The EA MLA is recognized at international level by IAF (International Accreditation Forum) and ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation), the two global associations of Accreditation Bodies.

It means that accreditation by one of the EA MLA Members is considered to give as much confidence as accreditation delivered by any signatory to the IAF or ILAC mutual agreement.

“Accredited once, accepted everywhere!”

It means that a test report or certificate issued by an accredited CAB can be recognized by the signatories to the IAF and ILAC multilateral agreements. In this way, the EA MLA acts as an international passport to trade.

Thanks to this mutual recognition:

  • international markets have confidence in the EA MLA and the conformity assessment results provided by organizations accredited by EA MLA signatories;
  • there is no need for products and services to be re-tested, re-calibrated, re-inspected or re-certified in each country into which they are imported and sold;
  • it helps free movement of goods and services at European and global levels.

Presentation of IAF/ILAC

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) is the world association of National Accreditation Bodies (NAB) interested in conformity assessment in the fields of management systems, products, services, personnel and other similar programs of conformity assessment.

IAF has two objectives:

  1. Ensure that its Accreditation Body Members only accredit bodies that are competent to do the work they undertake and are not subject to conflicts of interest.
  2. Establish mutual recognition arrangements, known as Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLAs), between its Accreditation Body Members which reduce risk to businesses and their customers by ensuring that an accredited certificate may be relied upon anywhere in the world.

Currently there are four main scopes for the IAF MLA:

  • Management Systems Certification using ISO/IEC 17021-1;
  • Product Certification using ISO/IEC 17065;
  • Certification of Persons using ISO/IEC 17024;
  • Validation and Verification using ISO 14065.

As of July 2019, the IAF MLA Members are:

  • 5 Recognized Regional Accreditation Groups: 
    • Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC);
    • European co-operation for Accreditation (EA);
    • Inter American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC);
    • Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC);
    • African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC);
  • 84 National Accreditation Body Members.

For further details, visit the IAF website or read IAF newsletters

ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) is the international organization on laboratory, inspection body, reference material producer and proficiency testing provider accreditation in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011. Its membership consists of Accreditation Bodies and stakeholder organizations throughout the world.

ILAC’s essential purpose is to provide confidence in the competence of bodies performing and supporting these activities by establishing an international arrangement between Accreditation Bodies Members based on peer evaluation and mutual acceptance.

The scope of the ILAC MRA covers the following accreditation programs:

  • Calibration laboratories using ISO/IEC 17025;
  • Testing laboratories using ISO/IEC 17025;
  • Medical testing laboratories using ISO 15189;
  • Inspection bodies using ISO/IEC 17020;
  • Proficiency testing providers (PTP) using ISO/IEC 17043;
  • Reference Material Producers (RMP) using ISO 17034.

As of July 2019, the ILAC MRA Members are:

  • 5 Recognized Regional Cooperation Bodies :
    • African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC);
    • Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC);
    • Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC);
    • European co-operation for Accreditation (EA);
    • Inter American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC);
  • 101 signatories to the ILAC MRA

For further details, visit the ILAC website 

Marks for international recognition of accreditation

IAF and ILAC have developed marks which can be used by the MLA signatories under specific conditions (set out in ILAC R7:05/2015 Rules for the Use of the ILAC MRA Mark and IAF ML 2:2016 General Principles on the Use of the IAF MLA Mark).

The IAF and ILAC marks demonstrate:

  • signatory status to the IAF/ILAC arrangement;
  • that the report or certificate has been issued by an accredited Conformity Assessment Body by a member of the IAF/ILAC arrangement.

As such, the report or certificate can be recognized and accepted by any of the signatories of these arrangements.

Peer evaluation of EA

As a Recognized Regional Accreditation Group, EA is peer evaluated every four years, according to a process similar to that used for the evaluation of a single National Accreditation Body (NAB). The objective is to confirm that EA criteria and procedures for membership and MLA peer- evaluation meet IAF and ILAC requirements.

EA is a Recognized Regional Accreditation Group for the following scopes:

IAF MLA ● Management system certification - ISO/IEC 17021
● Product certification - ISO/IEC 17065
● Certifications of persons - ISO/IEC 17024
● Validation and verification - ISO 14065
ILAC MRA ● Calibration: ISO/IEC 17025
● Testing: ISO/IEC 17025
● Medical Testing: ISO 15189
● Inspection: ISO/IEC 17020
● Proficiency Testing Providers: ISO/IEC 17043
● Reference Material Producers: ISO 17034

Part of the global network

EA is a Regional Cooperation Body Member of ILAC and IAF for Europe.

In addition to the discussions at international level, EA maintains close relationships with the other regions of the world. Having all regions speaking with “One voice” would strengthen IAF and ILAC.

The objective is also to promote the values and benefits of the European accreditation model.

For Africa SADCA (Southern African Development Community in Accreditation) Laboratories, Certification Bodies (IAF and ILAC)
AFRAC (African Accreditation Cooperation) Laboratories, Inspection, Certification Bodies (IAF and ILAC)
For Asia-Pacific APAC (Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation) Laboratories, Inspection and Certification Bodies (IAF and ILAC)
For America IAAC (Inter American Accreditation Cooperation) Laboratories, Inspection and Certification Bodies (IAF and ILAC)
For ARAB Region Countries ARAC (Arab Accreditation Cooperation) Laboratories, Inspection and Certification Bodies (IAF and ILAC)