IAF Members' news

SADCA Obtains its International Recognition

Yolanda Vinnicombe
SADCA Regional Coordinator

On 23 March 2023, the Southern Accreditation Development Community Cooperation in Accreditation (SADCA) was accepted as a recognised Regional Accreditation Cooperation by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) MRA, for the accreditation of Calibration and Testing laboratories using ISO/IEC 17025.

On 28 March 2023, SADCA received confirmation that it was accepted as a recognised Regional Group by the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Arrangement (IAF MLA), for the accreditation of Management System Certification Bodies using ISO/IEC 17021-1 for Quality Management Systems (QMS).

These recognitions came after many years of preparation and a rigorous joint IAF/ILAC initial evaluation of SADCA, starting in August 2021 with the evaluation of the SADCA Secretariat, followed by an observation of a SADCA evaluation of an Accreditation Body, and ending in November 2022 with an observation of the SADCA MRA Council’s decision-making processes.  The result was the endorsement of recommendations regarding the recognition of SADCA by the IAF MLA Management Committee and the ILAC Arrangement Council.

This key strategic milestone achievement of the international recognition of the SADCA MRA by ILAC and IAF supports industrialisation and facilitates regional and international trade by promoting confidence in accredited results.  The global acceptance of accredited results reduces technical barriers to trade, eliminating the need for re-testing, re-calibration and re-certification, promoting the competitiveness of SADC goods and services globally, and supporting the realisation of the free-trade goal of “accredited once, accepted everywhere”.

The international recognition of SADCA aligns to the strategic intent of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Strategy and Plan which sets out SADC’s 50-year development plans for the period 2017-2063. 

SADCA is a cooperation of accreditation bodies in the SADC region, and a Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Cooperation Structure established under the TBT Annex to the SADC Protocol on Trade.  SADCA Accreditation Body signatory members are appointed or recognized by the government of the Member State, legally established and operating in the SADC region, who have been evaluated by SADCA and found to comply with the requirements for operating an Accreditation Body. These members are MAURITAS (Mauritius), SADCAS (Botswana) – representing 14 economies in the SADC region and SANAS (South Africa).

SADCA wishes to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of SADC Member States, the founding members of SADCA, SADCA members, SADCA structures, Evaluators and the Secretariat, all of whom have played a major role in achieving this milestone. SADCA also expresses its deepest appreciation to Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany, the SADC Secretariat, and SANAS, South Africa as the host of the SADCA Secretariat, for their invaluable support that has brought us thus far.

With this recognition, SADCA looks forward to advance SADC’s trade intra-regionally and globally.

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