The 42nd EA General Assembly (GA) gathered 94 delegates from 47 National Accreditation Bodies, the European Commission, EFTA and 9 EA Recognized Stakeholder organisations.
24 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 22nd November 2018 – 31 December 2019:
- Todor GUNCHEV (BAS, the Bulgarian NAB) as the new Chairman of the Financial Oversight Committee (FOC)
- Stephan FINKE (DAkkS, the German NAB) as a new Member of the Financial Oversight Committee.
The 3rd member of the Committee is Jesper Høy (DANAK, the Danish NAB).
The General Assembly agreed to offer the status of Recognized Stakeholders to AEBIOM (now Bioenergy Europe) in accordance with EA-1/15 A: 2014 – EA Policy for Relations with Stakeholders.
EA Articles of Association
The General Assembly, acting upon the recommendation from the Executive Committee, approved to amend the Articles of association of EA to address the situation resulting from the BREXIT discussions. The objective is to maintain close relations with UKAS and allow UKAS to remain an EA full member until at least the end of the transition period provided by BREXIT process.
The General Assembly also agreed to establish a new management structure based on a new Executive Board and Technical Management Board according to the principles presented and supported by the delegates in Bucharest. The Executive Committee will develop further the details of the implementation of the approved principles and revise the EA Articles of Association and EA1/17: EA Rules of Procedures accordingly.
Revised and approved documents
The General Assembly mandated the Executive Committee to finalize the negotiations with the European Commission and EFTA and mandated the Executive Secretary to sign the renewed Framework Partnership agreement 2019-2022. The new agreement does not introduce critical changes. Renewal of the agreement demonstrates the continuous confidence and support by the EC and EFTA to EA and its members, and their active role in developing fair and reliable trade in Europe.
6 new work items have been agreed by the General Assembly to revise:
- EA-1/14: Procedure for the Control of EA documents.
- EA-2/02: Procedure for the evaluation of a National Accreditation Body.
- EA-6/02: Guidelines on the use of EN 45011 and ISO/IEC 17021 For certification to EN ISO 3834 – EA-4/02: Evaluation of the Uncertainty of Measurement in Calibration.
- EA-4/09: Accreditation for Sensory Testing Laboratories
- EA-INF/13: The Assessment and Accreditation of Opinions and Interpretations using ISO/IEC 17025:2005
The General Assembly approved the revised Terms of Reference of the EA Multilateral Agreement Council (MAC) and the EA Communications and Publications Committee (CPC) reflecting necessary adjustments required further to the changes in the processes and activity of the Committees.
The General Assembly adopted IAF MD 4:2018 IAF Mandatory Document for the Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Auditing/Assessment Purposes as an EA mandatory document.
Before closing the meeting, the EA Chair paid tribute to Trevor Nash, representing EFAC, who was reported to be retiring by the end of the year. Ignacio referred to the vivid exchanges he had the chance and opportunity to have with Trevor in EA or other meetings on a number of occasions, and how much he appreciated the quality of the discussions. On behalf of the EA Community, the EA Chair thanked Trevor for his remarkable input to the EA work in the Certification Committee notably and wished him the best for the coming years.
The next General Assembly will be hosted by ACCREDIA, the Italian National Accreditation Body in Rome on 22 and 23 May 2019.
In 2019 NAH, Hungary will host the autumn EA General Assembly meetings. In 2020, OLAS, Luxemburg and HAA, Croatia will host the spring and autumn EA General Assembly meetings.
All the resolutions adopted at the 42nd EA General Assembly are available at www.european-accreditation.org/page/ea-approved-resolutions.