The twenty third meeting of the Communications and Publications Committee (CPC) of the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) was held in the period between 24th and 25th April 2013 in Bucharest, Romania. It was organised by the Romanian Accreditation Body (RENAR).
Claudia Maracine, RENAR, welcomed the CPC delegates and wished them a fruitful meeting.
Vagn Andersen, CPC Chair, introduced the most important information from the previous period and informed the CPC members that the new EA Chair and EA MAC and EA HHC Chairs were elected at the EA General Assembly meeting held in November 2012, whereas EA EX members were to be elected at the EA General Assembly meeting in May 2013. Moreover, he announced that the new Framework Partnership Agreement, FPA, for the 2014-2017 period should be soon signed with the European Commission given that EA needed more money for its smooth operation.
One of the topics that was given priority during the meeting pertained to the upgrade of communication with the Government & Regulators in all EA members and therefore the Government & Regulators Guide written by the ILAC MCC TFG was presented to promote more international brochures at the EA level.
The CPC Chair emphasised the importance of defining the non-accreditation activities in terms of harmonised standards, Regulation (EC) 765 and ISO/IEC 17011. The CPC members were informed that the EA Executive Committee had defined accreditation activities that were based on harmonised standards, Regulation (EC) 765 and ISO/IEC 17011, and activities that were not accreditation, but only assessment. The distinction between the two will be clearly made in the EA-1/17 S2 document and will therefore be one of the EA membership criteria. NABs will have to reconsider their non-accreditation activities in order not to be competitive with the CABs’ activities.
It was concluded that the EA logo had to be aligned with the new EA website design. However, a consensus needs to be reached and this requires a long time. The CPC also agreed that the final version of the EA MLA Brochure should be published on the EA website after the editorial corrections.
EA MLA Annual Report 2012 is an updated and improved revision of the 2011 Report.
The CPC Chair highlighted that the news focus and subjects had to be decided upon given that these had to be published on the EA website and chosen by the committee chairs. According to the EA CPC Terms of Reference, the CPC has an advisory role to play for the news section of the website (it was proposed to publish 3 stories each month during 10 months per year (leaving out the summer period) to show that EA is a membership of national members with their own events and success stories.
The CPC members also discussed the revamping of the EA website intranet in 2013 and this had been included in the 2013 budget. The CPC members agreed that restructuring of the document store and online registration for EA meetings/trainings should be given priority.
The Briefing for EC Officials was completed in order to further promote EA at the EC level.
The CPC agreed that the EA procedure for handling complaints and appeals set out in EA-1/17-S3 A 2011 “Supplement 3 to EA-1/17, EA Rules of Procedure – EA Procedure for the investigation and resolution of Complaints and Appeals” should be revised, whereas the text “EA handling complaints from accredited CABs and third parties?” would be published on the EA website.
It seemed that the best option was to set a minimum number of man-days based on the number of activities for which NABs had signed the EA MLA since contributing to the committees in charge of these activities had proved essential for EA members.
The work on the CPC Work Plan 2013-2014 was continued to include a more precise definition of the following activities: EA Search Facility, website news, the intranet revamping, the EA logo and revision of the EA-1/19 document.
The next CPC meeting will be held in the period between 18th and 19th September 2013 in Warsaw, Poland, and it will be hosted by the Polish Accreditation Body (PCA).
As of 1st January 2014 Vagn Andersen will no longer chair the CPC meetings given that Peter Kronvall (SWEDAC) was elected at the May 2013 EA GA meeting as the new EA CPC Chair.
Katarina Bogojević attended the meeting on behalf of ATS.