On June 9th, the Accreditation Body of Serbia (ATS) celebrated World Accreditation Day and 25 years since its foundation in the ceremonial hall of the National Bank of Serbia with the presence of the founders of accreditation in our country and the first people of the institutions of quality infrastructure.
On this occasion, accreditation certificates were also handed over to accredited conformity assessment bodies that received or renewed accreditation in the period from January 2023 until this date.
We remind you that June 9th is the date that is celebrated all over the world as WAD, and it was established jointly by ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) and IAF (International Accreditation Forum).
In previous years, WAD themes have touched on many important aspects of accreditation, such as its ability to provide confidence in the quality of products and services, how it benefits certain groups such as regulators, and its role and benefits in certain sectors and solving specific issues.
Since this date is dedicated to the promotion of accreditation and how accreditation supports global issues, this year's theme is: "Accreditation - supporting the future of global trade”.
This topic aims to draw attention to how accreditation and conformity assessment are adapting to advances in technology, changes in consumer behavior and environmental regulations, new trust mechanisms, and changing business models.
In front of the Ministry of Economy, as the coordinator for technical regulations and the body responsible for creating a strategy and implementing the policy of development of standardization, accreditation, and metrology, Mr. Nikola Vitas, acting assistant of the minister of economy, addressed the guests.
On that occasion, Mr. Vitas noted that although a little more than a year has passed since the implementation of the Law on Amendments to the Law on Accreditation, positive effects can already be seen. For example, certain procedures were completed in a shortened period of 8 months, and thus the accreditation system was improved. Mr. Vitas also emphasized that from their point of view (Ministry of Economy), the work of ATS is more operational and the degree of reliability is higher.
He added that there is an initiative for additional improvements in the mentioned area, where the World Bank experts are currently analyzing accreditation wafers on the international level, who will provide guidelines for the drafting of the new Law.
Mr. Vitas emphasized that in order to meet the goals, it is necessary to work together and understand the accreditation system as well as the entire quality infrastructure and its impact on the overall industrial development and economic growth.
On that occasion, he congratulated the director of ATS as well as all employees from ATS, Accreditation Day in the Republic of Serbia (celebrated on June 28) as well as WAD with the wish for success in future work.
Then the guests could watch a promotional film on the topic: "Accreditation - supporting the future of global trade", which was made in honor of Accreditation Day.
Those present were also addressed by the acting Director of the Accreditation Body of Serbia, Mr. Dragan Pušara, MSc, who spoke about the importance of accreditation that ATS has been carrying out since its establishment in 1998.
The main goal of ATS was and remains the maintenance and continuous improvement of the level of competence of its own resources as well as accredited CABs. Accordingly, Mr. Pušara emphasized the importance of assessors and experts as well as employees of ATS. He also talked about the fields of accreditation as well as the number of accredited bodies by field, the total number of which is 772 up to this moment.
He also spoke about the changes brought about by the Law on Amendments to the Law on Accreditation and what challenges ATS has faced. He also spoke about the strategic activities of the ATS, such as continuous work on improving the accreditation system in the Republic of Serbia, along with the extension of the scope of activity of ATS in accordance with the needs of the economy, CABs, state administration bodies, and other interested parties.
Mr. Miloš Jelić, Ph.D., scientific associate, president of the Expert Council of the Foundation for the Culture of Quality and Excellence (FQCE), representative of the quality association, and former director of the Accreditation Body of Serbia, spoke a little more about the first years of ATS. When the Decision on the appointment of the president and members of the Yugoslav Accreditation Body (JUAT) was adopted on February 5th, 1998, it can be said that the foundation of the current ATS was established then. Mr. Jelić presented the guests with all the challenges and temptations they faced in those early years and how everything actually started from a "white paper".
The guests of the ceremony had the honor and pleasure of hearing first-hand about the establishment of the institutional foundations of accreditation from one of the founders of ATS, full professor and professor emeritus of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Montenegro, Mr. Milan Perović.
Professor Perović congratulated everyone on WAD and wished success in strengthening and sustainability of accreditation to the satisfaction and benefit of the domestic economy and population. He humorously emphasized the importance of accreditation, saying that there are countries that do not have a president, they only have a government, that there are countries that have a government but no president, but there is not a single country that does not have accreditation, standardization, and metrology.
On this occasion, the acting Director of ATS, Dragan Pušara, M.Sc. presented Professor Perović with a Special Award to the founders of accreditation in the Republic of Serbia. This award is also intended for the founder of the accreditation, retired full professor, B.Sc. mechanical engineer, Ratko Uzunović.
Professor Uzunović was an assistant to the former Minister of Science and Technology and the first president of the Quality Council of the Republic of Serbia. Considering that he was unable to attend this gathering, those present had the honor and pleasure of watching a short video that Professor Uzunović prepared for this occasion.
In his address, professor Uzunović talked about the obstacles they encountered in the early nineties and how, in 1993, the Council of the Government of Serbia for Quality and such a professional body of Montenegro, with the support of the chambers of commerce of both republics, carried out a series of actions to harmonize technical legislation with European Union. At that time, a large number of professional seminars and gatherings were organized, publications were printed and management training was organized for doing business in the demanding EU market. After a series of bureaucratic difficulties to implement the Law on Accreditation, amendments to the existing Law on Standardization followed, while the new Law on Standardization entered into force in 1996 and after almost two years, the Decree establishes the Yugoslav Accreditation Body, JUAT, whose first president becomes professor Milan Perovic.
Professor Uzunović congratulated ATS for 25 years of existence with the desire to continue in the coming decades, while thanking him for the recognition he receives from ATS and which he accepts with pleasure.
This was followed by the ceremonial handing over of certificates by the acting director of ATS, accredited CABs that received or renewed accreditation in the period from the beginning of this year until today.
The solemn meeting ended with greetings addressed to all friends of accreditation, who were not present that day: assessors and technical experts, as well as all accredited bodies.