31st EA General Assembly

International activities

31st meeting of the General Assembly of the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA GA) was held in the period between 29th May and 30th May in Paris, France, and was hosted by COFRAC. 38 resolutions were adopted, whereas the most important ones are as follows:

- EA GA ratified the results of the electronic ballots in case of EA-3/XX: EA Policy for the Accreditation of Organic Production Certification and EA-2/13 Supplement 1 – Interpretation of terminology used in clause 5.1 and guidelines to assessment focus;

- EA GA noted the draft EA Work Programme 2014 and mandated the EA Executive Committee (EA EX) to finalise it as necessary to take account of the Action Plan 2014-2017 supporting the future new FPA, before submission to the European Commission and EFTA;

- EA GA mandated the EA EX to agree with EC DG CLIMA a Work Programme and budget for the implementation of the EU/ETS Accreditation & Verification Regulation and gave the EA Chairman the mandate to sign the corresponding agreement with DG CLIMA;

- EA GA mandated the EA EX to finalise the negotiations on, and the Chairman to sign the renewed Framework Partnership Agreement for 2014-2017 requiring the EC to provide financial resources as per the Framework Partnership Agreement that EA concluded with the EC for the first time in 2010 to be valid for the next three years (until 2013) and as per Regulation (EC) No 765/2008. One of the items to be resolved is further harmonisation of the criteria that notification bodies should meet, including the assessment criteria, given that it was given a high priority in 2010 so that the national institutions could have confidence in the accreditation system in keeping with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008. EA will propose to the EC to commence the project funded from the FPA budget given that this will define the basis for accreditation in all fields of notification. It will include the proposed harmonised standards and additional requirements for each Directive/Regulation and modules if applicable. The project will include the entire EU legislation requiring conformity assessment;

- EA GA endorsed the decision of the EA EX to offer EA Recognised Stakeholder status to the EDQM – European Directorate for Quality in Medicine, EFNDT – European Federation for Non-Destructive Testing and FAMI-QS – The Quality and Safety System for Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures in accordance with EA-1/15: EA Policy for Relations with Stakeholders;

- EA GA approved the financial accounts for 2012, accepted the Financial Oversight Committee’s Report on EA 2012 Accounts and approved the revised budget and noted the forecast of the accounts for 2013, including the  revised financial resources to be provided by the EC to implement the EU-ETS Regulation;

- EA GA approved the proposed EA activity-based budget for 2014 and the EA EX proposed the new membership fees received by EA for 2014 for which the voting will last until 05.07.2013, whereas it shall be adopted in November 2013;

- EA GA approved the 2013 Work Programme of all committees;

- EA GA reviewed the EA Development Plan 2010-2015 which includes that the Secretariat will now have two new positions – Executive Secretary and Executive Director, and EA MAC will be integrated;

- EA GA, acting upon recommendation from the Horizontal Harmonization Committee (HHC), endorsed the withdrawal of EA-3/09: Surveillance and Reassessment of Accredited Organisations;

- EA GA agreed that the HHC should start a new work item to revise EA-2/17: EA Guidance on the horizontal requirements for the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies for notification purposes;

- EA GA, acting upon recommendation from the Executive Committee, resolved that while the document EA-1/22: EA Policy for Conformity Assessment Schemes was being revised, and with a view to simplifying and decentralizing the “endorsement” process, EA will apply the principles requiring that a local accreditation body from a country where the head office of the owner of the scheme is located is authorised to review the scheme, and to coordinate with other EA members and give proposal for the adoption of the schemes;

- EA GA endorsed the withdrawal of: EA-3/05: Guidelines for Training Courses for Assessors used by Laboratory Accreditation Schemes; EA-3/06: Guidelines for Selection of Participants to Courses for the Training of assessors involved in Assessments of Laboratories applying for Accreditation (previously EAL G8); and EA-3/07: Programme for Course for Tutors for Assessor Training; and, acting upon recommendation from the Laboratory Committee, adopted ILAC G3:08/2012: Guidelines for Training Courses for Assessors Used by Accreditation Bodies as a guidance document for all EA Members;

- EA GA endorsed the withdrawal of EA-4/07: Traceability of Measuring and Test Equipment to National Standards and, acting upon recommendation from the Laboratory Committee, adopted ILAC P10:01/2013: ILAC Policy on Traceability of Measurement Results as a mandatory document for all EA Members;

- Taking into account that EA members do not provide PT services, EA GA endorsed the recommendation by the EA EC that EA members should not provide such services. The requirement will be introduced in EA-1/17 Supplement 1 Criteria for Membership;

- EA GA, acting upon recommendation from the Certification Committee, resolved that when accrediting CBs for the purpose of the ‘End of Waste Regulations’ according to ISO/IEC 17021, the certification of management system of the producers by the CBs should be against ISO 9001 and the requirements in the applicable ‘End of Waste Regulations’ – this requires that compliance with all the ISO/IEC 17021 requirements, including annual surveillance audits and recertification on the third year, will be fulfilled. The accreditation certificate shall additionally refer to the ‘End of Waste Regulations’ detailing the types of products covered. The certificates issued by accredited CBs to producers shall refer to the relevant End of Waste Regulation(s) and specify the type of products covered by the management system. Moreover, upon request and agreement with the national authorities, the CBs can be accredited under EN 45011 or ISO/IEC 17065 for the certification of the end of waste process, using the appropriate management system requirements and the applicable ‘End of Waste Regulations’ requirements;

- EA GA, acting upon recommendation from the Certification Committee, resolved that accreditation of CBs providing certification according to EN 15224 Health care services. Quality management systems. Requirements based on EN ISO 9001:2008 could be provided as a standalone activity. In case of an audit to EN 15224 delivering two certificates (ISO 9001 and EN 15224), the CB needs to be accredited for both standards and follow the relevant EA and IAF mandatory documents;

- EA GA endorsed the withdrawal of EA-7/05: EA Guidance on the Application of ISO/IEC 17021:2006 for Combined Audits and, acting upon recommendation from the CC Chair on behalf of the Certification Committee, adopted IAF MD11:2013: IAF Mandatory Document for the Application of ISO/IEC 17021 for Audits of Integrated Management Systems as a mandatory document for all EA Members;

- EA GA agreed that the Inspection Committee should start a new work item to revise EA-5/02: Guidance on the application of EN 45004 in recurrent inspection of motor vehicles;

- EA GA agreed that the Inspection Committee after the approval of the ILAC document on this topic should review if EA-5/03: Guidance for the implementation of ISO/IEC 17020 in the field of crime scene investigation should be revised or revoked;

- EA GA endorsed the recommendation by the EA ECnot to support a revision of ISO/IEC 17011. EA NABs were invited to approach their standardisation bodies to promote the EA position.

During its 31st meeting in Paris, EA GA elected the following officers to the EA EX for a two-year mandate starting on 1st January 2014:

- Thomas Facklam (DakkS) - EA Chair,
- Geir Samuelsen (NA) - EA Vice-Chair,
- Nicole van Laethem (BELAC) - EA MAC Chair,
- Ignasio Pina (ENAC) - EA HHC Chair,
- Peter Kronvall (SWEDAC) - EA CPC Chair,
- Leopoldo Cotez (IPAC) - EA CC Chair,
- Rolf Straub (SAS) - EA IC Chair,
- Paolo Bianco (ACCREDIA) - EA LC Chair,

and four additional members of the Executive Committee: Vagn Andersen (DANAK), Biserka Bajzek-Brezak (HAA), Rozsa Ring (NAT) and Jan van der Poel (RvA).