A main focus for the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA), a regional member of IAF, has been to analyze how accreditation is supporting its constituencies; namely EU Citizens, the EU Commission, National Authorities, and Industry.
While Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 provides a comprehensive legal framework for accreditation, EA has been looking at the levels of Regulatory acceptance and Scheme Owner uptake of accreditation as a means of achieving trust in the market. Is the accreditation system suitably robust to deliver confidence and trust?
To answer these questions, the EU Commission has set EA the task of measuring its effectiveness through a series of annual performance indicators. EA has therefore gathered specific relevant data from its National Accreditation Body (NABs) Members. The results were published in the “Report 2019 on the functioning of accreditation in Europe”.
To further improve its performance and to deliver increased market confidence, EA has also been working to re-engineer its peer-evaluation process which determines the competence and performance of European National Accreditation Bodies (NABs). This work is being carried out against a backdrop of ISO/IEC 17011:2017 and a significantly greater reliance on accreditation across the region. EA will review various proposals in the coming months that seek to improve the competences of peer evaluators and decision-makers, and aspects of the onsite assessment.
Raising the profile of accreditation to EU Citizens
Consumer awareness of accreditation has always been a challenge; however, EA is working on a number of initiatives to improve its visibility among the general public. A video has been published using ‘plain English’ to show how accreditation benefits our everyday lives.
A second initiative involves the development of an EA MLA Mark that can be used on certificates and reports. The design of the Mark was approved at the recent General Assembly, and it is hoped to act as a clear, visible and harmonized ‘passport of trust’ in Europe.
Categories: IAF Regions' news