Significant results were achieved at the EA General Assembly held on 16 and 17 May 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria, hosted by BAS, the Bulgarian Accreditation Body.
The 41st EA General Assembly (GA) gathered 88 representatives from 46 National Accreditation Bodies, the European Commission, EFTA and EA Recognized Stakeholders.
32 resolutions have been adopted, the most significant decisions are listed below.
New Officers and Recognized Stakeholders in EA
The General Assembly elected for the term 17 May 2018 – 31 December 2019:
- Ignacio Pina (ENAC, Spain), as EA Chair
- Maria Papatzikou (ESYD, Greece), as EA Vice-Chair
- Martin Sencák (SNAS, Slovakia) as an additional member of the EA Executive Committee (EX)
The General Assembly agreed to offer the status of Recognized Stakeholders to IFS (International Featured Standards) Management GmbH, in accordance with EA-1/15 A: 2014 – EA Policy for Relations with Stakeholders.
EA Articles of Association
The General Assembly, acting upon recommendation from the Executive Committee, approves that in the light of draft Article 122 ‘Scope of transition’ of the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and UK, considering that Union law shall be applicable to and in the United Kingdom during the transition period, for the purposes of Article 5 of EA Article of Association, UKAS remains a Full member of EA until 31 December 2020.
Note: This resolution will come into effect only, if the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and UK will be ratified.
This decision marked the willingness of EA and all its members to maintain close relationship with UKAS, while reflecting UKAS commitment to continue contributing actively to EA activities.
The General Assembly also approved to add in Article 6 of the Articles of Association a new clause with the following content:
In case that some of the criteria for countries established in 5.1 of any EA member is no longer fulfilled by reasons not attributable to the EA member, the General Assembly can decide, upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee, to maintain the current membership category of the member for a determined period of time no longer than 2 years.
Revised and approved documents
The General Assembly endorsed the following documents:
- the final Report on the EA Work Programme 2017,
- the EA Work Programme 2019 (including EA Committees Work Programmes),
- the Accounts 2017,
- the proposed Budget for 2019.
The General Assembly welcomed the decision by the European Commission and EFTA to increase their financial support to EA’s activities as asked by EA, for 2018.
Three new work items have been agreed by the General Assembly to revise:
- EA-1/22: Procedure and Criteria for the Evaluation of Conformity Assessment Schemes by EA Accreditation Body Members,
- EA-2/17: Document on Accreditation for Notification Purposes,
- EA-2/15: EA Requirements for the Accreditation of Flexible Scopes.
Members were informed that the “Accreditation for Notification” (AfN) project would re-start shortly to review (new) legislations that could not be reviewed in the first stage. The project will develop under monitoring of Horizontal Harmonization Committee (HHC) , and will be managed in conjunction with the revision of EA-2/17. The aim of the AfN project is to define the preferred harmonized standard(s) for the assessment of Notified Bodies. The results of the first AfN project were published in 2016.
The General Assembly, acting upon recommendation of the Certification Committee, decided to withdraw EA-3/13 M:2016 – EA Document on the Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 for the Certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OH and SMS), taken over by IAF MD 22:2018 – Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 for the Certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OH and SMS).
The General Assembly approved the revised Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedures managed by the EA Inspection Committee as necessary adjustments were required to reflect the current process and activity of the Committee. In particular the proposed changes aim to improve and clarify the wording (without changing the meaning) and address the point of the election of a vice-chair in charge of assisting the chair in preparing and performing activities related to the committee, working groups and task forces.
The General Assembly adopts:
- IAF MD 21: 2018 – Requirements for the Migration to ISO 45001:2018 from OHSAS 18001:2007 as mandatory document for all EA Members;
- IAF MD 22: 2018 – Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 for the Certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OH and SMS) as mandatory document for all EA Members;
- IAF MD 1 (issue 2): 2018 – IAF Mandatory Document for the Audit and Certification of a Management System Operated by a Multi-Site Organization as mandatory document for all EA Members;
- IAF/ILAC-A2:01/2018: IAF-ILAC Multi-Lateral Mutual Recognition Arrangements (Arrangements): Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of a Single Accreditation Body as mandatory document for EA as a Region;
- IAF/ILAC-A3:01/2018: IAF-ILAC Multi-Lateral Mutual Recognition Arrangements (Arrangements): Template report for the peer evaluation of an Accreditation Body based on ISO/IEC 17011:2017 as mandatory document for EA as a Region;
- IAF MD 23: 2018 Control of Entities Operating on Behalf of Accredited Management Systems Certification Bodies as mandatory document for all EA Members.
The next General Assembly will be hosted by RENAR, the Romanian National Accreditation Body, in Bucharest on 21 and 22 November 2018.
In 2019, ACCREDIA, Italy and NAH, Hungary will host the spring and autumn EA General Assembly meetings. In 2020, OLAS, Luxemburg and HAA, Croatia will host the spring and autumn EA General Assembly meetings.