Published on: 29/05/2017
Major milestones for EA at its 39th General Assembly
Significant achievements were made at the last EA General Assembly hosted on 23 and 24 May 2017 in Bled, Slovenia by Slovenska Akreditaci (SA), the Slovenian accreditation body.
New Officers and Stakeholders in EA
The EA General Assembly elected, for the term 23 May – 31 December 2017, Ignacio Pina (ENAC) as EA Vice-Chair. As soon as elected, Ignacio had to take over from Thomas Facklam, the EA Chairman who, unexpectedly, could not attend the meeting, to chair the 39th meeting of the EA General Assembly.
The EA General Assembly elected the following Chairs and officers to the EA Executive Committee (EX) for a two-year mandate starting on 1 January 2018:
- EA Chair: Peter Strömbäck (SWEDAC, the Swedish NAB).
- EA Vice-Chair: Ignacio Pina (ENAC, the Spanish NAB), the previous HHC Chair.
- EA Multilateral Agreement Council (MAC) Chair: Paulo Tavares (IPAC, the Portuguese NAB) was re-elected for a second mandate.
- EA Horizontal Harmonization Committee (HHC) Chair: Gabriel Zrenner (DAkkS, the German NAB) was elected for a first mandate.
- EA Communications & Publications Committee (CPC) Chair: Lucyna Olborska (PCA, the Polish NAB) was elected for a first mandate as CPC Chair.
- EA Laboratory Committee (LC) Chair: Laurent Vinson (COFRAC, the French NAB) was re-elected for a second mandate.
- EA Certification Committee (CC) Chair: Kevin Belson (UKAS, the UK NAB) was re-elected for a second mandate.
- EA Inspection Committee (IC) Chair: Rolf Straub, (SAS, the Swiss NAB) was re-elected for a fourth mandate.
- Emanuele Riva (ACCREDIA, the Italian NAB), Maria Papadzikou (ESYD, the Greek NAB), Jiří Růžička, (CAI, the Czech NAB) and Ed Wieles (RvA, the Dutch NAB) were elected as additional members of the EX.
EA also offered EA Recognised Stakeholder status to GLOBALG.A.P. and the European Sensory Science Society (E3S), entering into an agreement with each of them in accordance with EA-1/15 A: 2014 - EA Policy for Relations with Stakeholders and Andreas Fekete could sign the agreement with Ignacio Pina, the acting Chair during the dinner offered by SA in the evening of the 1st day of the meeting.
MLA Scopes and standards issues
After the successful extension of the EA MLA to cover accreditation of proficiency testing providers, 12 EA NABs signed the MLA during the dinner on 23rd May, the General Assembly agreed to open a new scope. Acting upon recommendation from the MAC, the EA Members decided on the following:
- extension of the scope of the EA MLA for Reference Materials Producers (RMP) as a new level 2 conformity assessment activity using EN ISO 17034 as a new level 3 normative document;
- launching of the EA MLA for Reference Material Producers (EN ISO 17034) during the MAC meeting in April 2019, provided that at least three members are successfully peer-evaluated by that date;
- EA’s application to ILAC for extending the scope of EA as a recognized region to “Reference Material Producers – ISO 17034”;
- reformulation of the designation of the EA MLA level 2 conformity assessment activity currently described as "Verification" to "Validation and Verification".
On the accreditation side, the General Assembly endorsed the mandatory application of ISO/IEC 17021-3:2017 Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems - Part 3: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of quality management systems as level 4 standard for all EA members.
EA Strategy 2025 in the “starting block”
The General Assembly approved the implementation plan for EA Strategy 2025 and mandated the Executive Committee to monitor the implementing actions entrusted to several specific task force groups. To support this implementation plan, the EA Secretariat’s activities have already been reorganised early in 2017 as follows:
- Dr Andreas Steinhorst, EA Executive Secretary
- Sandy Adonel - General administration and peer evaluators
- Martine Blum - Head of Administration
- Frédérique Laudinet - Secretary of Certification Committee, Inspection Committee and EA Advisory Board, Relations with EA Recognised Stakeholders and EA Reporting
- Audrey Malacain - Marketing and Communications Manager and Secretary of Communications and Publications Committee
- Lydie Mauger - Secretary of Multilateral Agreement Council
- Yannick Nol - Finances Manager
- A new Secretary of the Horizontal Harmonisation and Laboratory Committees, who will also be in charge of EA Peer Evaluations, is being recruited.
Revised and approved documents
The General Assembly, acting upon recommendation from the Executive Committee, approved
the revision version of EA-1/17: S4 Proxy Procedure and EA-0/07 EA Procedure for application for EA membership or a cooperation agreement and application form, subsequent to the revision of its Articles of Association and Rules of procedure.
To reflect the new policy on how to use highlighted interlaboratory comparisons, the EA members decided to withdraw EA-2/14: Procedure for Regional Calibration ILCs in Support of the EA MLA and EA-INF/12: Benefits and importance of the participation in EA highlighted PT schemes.
The Members endorsed the Final Report on the EA Work Programme 2016 and the EA Work Programme for 2018 which outlines a number of key projects for EA: a new website, implementation of an internet based IT tool to manage EA peer evaluations and evaluators, first results of the TFGs involved in the implementation of EA Strategy 2025.
The General Assembly formally endorsed the financial accounts for 2016, the forecast and revised activity-based budget for 2017, the proposed budget for 2018 and EA membership fee schedule for 2018 giving mandate to the Executive Committee to make any relevant adjustments as a result of the ongoing discussions with the EC on the next 2018-2021 framework partnership agreement.
Finally, the General Assembly also decided that the Laboratory Committee will start a new work item to elaborate a guidance document for the Accreditation of Pesticide Residues Analysis in Food and Feed and revise EA-4/17: EA position paper on the description of scopes of accreditation of medical laboratories and EA-4/20: Guidance for the Assessment of Laboratories against EN ISO 15189 and EN ISO 22870 Point-of-Care Testing (POCT).
All the resolutions adopted at the 39th EA General Assembly are available at www.european-accreditation.org/page/ea-approved-resolutions