Exceptional events call for an exceptional response. Therefore, it was decided to organize remotely the 45th European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) General Assembly (GA) on Thursday 14th May 2020.
The online meeting gathered over 50 participants from 35 National Accreditation Bodies, the EU Commission, EFTA and the EA Advisory Board Chair as well as the Executive Committee members, and was a great success, with excellent feedback from the participants. It was all possible thanks to a very good preparation (with the appreciated support of UKAS – the UK NAB), and the active contribution from the participants, turning this event into a real practice for the future EA meetings. EA has been working for the past year on a plan to reduce its environmental impact and this situation has only emphasized the growing need of such a strategy.
EA Management structure
One of the key issues of the General Assembly was the new EA Management structure. The process of the introduction of the new EA structure, including the ballot on the revised Articles of Association (AoA) and EA-1/17 Rules of Procedure were discussed. The objective is that the new Management structure comes into force in January 2021.
The General Assembly has implemented the Article 6 paragraph 7 of the Article of Association and has accepted to maintain UKAS as an EA Full Member until 31 January 2022. UKAS and EA will work together during this transition period to determine the future role of UKAS within EA, taking into consideration the outcome of the EU-UK trade negotiations. EA and UKAS are both keen to keep an active cooperation for the sake of the European market and in appreciation of their long-term collaboration.
The General Assembly adopts:
– ILAC-P5:05/2019 ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement: Scope and Obligations, as mandatory documents for EA Members signatories to ILAC;
– ILAC-P8:03/2019 ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (Arrangement): Supplementary Requirements for the Use of Accreditation Symbols and for Claims of Accreditation Status by Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies, as mandatory documents for EA Members.
– IAF/ILAC-A1:03/2020 IAF-ILAC Multi-Lateral Mutual Recognition Arrangements (Arrangements): Requirements and Procedures for Evaluation of a Regional Group,
– IAF/ILAC-A3:03/2020 IAF/ILAC Arrangements: Template report for the peer evaluation of an AB based on ISO/IEC 17011:2017,
as mandatory documents for EA as Region.
While expressing satisfaction that the meeting went well and good decisions could be made, all participants expressed the wish to meet again soon. The next 2020 General Assembly and its organization are currently being discussed.
All the resolutions adopted at the 45th EA General Assembly are available here.