On 9th and 10th June, the fourth meeting was held in Tirana as part of the RTV Project of the German Metrology Institute “Promotion of regional cooperation in South East Europe in the field of quality infrastructure”.
Representatives of the accreditation bodies from South East Europe, including the representatives of the Greek accreditation body (ESYD) and Turkish accreditation body (TURKAK), attended the meeting. The Accreditation Body of Albania (Drejtoria e Akreditimit, DA) hosted the meeting.
Introductory part of the meeting was dedicated to presentation and analysis of the most common nonconformities identified during EA peer assessments. The presentation was prepared by Maria Papatzikou, ESYD representative. In most cases nonconformities relate to impartiality of accreditation bodies, relationship with related bodies, if any, observance of surveillance assessment plans, absence of documented procedure for the selection of representative samples for witnessing during assessment, competence of assessors participating in assessment process, observance of monitoring plans for assessors within the defined time intervals, and absence of participation in inter-laboratory comparison schemes and PT schemes.
A short review of activities to be implemented within the regional EU IPA 2008 project was presented by David Norris, Project Team Leader, while Tilman Denkler presented D-A-CH training system that is used for the recognition of assessor training delivered in three countries: Austria, Germany and Switzerland. This training recognition system reduces training costs, enables easier exchange of assessors and increased efficiency of cooperation between accreditation bodies from the said countries (same language speaking countries).
In the second part of the meeting there was a discussion about implementation of the project activities, and activities to be implemented in the next twelve months:
- a regional assessor database will be established as part of the project and it will be made available at the PTB webpage to all accreditation bodies; the initial version of the database contains over 70 assessors selected on the basis of defined common criteria and they will be appointed by each accreditation body;
- a document pertaining to common criteria for assessor selection was drafted; possibilities for its implementation by all regional accreditation bodies will be analysed by a working group that will be subsequently established;
- training sessions for employees of the accreditation bodies will start in September 2010 and will be split into three parts:
a) two workshops in which employees of the accreditation bodies will take part: one workshop will be for quality managers of the accreditation bodies and it will be dedicated to the fulfilment of certain requirements of ISO/IEC 17011, and the other one will be dedicated to the accreditation process implementation;
b) training sessions for assessors will be realised by witnessing the work of teams during assessments of laboratories, certification bodies, inspection bodies and PT providers; Croatia, Turkey and Greece will host the said training sessions;
c) specialised seminars for assessors: technical requirements for laboratories in the field of chemical and microbiological testing (venue: Belgrade, February 2011), environmental sampling (venue: Skopje, November 2010) and traceability in testing laboratories, including in-house calibration (venue: Greece, March 2011).