IAAC currently has a total of 44 members, 23 of which are full members, 6 are associate members and 15 are stakeholders. IAAC welcomed ACCM of Mexico, an accredited certification body, and RELABSA of Guatemala, an association of environmental laboratories, as IAAC Stakeholder members, as of August 2013.
IAAC MLA Signatories
During its recent meeting of March 2014, the IAAC MLA Group accepted ONAC of Colombia as a signatory to the IAAC MLA for Calibration and Testing Laboratories. IAAC now has a total of 19 MLA signatory members. 19 signatories for the scope of Testing Laboratories, 14 for the scope of Calibration Laboratories, 10 for Quality Management Systems Certification Bodies, 8 for Environmental Management Systems Certification Bodies, 9 for Product Certification Bodies, and 10 for Inspection Bodies.
(ONAC of Colombia signed the IAAC MLA for the scopes of Testing and Calibration laboratories, in Mexico City, on March 17, 2014. Ileana Martinez, IAAC Chair; Francisco Piedrahita, ONAC Executive Director and Alexander Pineda, IAAC MLA Committee Chair)
IAAC Re-evaluation process by ILAC-IAF
IAAC is a Regional Cooperation Body signatory to the ILAC MRA for the scopes of Calibration and Testing Laboratories including Medical Laboratories; and Inspection Bodies. IAAC is also a signatory to the IAF MLA for the scopes of QMS, EMS, and Product Certification Bodies.
IAF and ILAC are in the process of re-evaluating IAAC to verify compliance with international requirements as a Regional Cooperation. The IAF-ILAC peer evaluation team has carried out four witnesses of IAAC peer evaluations: the IAAC evaluation of INN, Chile, in May 2013, for the scope of Testing and Calibration; the evaluation of INDECOPI-SNA, Peru, in September 2013, for the scope of Inspection; the evaluation of ONA, Paraguay, for the scope of Product; and the evaluation of OUA, Uruguay for the scopes of QMS and EMS in November 2013. The team also carried out an evaluation of the IAAC Secretariat, in November 2013 and in March 2014. The evaluation of the IAAC MLA Group was carried out in Mexico, in March 2014. IAAC is currently in the process of responding to the findings, with zero non conformities to date. IAAC expresses its appreciation to the IAF and ILAC evaluation team for their hard work and professionalism to successfully carry out this evaluation.
Extensions of the IAAC MLA
In March 2014, IAAC decided to launch the MLA for the scope of Green House Gases (GHG). Currently IAAC is operating 7 scopes of the MLA to include:
- Persons Certification Bodies according to the ISO/IEC 17024;
- Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS), according to ISO/IEC 17021, ISO 22003, and ISO 22000;
- Information Security Management Systems (ISMS), according to ISO/IEC 17021, ISO 27006 and ISO 27001;
- Medical Devices Management Systems MLA (ISO 13485);
- Proficiency Testing Providers, according to ISO/IEC 17043;
- Reference Material producers, according to ISO Guide 34; and
- Green House Gases validation/verification, according to ISO/IEC 14065
The MLA Committee assigned working groups for each MLA scope that developed and updated the necessary procedures and documentation, and is encouraging IAAC members to propose qualified peer evaluators for these new scopes.
Improvements to the IAAC MLA process:
- IAAC developed a peer evaluation report template FM 033, (based on an APLAC document), it is available on the IAAC website in the documents section.
- IAAC published document PR 025 which describes the structure of the IAAC MLA (Levels 1 through 5) and the procedure to extend the Arrangement.
- In May 2013, the IAAC General Assembly approved the MD 028 IAAC Mandatory and Non-mandatory application for the assessment and accreditation of Reference Materials Producers. MD 028 is a mandatory document for the IAAC MLA. This document was developed to ensure a consistent approach to the assessment and accreditation of Reference Material Producers (RMPs).
