Organized by the EA Secretariat (Roissy, France) on 12-13 December 2019, the 2-days workshop gathered 26 participants from 17 EA national accreditation bodies. It was co-convened by Anna Stefanidou (ESYD, the Greek NAB), Tuija Sinervo (FINAS, the Finish NAB), Ian Ronksley (UKAS, the UK NAB), and Daniela Ionescu (EA).

26 evaluators, among the pool of evaluators (40 competent in Certification of persons and 35 in Proficiency Testing Providers (PTP) out of a total of about 180 EA Evaluators) were selected, following the rules established by EA-2/02 EA Procedure for the evaluation of a National Accreditation Body which requires that an EA evaluator shall attend a refresher training 3 years after he/she attended a Newcomer training, or 5 years after the participation to a refresher training.

 The following horizontal topics were covered on the first day:

  • the peer evaluations process;
  • transition to ISO/IEC 17011:2017;
  • update on the EA/ IAF/ ILAC documents.

On the second day, 3 workshops were organised, each one specific to the qualification scope of the participants: PTP, Certification of Persons and Laboratories.

Participants were pleased by the programme with a general, horizontal focus completed by the specific workshops dedicated to their scope of activity as EA evaluator.

Having discussed general issues relating to the accredited certification of persons using ISO/IEC 17024, the workshop focused on the requirements of both ISO/IEC 17024 and ISO/IEC 17011 where delegates had identified or had encountered ‘issues’ when participating in peer evaluations. This led to good discussions on matters such as impartiality, competence, scheme development and scheme content as well as thoughts and considerations relating to criteria for a ‘risk-based’ approach for accreditation bodies when assessing certification bodies for persons.’ declared one of the participants of the Certification of Persons’ workshop.

Again, the workshops demonstrated that working together and sharing knowledge with a view to improve competence and achieve harmonization is one of the best ways to maintain robustness of the EA MLA and peer evaluation process.