Over the past three decades, IAF has worked diligently to facilitate trade, enable sustainable development, protect consumers and the environment, and support industry, government, and regulators. This year IAF celebrates its 30th anniversary, reflecting on the achievements, leadership, members, and committees that have shaped IAF into the organization it is today.
IAF was established with a mission: to support the harmonization of accreditation requirements, programs, and procedures worldwide; establish multilateral recognition arrangements (MLAs) among members to confirm the consistent application of those requirements; support emerging accreditation bodies; and promote its MLAs globally. These efforts led to a significant increase in the worldwide acceptance of accredited conformity assessment. Over the years, IAF has maintained these key objectives as it evolved, establishing new committees as required, expanding the MLA scopes and sub-scopes to additional public and private sector schemes, developing strong connections with partner and other international organizations and stakeholders, and launching IAF CertSearch.
Today, IAF has 97 AB Members, 27 Association Members, and six Regional Accreditation Group Members. Eighty-four of its AB members are IAF MLA signatories, representing 93 economies, and all of its Regional Accreditation Group Members are MLA signatories. The MLA has expanded exponentially, covering five main and 24 sub-scopes. The breadth of the IAF MLA today is a testimony to the efforts of IAF leadership, committees, and members and to the increased reliance of government, industry, regulators, and scheme owners on IAF programs and services.
We also look to the future as we celebrate how IAF has grown. IAF’s collaboration with ILAC to establish a single international organization for accreditation marks a significant development in IAF’s evolution. IAF envisions a new body that will promote global trade facilitation, enhance market acceptance, and add value to all stakeholders as accreditation remains a cornerstone of a connected and thriving world economy.
IAF will be holding an anniversary celebration during the 2023 IAF-ILAC Joint Annual Meetings being held from 06-15 November in Montreal, Canada, at the Farewell Reception on 14 November.