- In August 2013, IAAC approved the MD 038 IAAC application for the assessment and accreditation of Proficiency Testing Providers. This document has been developed to ensure a consistent approach to the assessment and accreditation of Proficiency Testing Providers (PTPs).
IAAC will hold a workshop on the development and implementation of accreditation programs for certification bodies in the fields of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy within the framework of the ISO/IEC 17065:2012 standard, to be held in April, in Argentina.
IAAC is continuously training its peer evaluator resources and last year carried out a workshop for experienced peer evaluators, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in August 2013. 22 peer evaluators from different countries in the region were trained in an effort to harmonize evaluation practices and update them on changes and improvements to IAAC documents and procedures.
(An IAAC peer evaluator workshop was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in August 2013)
IAAC Proficiency Testing programs
IAAC T009 Proficiency Test on Energy Efficiency in Refrigerators
IAAC is organizing a regional Proficiency Testing program on Energy Efficiency in Refrigerators. The accreditation body that is coordinating this PT is ema of Mexico, and ANCE of Mexico is the proficiency testing provider. This PT receives funding from a project with PTB and the support of OAS. A preliminary workshop took place to present the PT protocol to participating laboratories. 10 laboratories from 6 countries in the region and 1 lab from Germany have signed up to participate in this PT which will begin in the first quarter of 2014.
Technical Cooperation Projects
Projects with the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency Project
IAAC is implementing a technical cooperation project titled "Quality Infrastructure Services for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (R3E) in Latin America and the Caribbean", together with the Regional Cooperations for standards and metrology: COPANT and SIM. Sponsor organizations include PTB of Germany and the Organization of American States, (OAS). The objective of this project is to strengthen the capabilities of the regional Quality Infrastructure organizations SIM, COPANT and IAAC and of their national members in providing services for the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources and to promote mutual coordination in order to support the implementation of the respective national energy policies.
The activities carried out under this project include technical seminars, workshops and a proficiency testing program.
Biodiversity and Climate Change Draft Project
IAAC together with COPANT and SIM, the Regional organizations for standards and metrology, held a first planning meeting in August 2013, to define the areas of potential interest and the scope of the draft project regarding the strengthening of quality infrastructure in programs related to biodiversity and climate change. Sponsor organizations include PTB of Germany and the Organization of American States, (OAS).
Cooperation with International and Regional Organizations
Relations with IAF and ILAC
Peter Unger, ILAC Chair; and Randy Dougherty, IAF Chair, attended the IAAC General Assembly meetings held in Trinidad and Tobago, in August 2013. Peter also attended the beginning of the year meetings in Mexico, in March 2014.
(The IAAC Executive Committee meetings were held in Mexico City, Mexico, from March 17-21, 2014)
Cooperation with APLAC and PAC
- Belinda Mort, PAC Secretary; and Martha Mejía, APLAC representative, regularly attend the IAAC General Assembly meetings, the last one held in Trinidad and Tobago in August 2013.
- IAAC and APLAC carried out two joint peer evaluations in 2013 and one in 2014. IAAC and PAC carried out 1 joint peer evaluation in 2014.
- IAAC and APLAC invited members to participate in each other's proficiency testing programs.
- IAAC, PAC and APLAC published a joint newsletter in September 2013.
Cooperation with EA
Ileana Martinez, IAAC Chair, regularly attends EA General Assemblies. Thomas Facklam, EA Chair, attended the IAAC General Assembly in August 2013.
Cooperation with the African Accreditation Cooperation, (AFRAC) and SADCA
- IAAC regularly invites AFRAC and SADCA members to participate in its proficiency testing programs.
- AFRAC and IAAC are currently in the process of finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding between both Cooperations in order to strengthen ties.
Cooperation with the Arab Accreditation Cooperation, (ARAC):
IAAC regularly exchanges information with ARAC regarding best practices in accreditation.
Next IAAC meetings
The upcoming IAAC General Assembly meetings will be held from August 22-29, 2014, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and will be hosted by the Oficina Guatemalteca de acreditación(OGA).