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Historic agreement signed

14 December 2010

A historic agreement between IEC, ILAC and IAF will help significantly reduce cost, time and complexity for the reassessment of certification bodies and testing laboratories that are accredited by IAF and ILAC Member Accreditation Bodies (Abs).One of the most important outcomes of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in Shanghai, China, last month will be that henceforth a single reassessment - instead of three - will suffice and be accepted by all three bodies.

Historic agreement signed
Historic agreement signed

This type of cooperation agreement is unprecedented in the conformity assessment world and builds on years of collaboration between the IEC CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems, ILAC and IAF. It directly and positively impacts the certification bodies and testing laboratories that are accredited by IAF and ILAC Member ABs and operate as registered members of the relevant IEC CA System(s).

The three bodies have already put in place a successful pilot programme to test this new approach, and have set-up a dedicated website ( to implement the tripartite Agreement.

Under the MoU a common Steering Committee was created and held its first successful meeting under the chairmanship of Pierre de Ruvo, IECEE Executive Secretary. Regina Robertson, ILAC AIC (Accreditation Committee) Chair has been named secretary. The Steering Committee will be responsible for developing cooperation strategies, providing support and dealing with project issues and deliverables.

Another objective set out by the MoU is to facilitate a coordinated application of ISO/IEC standards and guidance documents for the purpose of assessment of certification bodies and testing laboratories operating in the IEC CA Systems. This includes a common understanding of the technical issues and the harmonisation of the respective assessment procedures.

Provisions are also made for joint training and workshops for lead assessors, and when possible, joint work on the development of harmonised procedures and policies.

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