By means of ILAC Resolution GA 16.06 the scope of the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) was extended to include the accreditation of inspection bodies on 24th October 2012 at the annual ILAC/IAF meetings held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Thirty-nine accreditation bodies from thirty-nine economies became the inaugural signatories to the ILAC MRA for the accreditation of inspection bodies.
As with the accreditation of laboratories, the ILAC MRA for inspection is based on the recognition of the mutual recognition arrangements for inspection that have been established and evaluated in the three recognised regional cooperation bodies of ILAC, namely APLAC, EA and IAAC.
The accreditation bodies that are signatories to the ILAC MRA for inspection use the international standard ISO/IEC 17020 Conformity assessment – Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection to accredit the inspection bodies. This ensures a uniform approach to assessing inspection body competence.
This consistency allows economies to establish cross-border agreements based on mutual evaluation and acceptance of each other’s inspection body accreditation systems. Such international agreements, called mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs), are crucial in enabling the acceptance of inspection reports and/or certificates and therefore facilitating the acceptance of goods and services between economies.
Each signatory to the ILAC MRA recognises the accreditation and results of an inspection body accredited by another signatory, as if it were one of its own accredited inspection bodies.
ILAC also published four new brochures that are important for work of control bodies:
- Why become an accredited inspection body?
- Why use an accredited inspection body?
- How does accredited inspection benefit government and regulators?
- How do I gain confidence in an Inspection Body? Do they need ISO 9001 or ISO/IEC 17020 accreditation?
For more information about the extended scope of the ILAC MRA arrangement, please visit www.ilac.org/ilacarrangement