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European, Australian certifying bodies sign MoU

Posted: 08 Dec 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IEC? conformity assessment? certification? testing laboratories?

An agreement between the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and International Accreditation Forum Inc. (IAF) will hasten and ease the reassessment of certification bodies and testing laboratories that are accredited by IAF and ILAC member accreditation bodies.

The tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed in Shanghai, China, in November makes a single reassessmentinstead of threesufficient and be accepted by all three bodies.

This type of cooperation agreement is unprecedented in the conformity assessment world and builds on years of collaboration between the three bodies. They have already put in place a pilot program to test this new approach, and have set-up a dedicated website to implement the tripartite agreement.

Under the MoU a steering committee was created and held its first successful meeting under the chairmanship of Pierre de Ruvo, executive secretary, IECEE. Regina Robertson, chair of the ILAC accreditation committee, has been named secretary. The Steering Committee will be responsible for developing cooperation strategies, providing support and dealing with project issues and deliverables.

The MoU also facilitates a coordinated application of ISO/IEC standards and guidance documents for the purpose of assessment of certification bodies and testing laboratories operating in the IEC CA Systems. This includes a common understanding of the technical issues and the harmonization of the respective assessment procedures.

Provisions are also made for joint training and workshops for lead assessors, and when possible, joint work on the development of harmonized procedures and policies.

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