IAF updates

IAF UAC Holds March Meeting

Emmanouil Geneiatakis

The IAF User Advisory Committee (UAC) held its most recent meeting on 24 March 2022. Attendees discussed the IAF 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, the newly formed IAF working group (WG) on Sustainability, the IAF and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Single Organization Project, and recent developments within the International Organization for Standardization’s Committee on Conformity Assessment (ISO/CASCO).

Lori Gillespie, the IAF Vice-Chair, gave an overview of the current status of implementation of the strategic plan. UAC members welcomed the IAF leadership’s initiative for the further engagement of users in the strategic plan, and proposed some additional priorities, including: auditing and assessments in a changed world (the question of whether activity occurring is more complicated due to the rise in remote work), onboarding for new IAF Members (especially stakeholders trying to understand the world of IAF and accreditation bodies), increased resources for the IAF Secretariat, proactive engagement by IAF for user feedback and increased collaboration with industry, and issues with the increase in subcontracted certification.

The IAF Chair, Emanuele Riva, informed members about the WG on Sustainability that the IAF Executive Committee had agreed to establish at its meeting on 18 January 2022. UAC members welcomed this initiative, as the topic of sustainability and the circular economy will have a significant impact on the quality infrastructure.

UAC members are carefully monitoring developments within the IAF/ILAC Single Organization Project. Concern was raised for the one voice approach discussions among some accreditation bodies with regards to the voting rights and further involvement of the stakeholders in the new organization. UAC members agreed on the fact that not all stakeholders are the same (industry, partners, etc.), so the new organization should endeavour to categorize them well and not throw them all into the same basket.

As of this year, the IAF UAC has also introduced a new item in its meeting agendas called: Industry Perspectives. This agenda item supports learning from each other on topics of common interest. This year, the focus will be on fraud.

Members discussed the presentation and the topic of fraud. The current state of world affairs has left the world more vulnerable to fraud, such as rising prices leading to more cutting of corners. Fraud can cause product safety risks, and should be treated as important. Efforts also need to be made to improve international standards to accommodate for fraud.

On behalf of the IAF UAC, I would like to thank Tim Lee (Boeing) – International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) for his support and coordination on this topic and Jürgen Koehler (Airbus) for accepting to deliver the presentation on behalf of IAQG.

Members were informed of an ISO/CASCO new work item proposal (NWIP) on guidelines on the use of remote methods in conducting management system audits, and ISO/AWI PAS 14018 Guidelines for the Remote Auditing of Environmental Management Systems. An IAF Technical Committee discussion paper on the subject was provided to members, noting overlap with IAF documents. UAC members will review the discussion paper carefully and provide comments. 

Sectors represented at the IAF UAC: Aerospace, Automotive, Feed, Food, Forest, Medical Devices and Telecommunications.

Categories: IAF updates