IAF Chair's Message
June 9th marks World Accreditation Day. World Accreditation Day is a bridge to link the accreditation community with stakeholders.
Engagement with stakeholders ensures that accreditation and the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (IAF MLA) continue to meet market, regulatory and public needs. The accreditation community is a worldwide network, and engagement with stakeholders takes place at different levels.
In many countries across the world, various events, workshops and seminars on accreditation will take place in conjunction with the celebration of World Accreditation Day. These activities will provide a great opportunity for interaction with stakeholders at national levels to obtain their inputs and feedback.
At the global level, IAF continues to enhance its engagement with relevant international organizations. IAF, jointly with the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), recently provided input into an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) research project on international regulatory co-operation and trade. IAF and ILAC have also contributed to the revision of relevant Recommendations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies.
In the recently revised UNECE Recommendation G on Recognition of Conformity Assessment Procedures and Results, it is recommended that governments should promote the use of existing international multilateral mutual recognition arrangements among national accreditation bodies (e.g. IAF MLA and ILAC MRA).
IAF is currently considering a number of joint communications and publications, e.g. developing a joint communications strategy with ILAC and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), developing a joint high-level document on the expected outcomes of all certifications with ISO, and holding a joint Users Day with ISO/CASCO.
IAF is also exploring opportunities to enhance relationships with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in order to support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
IAF, jointly with ILAC, continues to collaborate with other international organizations, including the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers to Trade Committee (WTO/TBT Committee), International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and others. Looking forward, IAF and ILAC are developing a communication strategy with selected stakeholders and will enhance listening/feedback mechanisms.
In addition to communication and promotion, IAF has various strategic goals to be achieved in response to the expectations of stakeholders and Members, and needs to respond to various issues emerging from time to time. Many of these were discussed during the IAF/ILAC Mid-Term Meetings last month in Frankfurt, where Committees, Working Groups and Task Forces worked very hard to progress activities.
At the strategic level, a number of key items were considered by the IAF Executive Committee or jointly with the ILAC Executive Committee, e.g. improvement of MLA peer evaluation processes and resources, improvement of processes for endorsing conformity assessment schemes for MLA sub-scopes, further development of the business case for the IAF Database of Accredited Management System Certifications, mechanisms to improve consistency for accreditation practices, transition to ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, the soon-to-be-published revision of ISO/IEC 17011, and support to accreditation bodies in developing economies.
As IAF moves on, I want to say that no significant progress can be achieved without everyone who has been participating in and supporting IAF activities, especially our Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs, Working Group and Task Force Conveners, and the Secretariat. As IAF Chair, my appreciation to them is beyond expression.