55 participants from 42 National Accreditation Bodies and EUROLAB were gathered in Windsor (UK) to deal with inspection issues.
This meeting was the first one for Orbay Evrensevdi (TURKAK, Turkey) as EAIC vice-chair, after his election in September 2017. Moreover, following his election in September 2017, Javier Barroso (ENAC, Spain) took over the convenorship of EAIC TN Car Inspection and it was agreed to have a TFG for EA-CITA cooperation. A draft of ToR for that TN should be finalized for a period of 2-year work and allocated work would be reconsidered.
Fruitful discussions focused on several subjects:
New standard EN ISO/IEC 17025
This new version of the standard was published in late 2017 and enclosed two changes likely to be considered during accreditation of IBs:
– subcontracting is not available anymore
– sampling can also be used as a stand-alone activity (as accreditation of sampling as a standalone activity is now possible with the new ISO/IEC 17025:2017 if sampled items will be tested, subsequently). It was decided that EA NABs shall train their assessors for inspection bodies accordingly even when they normally do not assess laboratories according to the new standard.
Andreas Kinzel (EUROLAB) made also an update on latest developments in EUROLAB about new requirements of EN ISO/IEC 17025:2017. He recommended adopting a risk-based approach in inspection too, i.e. to consider impartiality risk and the risk of performing inspection itself. His view was however set against the fact that inspection did not ask for a risk-management system nor is one. He added that the EA Laboratory Committee should define detailed and clear criteria for this risk-based approach applied by the laboratories, respectively the criteria assessed by the assessment teams of NABs.
EA Strategy 2025
The IC Chair, Rolf Straub (SAS, Switzerland) highlighted that the “one-voice” concept should be improved within EA as a consolidated EA answer. The EAIC FAQs were already a good demonstration of how an EA single voice could be built upon sometimes slightly divergent preliminary views and discussions, which are then consolidated by the EA IC Review Group (responsible for EAIC FAQs) into one clear consensus answer.
Scope of accreditation
The IC Chair presented a new survey, to be answered by end of June, on inspection scopes on accreditation certificates covering:
– Pressure vessels (regulated field)
– Periodic inspection of lifts (non-regulated field)
This survey is based on precise and identical case studies for easy comparison and harmonisation purposes. For same purposes, scopes would be provided in English and not in local languages.
Report on ERA issues
Further to Susana Huerta’s leaving from ENAC, Curt-Peter Askolin (SWEDAC, Sweden) was nominated as the new EA contact person for EA-ERA cooperation within the EX.
His SWEDAC colleague at EAIC, Dick Nummelin shared information about Cooperation of Common Safety Management (CSM) assessment bodies, especially on the meeting held on 6 March 2018 dedicated to the issue.
EAIC Members tackled the use of Independent Safety Assessors (ISA), stressing that ISA could be accredited under both standards, ISO/IEC 17020 or ISO/IEC 17024.
Report/discussion on ILAC Inspection Committee (IC) issues
EA IC agreed that at least a written report, in any form, should result from the ILAC IC workshop held in Vancouver in October 2017 on independence and impartiality issues to conclude as well as highlight clear and doubtful points to reinforce EA influence in ILAC and ILAC’s publications (ILAC P15:06/2014 – Application of ISO/IEC 17020:2012 for the Accreditation of Inspection Bodies) on that subject.
Lutz Höhne (DAkkS, Germany), the ILAC IC WG5 convener, reported at the EA IC meeting in Windsor that in October 2017, both ILAC AIC and ILAC IC members had agreed to finalize and publish a document on accreditation of bodies performing non-destructive activities (NDT) activities (ILAC IC WG5). A revised paper was sent out for 30-day comments within ILAC IC and ILAC AIC. A new amended version would be presented at the ILAC IC meeting in Frankfurt in April 2018.
EAIC requested clarification of the wording of “clause 2.3” of ILAC G27 Guidance on measurements performed as part of an inspection process as DAkkS is arguing that the clause exceeds the requirement of EN ISO/IEC 17020 including ILAC P15 Application of ISO/IEC 17020:2012 for the Accreditation of Inspection Bodies and ILAC P8 ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement: Supplementary Requirements and Guidelines for the Use of Accreditation Symbols and for Claims of Accreditation Status by Accredited Laboratories and Inspection Bodies. A small TFG formulated a set of questions to the ILAC ARC to know how they should interpret the current requirements in ILAC P8, clause 9. In the light of the ILAC ARC answer received, the ILAC IC will review the validity of the relevant statements in ILAC P15 and ILAC G27 in Frankfurt in April 2018 and the TFG will prepare a proposal on how to amend the text in ILAC G27, if needed, as input to the upcoming ILAC IC meeting in Frankfurt. The ILAC IC meeting in Frankfurt will also address the question whether Annex B in ILAC G27 should be updated to account for the changes in ISO/IEC 17025:2017.
EAIC Work Programme 2019 as well as the revision of EAIC Terms of Reference (ToR) and Rules of Procedure (RoP) – were approved to be endorsed during the EA General Assembly in May 2018.
The next EA IC meeting will be on 13-14 September 2018 in Warsaw, Poland, hosted by PCA, including a workshop on 14 September.