The EA Multilateral Agreement (MLA) Council has just met for its 42nd meeting in Vilnius (Lithuania) on 2-3 October 2019.
During this meeting, hosted by the Lithuanian Accreditation Body (LA), 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 Reference Material Producers, according to ISO 17034.
GAC, the National Accreditation Body of Georgia, becomes an EA BLA signatory in the field of Medical examinations, according to ISO 15189.
ALGERAC, the National Accreditation Body of Algeria, remains an EA BLA signatory in the fields of Calibration (ISO/IEC 17025), Testing (ISO/IEC 17025), and Inspection (ISO/IEC 17020).
DAkkS, the National Accreditation Body of Germany, remains an EA MLA signatory in the fields of Calibration (ISO/IEC 17025), Testing (ISO/IEC 17025), including Medical Examinations (ISO 15189), Inspection (ISO/IEC 17020), Proficiency Testing Providers (ISO/IEC 17043), Certification of persons (ISO/IEC 17024), Certification of products (ISO/IEC 17065), Certification of management systems (ISO/IEC 17021-1), and GHG Validation and Verification (ISO 14065).
GAC, the National Accreditation Body of Georgia, remains an EA BLA signatory in the fields of Calibration (ISO/IEC 17025), Testing (ISO/IEC 17025), Inspection (ISO/IEC 17020), Certification of Persons (ISO/IEC 17024) and Certification of Products (ISO/IEC 17065).
MOLDAC, the National Accreditation Body of Moldavia, remains an EA BLA signatory in the fields of Calibration ISO/IEC 17025, Testing ISO/IEC 17025, Medical Examinations ISO 15189, Inspection ISO/IEC 17020, Certification of products (ISO/IEC 17065), and Certification of management systems (ISO/IEC 17021-1).
Transition from ISO/IEC 17011:2004 to ISO/IEC 17011:2017
The EA MAC confirms that ALGERAC, GAC, and MOLDAC successfully made the transition from SO/IEC 17011:2004 to ISO/IEC 17011:2017.
Re-engineering of EA peer evaluation process
Since April 2016, the MAC has initiated a discussion on the re-engineering of the peer evaluation system. The MAC Management Group prepared a few papers, that will go through a comment period in the coming months, concerning the competences for peer evaluation, the head office’s preliminary observation, the MAC members criteria, and the tasks of the EA Secretariat vs the tasks of the Task Force Groupe assigned to review the evaluation reports.
Decision papers will be prepared for the next MAC meeting on:
- The implementation of a mechanism to collect feedback and previously learned lessons to keep peer evaluators and MAC members updated on issues raised, and their resolution to prevent issues reoccurring
- The introduction of an online decision-making process for cases where there are no open or contentious/difficult issues
As for Question 4 on the development of the guidance on peer-evaluation effort, taking into account a risk-based approach, a new TFG was created, composed of Team Leaders, Team Members, representatives of NABs and the MAC Secretary.
To read Paulo Tavares’s interview on the re-engineering of the peer-evaluation process, click here.
The next MAC meeting will be hosted by SA, the National Accreditation Body of Slovenia, 22-23 April 2020.
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.
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.