The Evaluation Process
Accreditation body members of IAF are admitted to the MLA only after stringent evaluation of their operations by a peer evaluation team. It is the responsibility of this team to assess that the applicant member complies fully with both the international standards and IAF guidelines.
Each accreditation body that is a signatory to the IAF MLA commits to:
- Maintain conformity with the current version of ISO/IEC 17011 Conformity assessment - General requirements for bodies providing assessment and accreditation of conformity assessment bodies and supplementary requirements documents.
- Recognise the competence and impartiality of accreditations of Conformity Assessment Bodies by all other members of the MLA.
The IAF MLA has been structured to build on existing and developing regional MLAs established around the world. IAF has granted Special Recognition to the MLA programs of three Regional Accreditation Groups, the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA), the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) and the InterAmerican Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC), on the basis of the acceptance of the mutual recognition arrangements established within these organisations.
Membership of the IAF MLA is recognised as being satisfied by membership of either the EA MLA, the PAC MLA or the IAAC MLA for recognised programs. IAF members who are also signatories of these regional MLAs are automatically accepted into the IAF MLA for recognised programs. The IAF MLA for Quality Management Systems (QMS) has been operational since 22 January 1998 when 14 IAF Members signed the Arrangement in Guangzhou, China. The IAF MLAs for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and Product Certification became operational at the IAF Annual Meetings held in Cape Town, South Africa in October 2004.