Published on: 02/05/2018
Extension of scopes and new signatories to the EA MLA decided during the EA MAC 39th meeting
The EA Multilateral Agreement (MLA) Council has just met for its 39th meeting in Belgrade (Serbia) on the 25th and 26th April 2018.
The EA Multilateral Agreement Council (MAC) which manages the peer evaluation process and decides on MLA signatories, took the following decisions:
- DAkkS, the National Accreditation Body of Germany, becomes an EA MLA signatory in the field of Proficiency Testing Providers.
- DPA, the National Accreditation Body of Albania, becomes an EA MLA signatory in the fields of Inspection and Management Systems Certification and remains an EA MLA signatory in the field of Testing.
- ATS, the National Accreditation Body of Serbia, remains an EA MLA signatory in the fields of Calibration, Testing (including Medical Examinations according to EN ISO 15189), Inspection, Products Certification, Management Systems Certification and Certification of Persons.
- BATA, the National Accreditation Body of Bosnia and Herzegovina, remains an EA BLA signatory in the fields of Calibration, Testing, and Inspection.
- EAK, the National Accreditation Body of Estonia, and IPAC, the National Accreditation Body of Portugal, remain EA MLA signatories in the fields of Calibration, Testing (including Medical Examinations according to EN ISO 15189), Inspection, Products Certification, Management Systems Certification, Certification of Persons and GHG Validation and Verification.
All these decisions are effective from the 26th April 2018.
This meeting was also the occasion to discuss transition arrangements in relation to the ILAC/IAF agreed rules. IAF and ILAC indeed have developed a plan to ensure that all Accreditation Bodies, which are signatories of the IAF MLA and ILAC MRA, have transitioned to EN ISO/IEC 17011:2017 three years from the date of publication.
As requested by the IAF/ILAC transition plan, EA has established specific implementation policy related to the IAF/ILAC transition plan for EN ISO/IEC 17011:2017. The document was approved by the MAC during this meeting in Belgrade (Serbia).
Additionally, to support the transition between the old and new versions of EN ISO/IEC 17011, a Workshop was organized to highlight the changes between 2004 and 2017 versions. The MAC members were divided in small break-out groups and discussed particularly about what is expected in reports on peer evaluation of national accreditation bodies in order to demonstrate compliance with the new EN ISO/IEC 17011:2017 and what needs to be considered for a MAC member for decision-making. The appointed Task Force Groups (TFGs) focused on the 3 following items:
- Risk (including risk in terms of impartiality and risk-based approach)
- Competence criteria (also considering IAF MD20 Generic Competence for AB Assessors: Application to ISO/IEC 17011)
- Accreditation cycle and process
The MAC Chair will present the results of the Workshop at the next MAC meeting in October 2018.
To conclude this intensive 2-days meeting, the 9 Task Force Groups, appointed to support the reengineering of EA peer evaluation system, one of the key action of the EA Strategy 2025 implementation plan, presented their proposals formulated based on the final recommendations of EA MAC Management Group (EA MAC MG). A global implementation plan, based on the discussions during the meeting and the remaining work to be done in the coming months by the MAC MG, will be endorsed by the MAC in due course.
The next MAC meeting will be hosted by NAH, the national accreditation body of Hungary, in October 2018.
EA Multilateral Agreement (MLA)
The EA Multilateral Agreement (EA MLA) is a signed agreement between the EA Full Members whereby the signatories recognize and accept the equivalence of the accreditation systems operated by the signing members, and also the reliability of the conformity assessment results provided by Conformity Assessment Bodies accredited by the signing members.
A Bilateral Agreement (BLA) between an EA Associate Member and EA has the same purpose and bilateral signatories to the EA MLA shall meet the same requirements as EA Full Members.
Peer Evaluation Process
The strength of the EA MLA is maintained through a robust peer evaluation process. The main objective of the peer-evaluation activities is to evaluate the on-going compliance of the National Accreditation Bodies to the internationally agreed requirements and to ensure that regulators, stakeholders and the business community can have confidence in certificates and reports issued by Conformity Assessment Bodies under the EA MLA.