Hosted by the EA Secretariat (Paris, France) on 10-11 December 2018, the 2-days training gathered 25 participants from 17 EA national accreditation bodies. It was co-convened by Phil Shaw (UKAS, the UK NAB) and Niels-Christian Dalstrup (DANAK, the Danish NAB), also convenor of the EA EU ETS network group of the EA Certification Committee.

The following main points were covered:

  • Competence of National Accreditation Body (NAB) personnel, scope of accreditation, evidence of Certification Assessment Body (CAB) competence Management System, witnessing of management systems, reporting/records of CAB effective fulfilment of requirements (ISO/IEC 17011:2017 in combination with ISO/IEC 17021-1)
  • Discussion and identification of IAF critical Mandatory Documents (MD) and evidence that must be available in the NAB or during the witness (especially with reference to IAF MD 20:2016).

During the seminar, participants found that “the topics were well worth exploring, and the discussions and exercises were interesting”. They reported also that the workshop offered a “Good balance between presentations and discussions, with sufficient time for each sub-group to present its conclusions and in-depth discussions and exchange to take place.”

The Refresher training aimed to reinforce harmonization of practices, the objective being to give confidence to all stakeholders in the credibility of the management systems certificates and in the GHG emission verification reports, issued by accredited CABs under the EA MLA.

In 2017, 30 EA Full Member were signatories to the EA MLA in MS Certification and 24 in GHG Validation and Verification. In the same year, approximately 1360 accreditations were delivered for MS Certification and 150 for GHG Validation and Verification. The bigger the number of accreditations (number of certificates delivered with the NAB’s accreditation mark), the greater the need for EA to be able to assign qualified peer-evaluators to support its MLA. Currently, EA may rely on approximately 50 qualified Team Members in MS Certification and 24 qualified Team Members in GHG verification and validation.

Working together and sharing knowledge with a view to improve competence and achieve harmonization is the way to ensure robustness of the EA peer evaluation process and MLA.
EA Refresher training workshops are one of the best opportunities for EA Members and evaluators to share experience and practices. The contents and outcome of those workshops are an important input to the harmonization process. In 2019, two refresher training will be set up: a refresher training for Deputy Team Leaders and Team Leaders will be hosted by BELAC (Belgium NAB) on 18-20 June. A second refresher workshop for evaluators qualified in the fields of proficiency testing providers and certification of persons will also be planned.