Major milestones in EA and MLA scopes and standards at its 39th General Assembly
Significant achievements were made at the last European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA) General Assembly hosted on 23 and 24 May 2017 in Bled, Slovenia by Slovenska Akreditaci, the Slovenian national accreditation body.
New Chairs and Stakeholders in EA
The EA General Assembly has elected, for the term 23 May – 31 December 2017, Ignacio Pina (Entidad Nacional de Acreditacio) as EA Vice-Chair.
In addition, the following Chairs and officers have been elected to the EA Executive Committee for a two-year mandate starting on 1 January 2018:
• EA Chair: Peter Strömbäck (Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment)
• EA Vice-Chair: Ignacio Pina (Entidad Nacional de Acreditacio)
• EA Multilateral Agreement (MLA) Council Chair: Paulo Tavares (Portuguese Institute for Accreditation)
• EA Horizontal Harmonization Committee Chair: Gabriel Zrenner (Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH)
• EA Communications & Publications Committee Chair: Lucyna Olborska ( Polish Centre for Accreditation)
• EA Laboratory Committee Chair: Laurent Vinson (Comité Français d'Accréditation)
• EA Certification Committee Chair: Kevin Belson (United Kingdom Accreditation Service)
• EA Inspection Committee Chair: Rolf Straub (Swiss Accreditation Service)
• Four additional members of the Executive Committee: Maria Papatzikou (Hellenic Accreditation System), Emanuele Riva (Italian National Accreditation Body), Jiří Růžička (Czech Accreditation Institute), Ed Wieles (Dutch Accreditation Council)
EA also offered the EA Recognised Stakeholder status to GLOBALG.A.P. and the European Sensory Science Society, entering into an agreement with each of them in accordance with EA-1/15 A: 2014 - EA Policy for Relations with Stakeholders.
Scopes and standards issues
Regarding the EA MLA, four main decisions have been taken by the General Assembly, acting upon the recommendation from the Multilateral Agreement Council:
• the extension of the scope of the EA MLA for Reference Materials Producers (RMP) as new level 2 conformity assessment activity using EN ISO 17034 as a new level 3 normative document;
• the launching of the EA MLA for RMP (EN ISO 17034) during the Council meeting in April 2019, provided that at least three members are successfully peer-evaluated by that date;
• EA’s application to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation for extending the scope of EA as a recognized region for the scope “Reference Material Producers – ISO 17034”;
• the reformulation of the designation of the EA MLA Level 2 conformity assessment activity currently described as "Verification" to "Validation and Verification".
The General Assembly has endorsed the mandatory application of ISO/IEC 17021-3:2017 Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems - Part 3: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of quality management systems as level 4 standard for all EA members.
EA Strategy 2025
The General Assembly approved the implementation plan for the EA Strategy 2025 and mandated the Executive Committee to monitor the implementing actions entrusted to several specific task force groups. To support this implementation plan, the EA Secretariat’s activities have already been reorganised early in 2017 as follows:
• Dr Andreas Steinhorst, EA Executive Secretary
• Sandy Adonel - General administration and peer evaluators
• Martine Blum - Head of Administration
• Frédérique Laudinet - Secretary of Certification Committee, Inspection Committee and EA Advisory Board, Relations with EA Recognised Stakeholders and EA Reporting
• Audrey Malacain - Marketing and Communications Manager and Secretary of Communications and Publications Committee
• Lydie Mauger - Secretary of Multilateral Agreement Council
• Yannick Nol - Finances Manager
A new Secretary of the Horizontal Harmonisation and Laboratory Committees, who will also be in charge of EA Peer Evaluations, is being recruited.