EA MLA Report 2019

NoticesInternational activities

EA MLA Report 2019

EA MLA Report 2019 published

The European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) published the EA MLA Report 2019 on its website on April 14, 2020.

The EA MLA Report 2019 provides information on the activities of the EA Multilateral Agreement Committee (EA MAC) responsible for the efficient and impartial management and monitoring of peer evaluation. It also makes decisions related to the status of a signatory to a multilateral (EA MLA) or bilateral agreement (EA BLA) on the equivalence of the accreditation system at the level of EA or the European Union (EU). Additionally, the report provides an overview of the key activities implemented in 2019, as well as the decisions made regarding the signatories.

The EA MLA is an agreement signed between national accreditation bodies - successfully peer evaluated EA Full and Associate Members - to recognize the equivalence, reliability and acceptance by the European market of certification, verification, inspection and calibration certificates and test reports issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies.

The EA MLA provides the European market with a network of conformity assessment bodies that are competent within their scope of accreditation to issue reliable and credible statements of conformity for products and services, thereby reducing costs and adding value to business and consumers. This contributes to the freedom of trade by eliminating technical barriers.

The main goal of peer evaluation activities is to assess the ongoing compliance of NABs with the internationally agreed requirements. Next, one of their objectives is to ensure that the regulator, stakeholders, and businesses can have confidence in certificates and reports issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies under the EA MLA.

Within the EA MLA/BLA has been signed by 34 EA members so far, the following decisions were made by the EA MLA Council (EA MAC) during 2019 related to extending the signed scope of the agreement or signing a new field of ​​the agreement:

Activities in May:

- National Accreditation Authority (NAH) became a signatory to the EA MLA in the field of proficiency testing providers;

- Slovenian Accreditation, became a signatory of the EA MLA in the field of medical examinations;

- SNAS, Slovak National Accreditation Service, became a signatory to the EA MLA in the field of proficiency testing providers;

-Turkish Accreditation Agency (TURKAK), become a signatory of the EA MLA in the field of  Greenhouse Gas Validation and Verification.

Activities in October:

- the German national accreditation body DAkkS, became a signatory of the EA MLA agreement in the field of manufacturers of reference materials according to the ISO 17034 standard;

- Georgian National Accreditation Body became a signatory of the EA BLA in the field of medical examinations according to the ISO 15189.

Since 2017, EA has extended the scope of the EA MLA for reference materials producers (RMP) according to EN ISO 17034. After the first peer evaluations and the first successfully evaluated members in 2018, the scope of the EA MLA was extended in 2019 for seven signatories to this agreement for reference materials producers (RMP).

Also, the scope of the EA MLA was extended in November 2019, by the decision of the General Assembly, to the field of ​​"Validation and Verification", and the EA MLA standard level 3 was adopted standard EN ISO/IEC 17029: Conformity Assessment-General principles and requirements for validation and verification bodies was adopted as a new EA MLA standard level 3.

Peer evaluations according to the new version of EN ISO/IEC 17011 progressed very well in 2019, when about one-third of the signatories of the EA MLA successfully made the transition from the previous version of the standard. Decisions regarding the transition of other signatories to the EA MLA must be made by November 2020.

EA has become the first regional group to sign the ILAC MRA for Proficiency Testing Provider (PT providers) Accreditation under ISO/IEC 17043.

MAC Chair, Paulo Tavares (IPAC, Portugal), points out that we will face significant challenges in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic, which will contribute to the current unfavorable situation worldwide as well as the financial crisis will have an impact on the infrastructure for conformity assessment. He adds that strong, but also flexible systems of accreditation and peer evaluation are vital for maintaining trust in the public service provided by accreditation bodies.

You can download the EA MLA Report 2019 here.