19th meeting for the members of the EA Horizontal Harmonization Committee on 6-7 March in Brussels

2018-11-22T15:11:11+00:00March 12th, 2018|General Assembly / Committees|

EA members gathered in Brussels to participate in the 19th HHC meeting in order to deal with horizontal technical issues concerning different types of conformity assessment bodies, assessment of notified bodies and evaluation of conformity assessment (sector) schemes.

The meeting started with the election for the position of Vice Chairman. Sjaak Hendriks, from RvA (The Netherlands) was unanimously elected as HHC Vice Chair. Congratulations Sjaak!

Despite a busy agenda, the meeting closed in time with clear decisions on how to progress the work over the next 6 months.

Regarding the EA Strategy 2025 and in accordance with the implementation plan, HHC agreed on a proposal for a policy and mechanism to feedback issues for harmonization, in particular but not only in relation with standards used for accreditation. Mandate was given to the HHC TFG “One Voice” to develop views and ideas on the new collaborative tools to be developed on the new EA website and Members’ only secion. In addition, it was decided to revise EA-2/17 EA Document on Accreditation for Notification Purposes with the ambition to reinforce efficient harmonization of accreditation in the regulatory field.

In terms of revision, HHC endorsed also the revision of:

  • EA-2/13 EA Cross Border Accreditation Policy and Procedure for Cross Border Cooperation Between EA Members and its supplement: the revision will stick to the original mandate and address the point of multi-locations in the context of cross border accreditation only. A revised draft will be submitted to the HHC members for consideration at the next HHC meeting in September 2018
  • EA-3/01 EA Conditions for the use of Accreditation symbols, Text reference to accreditation And reference to EA MLA Signatory status: the revision will be done according to the “integral revision” option, stating the EA policy including introduction of the transparency concept, with elements already developed in IAF and ILAC documents. The draft will be circulated for 30-days comments at HHC level as soon as it will be ready.

To enhance collaboration and harmonization between EA Committees, it was also decided to appoint Rob Bettinson (UKAS – UK) to be the MAC liaison, Claudio Boffa (NAB MALTA – Malta) to be the LC liaison and Elias Erlendsson (ISAC – Iceland) to be the CC liaison.

To manage the revision of EA-1/22 EA Procedure and Criteria For the Evaluation of Conformity Assessment Schemes by EA Accreditation Body Members, Sjaak Hendriks (RvA – the Netherlands) was appointed as Convenor, in addition to Karine Vincent (COFRAC – France), Torben Frank (DakkS – Germany), Elisa Gredilla (ENAC – Spain) and a representative of AA and UKAS to be members of the TFG in charge.

The second day of this meeting was dedicated to a workshop on the new EN ISO/IEC 17011:2017 Conformity assessment — Requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies. It gathered almost 80 participants, in a specific set up to facilitate group work and was convened by Andreas Hönnerscheid (DAkkS – Germany), Karine Vincent (COFRAC – France), Marie O’Mahonny (INAB – Ireland), Rob Bettinson (UKAS – UK) and Gabriel Zrenner (DAkkS – Germany). It was the occasion to have an overview and discuss the changes between the 2004 and 2017 versions of the standard and discuss more specifically the concept of risk, the accreditation cycle, remote assessments and competence criteria.

The next HHC meeting will be held in Brussel on the 18-19 September 2018.