World Accreditation Day 2010 – Global Acceptance

Accreditation Day

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) and the 12th anniversary of the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA). The principle aim of these arrangements is as relevant today as it was when they were first established, and that is to support the freedom of world trade by eliminating technical barriers to trade.

9th June is the World Accreditation Day, a worldwide initiative jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation-related activities.

Furthermore, the Accreditation Board of Serbia will celebrate 12th anniversary of creation (it was established in 1998 as the Yugoslav Accreditation Board – JUAT), and 10th anniversary of the first accreditation certificate award (28th June 2000), while 28th June is established in the Statute of the Accreditation Board of Serbia as the Accreditation Day in the Republic of Serbia.

World Accreditation Day 2010 – “Global Acceptance”

The creation of an international network among accreditation bodies removes the need for suppliers to have their products or services re-evaluated in each country they enter on a commercial basis. The key to the arrangements is that the results of accredited organisations are recognised as equivalent by signatory accreditation bodies. In this way, certificates issued by accredited organisations can therefore be accepted throughout the world.

‘Global Acceptance’ is therefore an apt theme for World Accreditation Day 2010, a worldwide initiative jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation-related activities. June 9th 2010 will mark the day, which will see major national events and press campaigns carried out in more than 60 countries.

Internationally-agreed standards and accreditation play an important role in the support of competitive markets and cross-border trade. This is increasingly important as supply chains are ever-extending to new overseas markets as businesses seek to lower costs or satisfy contract terms, whilst maintaining a level of confidence that products are technically compatible, to specification, and safe.

In such complex markets, reassurance in the measurements, tests, inspections, and certification performed in another jurisdiction is essential. Without these standards, the free exchange of goods and services would be hampered by technical barriers, thereby increasing costs for importers and consumers.

Global acceptance of accredited certificates is a central pillar of accreditation as the harmonization of assessment requirements and processes at a worldwide level, provides businesses and regulators with confidence that products entering the market conform to specification, meet national legal and regulatory requirements, and will therefore serve to protect public interests in general.

Joint message from Daniel Pierre and Randy Dougherty, ILAC and IAF Chairs

We are delighted to announce that World Accreditation Day will take place June 9th 2010. This year’s theme of ‘Global Acceptance’ reflects the core aspiration of the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) and the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA). These Arrangements, which this year celebrate their 10th and 12th anniversaries, respectively, create an international framework to support international trade through the removal of technical barriers.

Technical barriers to trade are recognised as being potential obstacles to the free flow of goods and services. The exchange of products, services, and capital between countries account for an important element of a country’s gross domestic product, and represent a vital source of revenue for developing countries in particular. The Arrangements, established by ILAC and IAF, and signed by national Accreditation Bodies on a voluntary basis, provide a mechanism to recognise the equivalence of accredited conformity assessment activities in different economies. By accepting the equivalence of assessment methods, the need for multiple assessments is eliminated and most importantly the results from the accredited organisations in different economies can then be accepted in confidence. In other words, there is no need for products and services to be re-evaluated in each territory that a business chooses to enter.

At the national level, there is greater recognition of accredited activities, in particular from regulators, who are using the arrangements to deliver policy objectives from health and safety to the protection of the environment, as well as providing the conditions that support a competitive economy through their impact on the export performance of businesses.

From a business perspective, the arrangements can significantly reduce compliance costs by removing unnecessary repeat testing or the need to comply with redundant local requirements. This also has a positive impact on time-to-market, which can be reduced through this streamlining of the approvals process.

Looking to the future, ILAC and IAF will continue to meet the expectations of a growing base of stakeholders. This will include responding to the needs of both industry and regulators, who are increasingly turning to accreditation to meet their regulatory responsibilities. As international organisations, the primary role of ILAC and IAF is to ensure consistency and equal reliability among all accredited activities delivered under their jurisdiction, to ensure that the ‘Global Acceptance’ of accredited conformity assessment results is universally achieved.