The 34th meeting of the EA Certification Committee (EA CC) took place on 12 – 13 September 2017 in Riga, Latvia, where it was hosted by LATVIA, the Latvian national accreditation body (NAB).

With more than 60 participants, including representatives from EA stakeholders, such as EFAC (European Federation of Associations of Certification Bodies), EUROLAB, IIOC (Independent International Organisation for Certification), PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) and IQNet (International Certification Network), the discussions were led by the EA CC Chair, Kevin Belson from UKAS, the UK NAB.

Major results include:

– After the re-election of the Chair, Kevin Belson, for a second term during the 39th EA General Assembly last May, Varpu Rantanen from FINAS, the finish NAB, accepted to continue as Vice-Chair during 2018, before George Kallergis, from ESYD, the Greek NAB, will take over from her in 2019.

– Christian Kämmer (PEFC) will replace Michael Berger as the PEFC representative and will become a member of the TFG in charge of drafting a guidance document for selection of Conformity Assessment standards.
A draft for a guidance document on the relationship between CBs and Consultancy worked out by the EA CC Chair, was discussed at the meeting and will be sent to the Certification Committee, including stakeholders, for a 90-day comment round. The objective is to have a clearer picture and more comprehensive feedback for further consideration and decision at the next meeting.

– A new workshop on harmonisation of management system scoping was held further to an online survey on the same topic circulated to the CC Members before the meeting. 6 discussion groups were constituted to consider the following questions:

  • To what degree do we need to be harmonised in our scoping of Management Systems?
  • What are the risks of not being harmonised?
  • What should be the basis of MS scoping (IAF ID1; NACE 2; scheme requirements)?
  • What factors need to be taken into account?

After the workshop, a TFG was set up to draft a paper based on the results of the discussions to be endorsed by CC and then put forward to IAF TC.

– The CC endorsed 2 new work items, to be managed by the EA WG Food and submitted to
the EAGA in November 2017 for approval:

  • revision of EA-3/12: EA Policy for the Accreditation of Organic Production Certification
  • drafting a new EA-3/XX: EA Policy for the Accreditation of Certification Activities under: (EU Regulation 1151/2012) PDO/PGI/TSG; (EU Regulations 606/2009, 607/2009 and 1308/2013) Wine Products; (EU regulation 110/2008) Spirits and (EU Regulation 251/2014) Aromatised Wine

The CC also agreed to recommend withdrawing EA-3/11: Food Safety Management Systems – Scope of Accreditation, the EA document being taken over by IAF MD16.

– Concerning revision of EA-6/03: EA Document for Recognition of Verifiers under the EU ETS Directive, the document was revisited with minor changes suggested by WG EU ETS and should be ready soon for CC Comments.

– CC had introductory discussions to be followed up in future meetings, on the EA Strategy 2025 and EA core values that were developed out of EA’s mission and vision to support the implementation of
the strategy, enabling EA NABs to speak with one voice and to reach the desired position 2025 to be a reference in the world for accreditation, that enables an open and global market for competitive business, and providing reassurance to consumers in a sustainable society.

– Other important discussions focused on CC training and harmonisation activities. According to EACC WP 2018, 2 training sessions for ISO/IEC 45001 should be planned in 1st quarter of 2018. The CC
also considered organizing training for TS 50003 dedicated to requirements for bodies providing
audit and certification of energy management systems in early 2019 and training for ISO/IEC 17021-2 & -3 during the next meeting in March 2018. Regarding the need for revision/update of ISO/IEC 17024, RvA, the Dutch NAB, invited individual NABs to try and influence their national standardization organizations (NSOs) to review ISO/IEC 17024 to enable diplomas to be seen as a type of certification of persons.

– Further to their adoption and publication in June 2017, CC recommends the EAGA in November 2017
to adopt these 3 IAF documents as mandatory documents for all EA members:

  • IAF MD 2: 2017 IAF Mandatory Document for the Transfer of Accredited Certification of
    Management Systems, Issue 2
  • IAF MD 8: 2017 Application of ISO/IEC 17011:2004 in the Field of Medical Device Quality Management Systems (ISO 13485), Issue 3
  • IAF MD 9: 2017 Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 in the Field of Medical Device Quality Management Systems (ISO 13485), Issue 3

The next CC meeting will take place on 14-15 March 2018 in the UK and will be hosted by UKAS.