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by Laurent Charlet, ISO/CASCO secretariat

Like in the previous years, the work of the ISO committee on conformity assessment (CASCO) was intensive in 2013.  Five international standards and technical specifications were published, including 2 new parts to ISO/IEC 17021 (requirements for certification bodies doing audit of management systems) on competence requirements for auditors in event sustainability and quality managements systems. The revision of ISO TS 22003 on certification requirements for food safety management systems has also been completed after two years of intense work. In this document too, the main drive has been the introduction of a full competence approach for the definition of auditor requirements and leaving out the defined levels of qualifications, training and experiences. In 2014, this will continue with 2 new parts to ISO/IEC 17021 in development on business continuity and road safety management systems. 

Regarding more specifically accreditation, in 2013, ISO/IEC 17011 (requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies) went through the systematic review and the members voted in majority to keep the document unchanged. However, considering it is a ten year old standard, a task group has been set up to make an analysis and put a recommendation forward to the ISO/CASCO Chairman Policy and Coordination group (CPC). At its next meeting in April, the CPC will discuss the recommendation and decide whether to draft a resolution to start a revision or to confirm the systemic review ballot results.

On the promotional side, ISO/CASCO is developing an interactive on-line tool to support a harmonized approach to conformity assessment among national regulators. Built around the CASCO toolbox (full set of standards), it is intended for use by ISO national member bodies together with national regulators. Two regional workshops on conformity assessment and regulation are planned later this year in Oman and Botswana.

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