First special conference on accreditation

Current events

On Wednesday, 3rd June the first special conference entitled “National System of Accreditation – Current Situation and Future Developments“ was held at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Belgrade where the representatives of the Accreditation Board of Serbia (ATS) gave lectures...

in the morning session of the fifth Annual NTK Conference for accredited laboratories and in the afternoon session at the special conference dedicated to accreditation in which a large number of assessors and accredited bodies took part.

In the morning session of the conference the presentations were given by Dejan Krnjaić, PhD, ATS Director, on the subject of “Current Situation and Prospects in the Republic of Serbia“, and he explained the role and importance of accreditation to home trade and entering the world market, and Biljana Tomić, Head of the Department for Legal and General Affairs, on the subject of “Rules of Accreditation“.

The afternoon session of the conference included five lectures during which the ATS representatives presented the experiences as regards the problems they spotted in the work of accredited bodies.

At the beginning of his lecture entitled “Importance and Role of Accreditation in the world, Europe and the Republic of Serbia“ Dejan Krnjaić, PhD,  expressed his hope that the next year’s conference would be attended by guests from the European Cooperation (EA). He explained the importance of accreditation and impartial determination of CAB competence that is performed by national accreditation bodies and that is underpinned by a uniform accreditation network at world level (ILAC) and regional level (EA). By signing the Mutual Recognition Agreement for reports and certificates technical barriers will be removed, while the competitiveness of economy will be increased, emphasised the ATS Director.

During her lecture entitled “Metrological aspects of CAB competence confirmation“ the ATS Deputy Director, Vida Živković, MSc,  explained how measurement traceability can be attained and how uncertainty of measurement can be expressed. Therefore it is necessary for accreditation and metrology to cooperate, and it was highlighted that the said cooperation led to the development of quality infrastructure. According to her metrology must make the results valid and reliable, while accreditation values quality and reliable test results. Measurements must be carried out by conformity assessment bodies, and it is the ATS that determines their technical competence, emphasised Vida Živković.

Within her presentation entitled “How to Overcome Problems Found in the Work of Accredited Bodies“ Natalija Jovičić Zarić, MSc, Assistant Director for Accreditation Affairs, spoke about the methods to overcome problems in the work of accredited bodies (testing laboratories, inspection bodies, certification bodies) and their influence on the quality of work. It was found in certain cases that work efficiency was reduced even by 60% or 70% when we cannot be certain about reliability of conformity assessment results or when no activities are taken to solve the problems noticed in the work of a body, or when the activities that were taken did no produce satisfactory results.

Ljubica Živanić and Dragan Badnjar’s paper entitled “Testing- Inspection-Certification: How to Differentiate between Them“ was presented by Ljubica Živanić, Accreditation File Manger. It attracted great deal of interest of the present participants given that there were similarities between certain conformity assessment activities (testing, inspection and product certification). This is caused by the connections between these activities and it can be recognised by looking at the definitions of the said terms. As she explained, it was caused by a gap between the national legislation and reference standards by which CABs were accredited which led to a failure to recognise the type of assessment. The consequences imply different interpretation of conformity assessment activities. Different types of assessment require different reference documents by which CABs accredited, issuing of different conformity certificates, and different documents laying down procedures by which the said body performs conformity assessment activities.

In an attempt to answer a question relating to the method of provision of the quality of test results, Dušanka Santovac, Head of the Laboratory Department, presented the paper that she produced together with Ljiljana Markićević “How to Ensure the Quality of Test Results“. She emphasised that it was necessary for laboratories to perform a systemic control of the quality of their test results. External quality control is achieved by participating in programmes of inter-laboratory comparisons or performance testing programmes (PT schemes) where she emphasised the great importance of participation in recognised PT schemes. The selection of and participation in PT schemes leads to the establishment of credibility of both laboratories and ATS, explained Ms Santovac.

The present participants agreed that it was necessary for the ATS to organise a new round-table discussion with the aim of clarifying the differences between testing, inspection and certification of products since that was a problem all of the bodies were faced with in their work.

Dejan Krnjaić, PhD 
Biljana Tomić
Dušanka Santovac, Vida Živković, MSc, Natalija Jovičić Zarić, MSc, and Ljubica Živanić 
Vida Živković 
Natalija Jovičić Zarić, MSc 
Dušanka Santovac 
Ljubica Živanić 
Suzana Zorić and Sanja Petrović, ATS Accreditation File Managers