Celebrating the World Accreditation Day and the Accreditation Day in the Republic of Serbia
World Accreditation Day (June 9) and Accreditation Day in the Republic of Serbia (June 28)
The Accreditation Body of Serbia (ATS) organized a celebration on June 9, on the occasion of marking the World Accreditation Day. The attention was also paid to the Accreditation Day in the Republic of Serbia, celebrated on June 28, when ATS issued the first accreditation certificate 20 years ago. The celebration was held on the premises of the Klub poslanika in Belgrade.
The topic of this year's World Accreditation Day, jointly established by ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) and the IAF (International Accreditation Forum) to promote the value of accreditation, is: Accreditation - improves food safety. This topic focuses on how accreditation supports food safety by strengthening the trust of consumers, suppliers, customers, and other parties involved in the food chain. The celebration highlighted the importance of accreditation in the field of food safety. Furthermore, the attention was paid to accreditation providing competent and impartial inspection, certification, and testing services in all parts of local, national, and international food chains. Moreover, accreditation supports the United Nations' sustainable development goals, especially the one related to good health and well-being.
In these challenging times caused by the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic the entire quality infrastructure system including accreditation, the healthcare system, and accredited laboratories promptly responded to the task thus making an undeniable contribution to the successful implementation of safety measures implemented by the government of our country. The celebration was held taking the circumstances into account and following the prescribed safety measures. As in previous years, it was dedicated to all accredited conformity assessment bodies, assessors and experts, the ATS employees, and other parties in the world of accreditation. Without their dedicated, competent, and responsible work, it would not be possible to fight coronavirus pandemics.
The representatives of public institutions and universities, members of the ATS bodies and organs, and its technical committees attended the ceremony.
Aleksandar Starcevic, Acting Assistant Minister of Economy, addressed the audience on behalf of the Sector for Product Quality and Safety of the Ministry of Economy. He spoke about the role of the Ministry of Economy that is the coordinator for technical regulations and the body responsible for creating the strategy and implementing the policy of development of standardization, accreditation, and metrology. Additionally, he highlighted the accreditation-related benefits not only for consumers and suppliers but also for the entire economy.
Zoran Djordjevic, Minister for Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, also addressed the audience, welcoming this gathering on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. He emphasized the importance of ATS cooperation with this and other ministries regarding adopting standards and laws in different areas in which accreditation also has a role to play aiming to improve life in general by setting the standards at the highest level.
The ATS Acting Director, prof. Aco Janicijevic, PhD spoke about the ATS activities in the past period, key points in the development of the accreditation system in the past 22 years of existence and functioning of ATS, accreditation schemes, international cooperation, and plans for the future. On this occasion, he pointed out there was an increase in the number of accredited bodies, which reached the figure of 707, whereas the number of leading and technical evaluators and technical experts also grew. He also proudly stated the EA Multilateral Agreement Council (EA MAC), decided on the transition of the ATS from ISO/IEC 17011: 2004 to the new edition of the ISO/IEC 17011:2017 on May 26, 2020. The decision was made by online voting based on the ATS Self-Assessment Report documentary assessment by the Team Leader. Consequently, ATS has confirmed the previously signed EA MLA agreement on mutual recognition of the equivalence of accreditation systems signed by EA members' accreditation bodies recognizing the equivalence and reliability of reports and certificates issued by conformity assessment bodies across Europe (EA region) accredited by the accreditation bodies of the signatories of the agreement. It was also announced that a peer evaluation would be performed by the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) at the end of 2021.
As the topic of this year's World Accreditation Day was related to food safety, prof. Aco Janicijevic, PhD emphasized that ATS accredited testing laboratories according to SRPS ISO/IEC 17025 for a large number of methods of chemical, sensory, and microbiological testing. Areas of accreditation include testing of products for human use, including food (plant, animal origin), drinking water tasting, and accreditation in the field of certification of food safety management systems according to SRPS ISO 22000. The product certification schemes under which ATS accredits are the Law on Organic Production ("Official Gazette of RS" No. 30/10) and the Law on Geographical Indications ("Official Gazette of RS" No. 18/10).
Close attention was paid to the first accredited bodies that received the first accreditation certificate issued by ATS exactly 20 years ago. These are "Kvalitet ad Nis and North Control d.o.o. Subotica." Prof. Aco Janićijevic, PhD delivered the thank you note to Vladimir Vukasinovic, the CEO of "Kvalitet ad Nis and Slobodan Gajin, PhD, the CEO of “North Control d.o.o. Subotica” on the occasion of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first accreditation being granted - June 28, 2000, 22 years since ATS was founded and the World Accreditation Day - June 9.
For many years, the Accreditation Body of Serbia has been implementing the policy of promoting signed agreements with international organizations such as the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA), the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). The representatives of these organizations extended their congratulations to ATS on the occasion of celebrating the World Accreditation Day and the 20th anniversary of the first accreditation being granted. Eti Feller, General Manager of ISRAC (Israel Labaratory Accreditation Authority) and ILAC Chair, Xiao Jianhua Chief Executive of CNAS (China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment) and IAF Chair and Ignacio Pina, EA Chair contributed to the ATS celebration by sending video links sharing their words of praise.
A short promotional film "World Accreditation day 2020. Accreditation: Improving food safety" made on the occasion of celebrating the World Accreditation Day 2020 was played with a subtitle in Serbian, which you can watch here.
Taking into account the slogan of this year's World Accreditation Day was Accreditation - improves food safety, the guests of the ceremony were addressed by the director of the Directorate for National Reference Laboratories, Nenad Dolovac, Ph.D. who spoke about experiences in food safety and the importance of accreditation.
The guests had the opportunity to enjoy the Balkan String Trio members guitar playing, which made this day even more beautiful. This unique trio consists of Zoran, Nikola and Zeljko Starcevic, whose trademark is six-handed playing on one guitar. Everyone was enthusiastic about the unique interpretation of the best Balkan guitarists mixing a synthesis of various Balkan elements: Serbian, Gypsy, Macedonian, Romanian, Moldavian, Hungarian, and others.
Natalija Jovicic Zaric, MSc, who was also the moderator of the event, wished everyone on behalf of ATS to stay safe until the next meeting.