The association of national accreditation bodies in Europe is the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA). With Regulation (EC) No 765/2008, a pivotal document in the world of accreditation, the European Commission has delegated important responsibilities to EA. These include in particular the harmonisation and further development of the accreditation system in Europe and assurance of the quality, transparency and independence of the system.
Memberships and interational recognition
DAkkS is a full member of EA, IAF and ILAC and a signatory of the multilateral recognition agreements (MLA/MRA) of these organisations. The goal of international cooperation: to enable the worldwide acceptance of conformity assessments through accreditation, with a view to reducing international barriers to trade.
Goals and purpose
The European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) constitutes the accreditation infrastructure within the EU, the European Free Trade Association and for candidates for accession to the European Union. The key mandate of EA as a network of cooperation among the European national accreditation bodies is to promote and harmonise the equivalence, transparency, uniformity and efficiency of accreditations in Europe and beyond. An important instrument for achieving this comparability and and for mutual recognition of accreditations is the peer evaluation process. Another central remit is to develop and coordinate accreditation criteria and guidelines in a manner that encourages harmonisation.
All EA national accreditation bodies must undergo a peer evaluation on a regular basis. The goal of this evaluation is to ensure that accreditation bodies meet the requirements in place for the assessment, certification and regular monitoring of the technical competence of conformity assessment bodies. The judgements of this evaluation system are based on well-founded evaluation criteria and procedures, with reference in particular to the international standard ISO/IEC 17011, which sets out the requirements for accreditation bodies.
IAF und ILAC: Global accreditation
The issues concerning the two global accreditation organisations, the International Accreditation Forum, Inc. (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), are by and large the same as the goals pursued by EA at the European level: to ensure the competence of the accreditation system and to promote cross-border recognition of accredited services. The great asset of mutual recognition requires uniform standards. This is why the formulation and continuous further development of its rules and regulations by the members of the committees are essential elements of the work and cooperation of IAF and ILAC. The agreed documents define the principles and guidelines for accreditation and supplement the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011, which must be met by all accreditation bodies.