IAF updates

Progress Continues in the IAF/ILAC Single Organization Project

Emanuele Riva
IAF Chair

Becoming one.

For decades IAF and ILAC have been discussing the need or opportunity to become a single organization, and never before have we been closer to the goal.

We have now entered a phase that requires even more effort, as we are starting to discuss the details, such as voting rights, the mechanisms for recognizing a scheme, and the economy in which to establish the new organization.

Everyone generally shares the idea of ​​a single organization. Yes, but which one?

Maybe you will remember that to get the project started, all members were asked to choose an initial model to start with, and the options on the table were either an IAF-like organization, an ILAC-like organization, or a consortium.

As I imagined, most of the preferences went towards the idea of ​​the consortium. This demonstrates the strong desire for novelty in our community.  Something new, a hope, a poorly defined concept, an idea of ​​succeeding in the enterprise. We therefore started this journey with everyone’s maximum willingness to change models to do something new together.

In the light of this initial spirit, we must all work hard, in the months to come, to smooth out the differences that still remain, and to value what we already share now. And the new organization must be considered a home for all.

It is not desirable that even a member who joins IAF and ILAC today should feel excluded from this new project. The idea is to do something together.

IAF and ILAC are now two organizations located in different economies, with similar (but not identical) rules for evaluating schemes, with real stakeholder participation (albeit with different voting rights) and with two independent secretariats that nevertheless work closely together to manage a number of joint committees and projects, and joint mid-term and annual meetings for both organizations.

These are perhaps the last details on which we need to work.  Then it will be fun to choose a new name, a slogan, elect the new Board and so on.

During the process, we must not forget who we are. Today we are two organizations that constitute a privileged place where conformity assessment actors are able to dialogue and find points of agreement, so much so that we have the authority to define common rules of operations and make joint recommendations and decisions. We are two organizations where stakeholders really matter, and for what we are and what we represent, and as a result of decades of hard work, we are recognized as valid and credible interlocutors by many other international organizations.

We are, because we are recognized as having the ability to represent our whole world, and not just a part (e.g. only accreditation bodies, or only conformity assessment bodies, or only user organizations). We are all of this. And by defending our two identities I strongly believe we will be able to become a better organization.

It’s like when a farmer grafts a plant. The rootstock must be compatible with the scion, otherwise a new plant will not be born. You cannot graft a rose with an oleander. The two plants must be compatible.  IAF and ILAC today have principles in common. We must take into account who we are to understand how we will be.

On this exciting journey, full of surprises and unexpected events, as it should be in every adventurous journey, I am happy to say that we are on schedule with the timeline that we have set ourselves.

In 2024 this new organization should be born, to which no one has yet had the courage to give it a name for good luck.

The Name of the Rose.

Categories: IAF updates