1. Proficiency testing rounds
At the end of 2020 Russia launched a number of inter-laboratory comparison (ICL) proficiency testing rounds for various types of food products (canned meat products, fish fillets, chocolate, mineral waters), animal feed, mineral fertilizers, and cable products. Foreign laboratories, for example, from the Republic of Serbia, also take part in these proficiency testing rounds.
In 2020, 9 Russian laboratories took part in the ILC round on the determination of manganese and permanganate index in water, organized by the CAS-TWAS Center of Excellence on Water and Environment (CEWE), which is part of the Research Center for Environmental Sciences (RCEES) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
2. The VIIth All-Russian Congress of Assessors
In February the VIIth All-Russian Congress of Assessors organized by the Federal Service for Accreditation and the National Institute for Accreditation of RusAccreditation (NIAR) took place in Moscow. This year, due to the difficult epidemiological situation, the event was held online for the first time. The Congress was attended by about 400 participants, including more than 200 assessors.
Before the opening of the Congress the participants were addressed by the Chairman of the APAC Capacity Building Committee, Mr. Brahim Houla. He outlined the main challenges for the accreditation sphere and the expert community in the context of a pandemic, and also noted the participation of RusAccreditation in the preparation of APAC educational courses in Russian.
The speakers were representatives of the accreditation bodies of India, China, the USA, Moldova, Serbia, highlighting such topical issues as accreditation of greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies, medical laboratories, remote assessment and work in a pandemic, experience in conducting witness assessment during accreditation procedures, an overview of the requirements of ISO / IEC 17025: 2017, Section 7.11, Data and Information Management.
3. The All-Russian Forum of Accredited CABs
In March the All-Russian Forum of Accredited CABs was held in Moscow - the main annual event of the national accreditation system. The event was held by the Federal Service for Accreditation in cooperation with NIAR. During the Forum issues of digital transformation of the national accreditation system and development of the economy of trust; normative regulation in the field of conformity assessment and accreditation; international recognition of the results of conformity assessment; and the creation of barrier-free trade in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic were discussed. Among the key topics of the Forum were the development and modernization of the Russian laboratories. The event was held online for the first time. More than 10 thousand people from all regions of the country took part in the work of the Forum remotely.
Head of RusAccreditation, Nazariy Skrypnik, among the main effects of the introduction of digital technologies, noted the automation of the processes of providing services, minimizing the influence of the human factor, organizing effective interaction between the participants of the national accreditation system, ensuring the transparency of their activities, and increasing confidence in the results of assessing the conformity of products put into circulation on the market.
4. Interaction with participants in the national accreditation system in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of the Federal Service for Accreditation and led to a transition to new work formats. The service has worked out and implemented solutions for the use of video conferencing, developed a guidance for remote assessment, conducted a number of trainings and completely switched to electronic document management. As a result, applicants' expenses were reduced by 30% due to the absence of the need for assessors to travel to the place of business.
5. The National Institute for Accreditation of RusAccreditation (NIAR) resumed full-time training for attendees of educational programs
In September 2020, after a forced break caused by the risk of the spread of COVID-19, the training of attendees of educational programs resumed in full-time format. At the site of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, the opening ceremony of the full-time part of the training program "Practical issues of the activities of testing laboratories (centers). Accreditation criteria in the national accreditation system. General requirements for the competence of testing laboratories" was held.
Over the past two years, NIAR has been implementing a set of measures to form and maintain the competencies of all participants in the national accreditation system. The course dedicated to practical issues of testing laboratories was one of the first NIAR educational projects aimed at testing laboratory specialists. Today it is the most popular.
Along with full-time training, the implementation of remote education programs continues. In 2021, NIAR, with the support of RusAccreditation, developed new distance learning programs on the practical implementation of the requirements of the interstate standard GOST ISO/IEC 17025-2019 "General requirements for the competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories" (identical to the international standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017).