3rd meeting of the EA Horizontal Committee (EA HHC)

International activities

3rd meeting of the EA Horizontal Committee (EA HHS) was held in Borås, Sweden, in the period between 22nd and 23rd March 2010 and was organised by the Swedish Accreditation Body (SWEDAC).

The aim of this Committee is to harmonise the implementation of the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011 and Regulation setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance (765/2008) by the national ABs.

The following topics were presented and relevant conclusions were made on the first day of the meeting:
-  draft version of the document providing the EA explanations related to cross-frontier accreditation. Many dilemmas can arise when applying principles of cross-frontier accreditation, especially when it comes to the work of accredited certification bodies that have their branch office and/or parts of legal entities in other countries. The document will, after certain corrections have been made, be available to all ABs to be further discussed;
- proposed amendment of the guideline entitled EA-3/09 pertaining to the surveillance and reassessment of accredited CABs; the task force will review it once again since it contains requirements of ISO/IEC 17011 that were mentioned at several occasions and this is, according to the Committee, unnecessary;
- flexible scope and scopes of notified bodies; there was a presentation of a variety of ways in which EU ABs describe scopes of notified bodies for the same directives, and once again a need to have a uniform method of their description was identified; different dilemmas related to the application of flexible scope of accreditation are still present, but after a workshop in Prague in November 2009 certain dilemmas were resolved;
- independence of ABs that are governmental agencies, especially when it comes to possible influence of other parts of the Government on their work, impartiality and independence; ISO PAS 17001 can be of great help when possible effects on the ABs independence are analysed.
- resolution of dilemmas as regards the application of the document entitled IAF/ILAC Multi-Lateral Mutual Recognition Arrangements: Application of ISO/IEC 17011:2004.

The second day of the meeting was dedicated to the development of schemes and principles of recognition as part of the EA MLA such as: accreditation scheme to meet the requirements of the ES Regulation 692/2008 (motor vehicles), FSSC 22000 (Certification scheme for food safety systems in compliance with ISO 22000: 2005 and BSI-PAS 220: 2008), Synergy PRP 22000:2009 (Food safety management systems – Prerequisite programmes (PRP requirements) for any organization in the food chain, GLOBALGAP, certification of ECRIN databases (ECRIN- European clinical research infrastructures network), accreditation in the field of railway traffic within the European Railway Agency, certification of FAMI (European Feed Additives and PreMixtures), FoS (Friend of the sea), EOQ scheme for the certification of assessors and quality system managers.

EA HHC Committee is also responsible for reviewing and drafting a number of EA guides such as EA-2/13 and EA-2/11 (EA policy related to the accreditation of CABs for CAS (conformity assessment schemes), and therefore a discussion was made thereabout during the meeting. 2010 Work Plan and Programme was adopted.