UKAS reported on the successful peer evaluations of its accreditation services conducted in November/December 2016 in a news article published on 9th January 2017. This confirmed that positive recommendations had been provided by the peer evaluators with respect to the following objectives:
- Review of the existing scope of the EA MLA with a view to maintaining signatory status. This scope covering Testing, Calibration & Medical Laboratories; Inspection Bodies; Management System Certification Bodies; Product / Process / Service Certification Bodies; Persons Certification Bodies; and Greenhouse Gas Verification Bodies.
- Initial evaluation of UKAS’s Proficiency Testing Provider accreditation service (under ISO/IEC 17043) with the view of including UKAS within the first batch of accreditation bodies to sign the new PTP MLA when it is launched in April 2017.
- Inclusion of the EU’s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS): This activity differs from the others in that the EMAS MLA is not managed by EA but a different body set-up by the European Commission in 2000 – The Forum of Accreditation & Licensing Bodies (FALB). AS the majority of FALB members are also members of EA it was agreed that a combined evaluation could be undertaken this time.
During the first three months of 2017 UKAS undertook a root-cause analysis of each of the findings raised and implemented corrective and preventive actions to ensure they were fully addressed. Evidence of the actions taken was submitted to the peer evaluation teams who accepted that they were appropriate in effectively addressing the issues raised. The final reports were then submitted to the EA Secretariat (and FALB for EMAS) for review and final decision by the appropriate body.
- The EA Multilateral Agreement Council (MAC) met in Sofia during 26th & 27th April to decide on the peer evaluation reports finalised over the past 6 months, including that of UKAS. The MAC members were satisfied with the conduct of the peer evaluation of UKAS and of its outcome, including closure of findings, and as a consequence took the unanimous decision to Re-Confirm our signatory status for the existing MLA scope, and also to include UKAS in the new EA MLA* developed for the accreditation of Proficiency Testing Providers to ISO/IEC 17043.
- The Forum of Accreditation and Licensing Bodies (FALB) met in Brentford on 27th April to review and make decisions on recent EMAS peer evaluations. The members were satisfied with the outcome of the peer evaluation of UKAS and Re-Confirmed the membership status of UKAS within FALB.
*Following the commencement of peer evaluations of accreditation services relating to Proficiency Testing Providers in 2016, a new EA MLA for this activity was formally launched during the EA MAC meeting in April 2017 – UKAS was amongst the first 12 accreditation bodies to become signatories to this new Agreement. EA is also in the process of applying for Regional recognition of this new MLA to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) – Once approved this will result in UKAS accredited PT Providers benefitting from global recognition in addition to the current regional recognition: UKAS will issue a formal statement once this has been achieved.
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