Back in 2002, WADA approached ILAC with the objective to use an existing pool of laboratory assessors from the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement signatory assessment bodies to develop an international team of assessors qualified to perform concurrent assessment against ISO/IEC 17025 and WADA’s International Standard for Laboratories (ISL). As a result of the successful collaboration between ILAC and WADA, an established group of ISL assessors has been created that currently comprises 48 international assessors from 28 economies. This group underwent training by WADA with respect to the ISL and relevant Technical Documents. Since 2004, eight annual ISL training sessions for international assessors have been organized and financially supported by WADA. In addition, in 2011 WADA invited all European-based ISL-trained assessors to an advanced training session, which had a much broader agenda than usual and also included discussion topics such as the legal side of anti-doping activities and the concept of the Athlete’s Biological Passport. Further, the members of the WADA-ILAC AIC Liaison Group were also invited to attend this training session as independent observers. The similar WADA training session for all other ISL-trained assessors is scheduled for 2012.
As an outcome of the ongoing collaboration between ILAC and WADA, two ILAC Communications were prepared and released (in August 2004 and November 2009) for the attention of accreditation bodies providing accreditation to WADA laboratories. These documents are aimed at clarifying the respective roles of both organizations in relation to the accreditation of anti-doping laboratories.
The WADA-ILAC AIC Liaison Group was established in October 2004. The Group meets on an annual basis to address issues of common interest relating to the assessment of the WADA-accredited laboratories as well as laboratories in the probationary phase of WADA accreditation.
At the third WADA World Conference on Doping in Sport (Madrid, November 2007), the ILAC-WADA relationship was formalized. This collaborative interaction was further strengthened at the ILAC General Assembly meeting (Shanghai, October 2010) through the re-confirmation and signing of the memorandum of understanding between the two organizations.
One important aspect of ILAC-WADA collaboration is to ensure that ISL and ISO/IEC 17025 rules are well coordinated and complementary. ILAC and WADA continue to collaborate to identify areas for improvement with respect to laboratory accreditation. This includes but is not limited to: harmonization of laboratory assessment(s): the conduct when feasible, of joint assessment(s) of anti-doping laboratories; and the exchange of relevant information by mutual participation in meetings and conferences organized by both organizations.
2011 WADA ISL training session, in Montreux, Switzerland.