What are the benefits of the IAF MLA?
Accreditation bodies around the world, which have been evaluated by peers as competent, have signed an arrangement that enhances the acceptance of products and services across national borders.
The purpose of the arrangement, the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA), is to ensure mutual recognition of accredited certification between signatories to the MLA, and subsequently acceptance of accredited certification in many markets based on one accreditation.
For Government - The IAF MLA provides governments with a credible and robust framework on which to further develop and enhance government to government bilateral and multilateral international trade agreements. The long-term aim is the fully accepted use and recognition, by both public and private industries, of accredited certification, including certificates from other countries. In this way, the free-trade goal of “certified once, accepted everywhere” will be realised.
For Regulators - The IAF MLA represents an internationally recognised ‘stamp of approval’ to demonstrate compliance against agreed standards and requirements. Consequently, risk is minimised, as decisions will be based on reliable certificates. Many specifiers, such as government agencies, have recognised the importance of credible accreditation programs that are developed against internationally recognised standards. Accreditation and the IAF MLA help regulators meet their own legislated responsibilities by providing a globally recognised system to accept accredited certification.
For Business - the IAF MLA provides businesses that are procuring products and services with greater confidence in their consistency of quality. Businesses can therefore select suppliers from further afield in the knowledge that they will receive products and services that conform to a recognised standard.
For Manufacturers - Having products assessed and certified as conforming to a particular standard allows manufacturers and service providers to distinguish themselves from less reputable suppliers, thereby creating a competitive advantage.
The IAF MLA ensures that standards, specifications and conformity assessment methods are the same, allowing one certificate or certification to be recognised around the world. This lowers the cost of accredited certification and reduces the risk of products or services being rejected by international trading partners.
For Consumers - Consumer confidence can be gained from goods or services that bear a mark or carry a certificate of conformity. The IAF MLA ensures that such goods and services placed on the market, from which ever country of origin, meet standards of quality and safety.