results include:
- After the re-election of the Chair, Kevin Belson, for a second term during the 39th EA General Assembly last May, Varpu Rantanen from FINAS, the finish NAB, accepted to continue as Vice-Chair during 2018, before George Kallergis, from ESYD, the Greek NAB, will take over from her in 2019.

- Christian Kämmer (PEFC) will replace Michael Berger as the PEFC representative and will become a member of the TFG in charge of drafting a guidance document for selection of Conformity Assessment standards. 
A draft for a guidance document on the relationship between CBs and Consultancy worked out by the EA CC Chair, was discussed at the meeting and will be sent to the Certification Committee, including stakeholders, for a 90-day comment round. The objective is to have a clearer picture and more comprehensive feedback for further consideration and decision at the next meeting. 

- A new workshop on harmonisation of management system scoping was held further to an online survey on the same topic circulated to the CC Members before the meeting. 6 discussion groups were constituted to consider the following questions:

  • To what degree do we need to be harmonised in our scoping of Management Systems?
  • What are the risks of not being harmonised?
  • What should be the basis of MS scoping (IAF ID1; NACE 2; scheme requirements)?
  • What factors need to be taken into account?

After the workshop, a TFG was set up to draft a paper based on the results of the discussions to be endorsed by CC and then put forward to IAF TC.

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ECIBC Country profiles and Concept Document are now available
 
EA is pleased to draw your attention to the latest releases by ECIBC - European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer:

On the ECIBC website, an interactive European map is now published to highlight ECIBC-related data for the 35 participating countries. Each Country profile shows breast cancer data, organisation of care, and engagement in ECIBC. The profiles will be updated as new data emerge. They will be soon translated to the official languages of their respective countries, of which you will be notified by an e-mail written in your language. 

In addition, the ECIBC Concept Document has been updated and is now published. The document describes ECIBC's background, general goal, specific objectives and expected benefits and includes information on on-going activities.

To get more information about this successful collaboration, please click here



EA last revised publications

Please find below details of revised publications:

  • EA-INF/01: List of EA publications and International documents (Published on 05th October 2017)
  • EA-INF/03: Signatories to the EA Multilateral and Bilateral Agreements (Publlished on 05th October)
Click here to access all EA's publications



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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