On 12-13 March 2019, the Horizontal Harmonization Committee (HHC) held its 21th meeting in Brussels, gathering 51 participants from 41 National Accreditation Bodies, including a representative of SCC, the Standards Council of Canada, and stakeholders’ organizations (CEOC, IIOC and EUROLAB)
The meeting evidenced significant progress made in the revision of major documents under HHC responsibility.
A new EA Governance and Policy Document, EA: 1/23: EA Policy to Speak with “One Voice was published on 15th March 2019. This document establishes a policy and a mechanism to reinforce harmonization on the application of the same level 3 and 4 standards for the same activities by National Accreditation Bodies (NAB). This is a significant achievement to meet the objectives of EA Strategy 2025.
To read the full publication, click here
HHC decided to set up a new Task Force Group (TFG) to develop an informative document giving a list of in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011:2017 clauses 7.4 Preparation of Assessment, 7.9 Accreditation Cycle, 7.10 Extending accreditation, 9.6 Improvement and 9.8 Management reviews. The convenor of this TFG will be Malgorzata Tworek (PCA), Hanne Overby Haga (NA), Mariagrazia Lanzanova (ACCREDIA), Karsten Tølløse (DANAK), Torben Frank (DAkkS) and Tomas Holm (SWEDAC) will be the other members of the TFG. A corresponding New Work Item Proposal will be submitted to the EA Advisory Board and the General Assembly in May 2019.
Progress with HHC documents
The revised draft of EA-2/13 EA Cross Border Accreditation Policy and Procedure for Cross Border Cooperation between EA Members, prepared by the appointed TFG, which reflected the Members’ comments, was approved by the HHC at the meeting and will be submitted to EA vote. This document describes EA’s policy and procedures for cooperation between NABs when accreditation is provided by a NAB, to a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) which has sites in another country in the EA region or has key activities in another country in the EA region. This document also describes the procedures to be followed by EA members concerning accreditation in another country under the conditions of European Regulation (EC) 765/2008.
The final draft of EA-3/01 EA conditions for the use of accreditation symbols, text reference to accreditation and Reference to EA MLA signatory status proposed by the appointed TFG was endorsed by HHC and will be circulated soon for Members’ comments. In parallel, discussions will start at the Executive Committee level about the future document on the rules for using the EA MLA mark, based on the questions raised by the TFG highlighting the main issues at stake.
EA-2/15 EA requirements for the accreditation of flexible scopes ‘s revision was prepared by the appointed TFG and approved by the HHC with minor changes after the required comment round and will be soon submitted to EA vote. This publication establishes overall requirements within EA to enable an accredited CAB to take responsibility for the management of all or part of its scope of accreditation without the necessity of a preliminary evaluation by the NAB for each new activity.
EA-2/17 EA Document on Accreditation for Notification purposes will go for a first round of HHC comment period for 60 days and a second round including all EA Members after consideration of a new draft. This document outlines the policy agreed by EA for accreditation of CABs by NABs as a basis for notification by Notifying Authorities to become Notified Bodies to work within the scope of Union Harmonization Legislation.
The first revised draft of EA-1/22 EA Procedure and Criteria for the Evaluation of Conformity Assessment Schemes by EA Accreditation Body Members’ produced by the appointed TFG was approved at the meeting and will go for HHC comment shortly, inviting also the Scheme owners from the list of successfully EA accepted schemes to give their contributions during this commenting period. The objective of the revision is to clarify the process especially when dealing with changes introduced in a scheme by the Scheme Owner and “old” schemes that existed before EA-1/22 process was in place.
The next HHC meetings will be held in Brussels on 17-18 September 2019 and 3-4 March 2020.