Organisation of the regional GCC conference on Accreditation and Laboratory Proficiency
The GCC Accreditation Centre (GAC) and GCC Standardization Organisation (GSO) of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) jointly organized the 2nd GCC conference on Laboratory Proficiency that brings together all parties interested in Accreditation, laboratory activities and Market regulations in the member countries.
The conference was an opportunity to meet with the laboratories working in the GCC member countries and investigate their needs and thus determine the priorities that Member States need to establish for the future actions.
GAC intends through this yearly conference to help the development of proficiency testing activities in the member countries and encourage laboratories and inspection bodies to participate in PT programs at the regional and international level.
More than 200 representatives from public and private laboratories and from other interested bodies were present and discussions covered needs for proficiency testing, accreditation effect on economy and role of laboratories and associations of laboratories in market surveillance.
The conference was held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr Rashid Bin Fahd, UAE Minister of Environment and Water, member of GAC board, Mr WONG Wang-wah represented APLAC and Mrs Merih Malmqvist represented ILAC in the opening ceremony.
(Mr Wong Wang-wah and Mrs Merih Malmqvist represented APLAC and ILAC respectively in the opening ceremony of the conference)
GAC organizes a special training program and a regional workshop on Proficiency testing
GAC organized a special training program and a workshop on the requirements of the international standard ISO/IEC 17043 for participants from the member countries, the training was conducted by Mr Daniel Tholen and Mr Brahim Houla, and the participants were representatives of national authorities and from laboratories in the GCC region.
During the workshop BIPEA presented and discussed the results of a PT program on “Drinking water" that was conducted in the member countries, Alborg Labs presented the results of the Medical testing PT program that is conducted in Saudi Arabia and will be enlarged to cover the GAC member countries.
The training was also an opportunity to give an overview about the new developments of the new ISO 13528 standard and to discuss the PT programs being developed in member countries by the a regional GCC committee in the fields of Medical Testing and in the field of Carnes Inspection.
GAC organizes 5 free trainings on accreditation requirements
In line with GAC’s strategy to develop accreditation competencies in member countries, 5 Assessor trainings were conducted according to the GAC requirements in the fields of:
- Accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories ISO/IEC 17025,
- Accreditation of product certification bodies ISO/IEC 17065,
- Accreditation of Inspection bodies ISO/IEC 17020,
- Accreditation of Management system certification bodies ISO/IEC 17021, and
- Assessment techniques and GAC assessor skills ISO 19011.
The training courses were open for trainees from the 7 member countries, and participants were very satisfied of the level of the trainings and expressed their willingness to operate as assessors for the GCC Accreditation Center in the member countries.
GCC Accreditation Center (GAC) builds up its pool of competent assessors through providing 5 free trainings to different accreditation standards
A special interactive data base was established to allow assessors to update their information online and to get the latest information about the fields they are qualified to assess and the deadlines for updating and maintaining their qualification.
Creation of the GCC Laboratories cooperation GULFLAB
As a result of the discussions of laboratories working in the GCC countries during the first Regional conference, a group of private and governmental laboratories agreed to create a cooperation of laboratories that will be representing the interests of laboratories and helping establish an effective network that discusses issues related to their work in the member countries and enhance communication with regulators accreditation bodies and clients.
GAC (GCC Accreditation Center) and the GSO (GCC Standardization Organization) contributed effectively in joining the efforts of these laboratories and encourage their work to establish this very important cooperation for Laboratories in the member countries.
GAC cross frontier cooperation with accreditation bodies from exporting economies to GCC region (TURKAK, TUNAC, UKAS, SLAB, HKAS, DSM, KAN and PAO)
As the GAC main goal is to give confidence in the conformity assessment activities in the member countries and facilitate trade between and with the member countries, GAC is cooperating closely with the accreditation bodies operating in the region, and participates in the accreditation assessments conducted by foreign accreditation bodies like the assessments conducted by UKAS and SLAB in the GCC region.
As the regulatory authorities recognize the GAC accreditation for certification related to the regional regulations of products, GAC receives many accreditation requests from CABs outside the GCC region. In order to be in line with the ILAC cross frontier policies, GAC visited accreditation bodies operating in the economies concerned by the exported products to GCC region, exchange of visits were conducted in the Year 2014 with the following economies to Turkey (TURKAK), France (COFRAC), United Kingdom (UKAS), Philippines (PAO), Malaysia (DSM) and Hong Kong ( HKAS).
GAC signed Contracts of cooperation with TURKAK (Turkey), TUNAC (Tunisia) and UKAS (UK) that cover cross frontier accreditation and also accreditations for the purpose of notification by the member countries for GCC Products regulations.
GAC Visit to TURKAK GAC Visit to HKAS
Contract of cooperation signed with TURKAK Contract of cooperation signed with UKAS
GAC grants first accreditations in the frame of the GCC Toys Regulations and to Private laboratories in the member countries
GAC granted the first accreditation in the frame of the notification process of the GCC coutries legal frame work for the Toys Directive, the accreditation was granted to the Conformity Department in the United Arab Emirates standardization Organization ESMA.
GAC also granted the first accreditations to private laboratories in the field of Electrical products testing and Textile Products testing working mainly with customs for clearance of imported products. The new directive on Low Voltage (LVD) Products is in its final approval phases and will be soon applied for the products imported to the GCC single Market.
Accreditation to Conformity department in ESMA
Accreditation to Bureau VERITAS Saudi Arabia Testing Services