» ILAC MRA extended to include accreditation of inspection bodies
16 November, 2012
The scope of the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) was extended to include the accreditation of inspection bodies on 24 October 2012, at the annual ILAC/IAF meetings held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. UKAS is proudly one of the thirty-nine accreditation bodies from thirty-nine economies that became inaugural signatories (www.ilac.org/ilacarrangement) to the ILAC MRA for the accreditation of inspection bodies.
As with the accreditation of laboratories, the ILAC MRA for inspection is based on the recognition of the mutual recognition arrangements for inspection that have been established and evaluated in the three recognised regional cooperation bodies of ILAC, namely APLAC , EA and IAAC.
Accredited once, accepted everywhere!
The accreditation bodies that are signatories to the ILAC MRA for inspection, use the international standard ISO/IEC 17020 Conformity assessment – Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection to accredit the inspection bodies. This ensures a uniform approach to assessing inspection body competence.
This consistency allows economies to establish cross-border agreements, based on mutual evaluation and acceptance of each other’s inspection body accreditation systems. Such international agreements, called mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs), are crucial in enabling the acceptance of inspection reports and / or certificates and therefore facilitating the acceptance of goods and services between economies.
Each signatory to the ILAC MRA recognises the accreditation and results of an inspection body accredited by another signatory, as if it were one of its own accredited inspection bodies.
Accredited inspection bodies are authorised to issue inspection reports and/or certificates bearing a symbol or endorsement of the accreditation body indicating their accreditation. Users of inspection services should also check with the inspection body to confirm that specific inspections are covered by their accreditation. This is normally specified in the accreditation certificate or scope of accreditation document, available on request from either the inspection body or accreditation body.
In addition, the ILAC MCC has also published the four new brochures listed below, relating to inspection body accreditation. These are available from http://ilac.org/prom_brochure.html
Why become an accredited inspection body Why use an accredited inspection body How does using an accredited inspection body benefit government and regulators? How do I gain confidence in an Inspection Body? Do they need ISO 9001 certification or ISO/IEC 17020 accreditation?