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Recognition by LAS
Following the 95th Ministerial Economic and Social Council meeting of the League of Arab States [LAS], held on 19th February 2015 in LAS headquarters, in Cairo, Egypt, the Ministerial Economic and Social Council has recognized ARAC as one of the main pillars of the Pan Arab quality infrastructure in supporting intra-regional trade and the Arab Customs Union requirements.
ILAC & IAF membership
- ARAC membership in ILAC
- In December 2012, ARAC has been accepted by ILAC as Regional Cooperation Body. ILAC is the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation for both laboratory and inspection accreditation bodies formed more than 30 years ago to help remove technical barriers to trade.
- ARAC membership in IAF
- ARAC has been accepted in September 2013 as an IAF Special Recognition Organization - Regional Accreditation Group Member.
- The IAF is the world association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies and other bodies interested in conformity assessment in the fields of management systems, products, services, personnel and other similar programmes of conformity assessment. Its primary function is to develop a single worldwide program of conformity assessment which reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring them that accredited certificates may be relied upon. Accreditation assures users of the competence and impartiality of the body accredited.
- This status gives the right to the ARAC not only to participate at the ILAC/IAF Technical committees, Task Forces and working Groups, but even to be an active member throughout the right to vote in the most important ILAC/IAF committees like the ILAC Arrangement Management committee, IAF Multilateral Arrangement Committee and ILAC/IAF Executive committees. In addition, the ARAC qualified Peer evaluators participating at the ILAC&IAF Peer evaluations.
Following the ILAC & IAF membership, ARAC is an active member in the following committees and working groups:
- ILAC Arrangement Management Committee (AMC): responsible for the day-to-day management activities of the Arrangement on behalf of the Arrangement Council and provides advice on its further development and operation.
- ILAC Executive Committee: responsible for the day to day management of ILAC and its activities.
- ILAC Arrangement Committee (ARC): Responsible for harmonized implementation and continual improvement of the ILAC Arrangement. Deals with the approach of accreditation bodies to the assessment and accreditation of laboratories, the establishment of agreements between accreditation bodies and related policy areas.
- ILAC Accreditation Committee (AIC): Responsible for harmonization and improvement of accreditation practice at the international level. It is involved in the investigation of technical issues related to accreditation, and the development of technical documentation related to ILAC's work.
- Joint Development Support Committee (JDSC) - Responsible for representing the interests of developing countries and operates in conjunction with the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). This committee provides a forum for developing countries to present their needs and to work with ILAC and IAF on practical ways of addressing these needs.
- Joint ILAC/IAF Executive committee: responsible for the stewardship of joint activities between ILAC and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
- ILAC/IAF Peer evaluators Task Force Group: responsible for conducting the ILAC and IAF need analysis for Evaluator’s required over the next 5 years and Identifying support required for the development of developing Regional Accreditation Body
- Joint Working A-series Group: Responsible for updating and preparation of the A-series documents which are the Joint ILAC and IAF documents defining the requirements for the evaluation of regional cooperation bodies and accreditation bodies.
- IAF Management Systems Certification (MSC) Working Group: provides a forum for management systems certification discussions and feedback to various stakeholders on the activity and improvement of management systems certification; including feedback into CASCO for the revision of various ISO standards,
- The IAF Task force to prepare the IAF document on witnessing rules in the assessment of the Management System certification bodies,
- The IAF TC Task Force on accreditation bodies assessor competency: preparation of the IAF Mandatory document on generic competence for accreditation bodies’ assessors,
At the international level, it would be impossible for Arab Region to be recognized and effectively represented in such key committees under the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) if it does not have strong continental accreditation cooperation. In addition, ARAC will have to become a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) and Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) signatory to the ILAC and IAF.
The focus for the next four years will be on the strengthening the functioning of ARAC and roll-out of the ARAC Multi lateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) between Accreditation Bodies that want to become signatories to the ARAC MLA.
Relationships with other regional cooperation bodies
ARAC established a close cooperation with all the Regional Accreditation Cooperation bodies via the signing and implementation of Technical Cooperation Agreements and Memorandum of Understandings MoUs.
The following figure shows the location of ARAC at the International level.
In the Margin of the ILAC and IAF General Assembly in Seoul, Korea, ARAC and Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation APAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU on 24th October 2013.
In the margin of the 3rd ARAC General Assembly held on 22nd May 2014 in Dubai, UAE, a Memorandum of Understanding MoU between ARAC and EA (European Cooperation for Accreditation), the Regional Group of national accreditation bodies in Europe, has been signed by the two organization’s Chairs
ARAC – AFRAC
ARAC and African Accreditation Cooperation [AFRAC] signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement on 25th Marsh 2013 in the Margin of the first ARAC International Conference held in Marrakech, Morocco.
During the ARAC Regional workshop, organized in Amman, Jordan, in the days 17 -18 June 2012, the Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC) and The Inter American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement.
ARAC – PAC
In the Margin of the ILAC and IAF General Assembly in Milan, Italy, ARAC and Pacific Accreditation Cooperation PAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU on 5th November 2015.
ARAC members took advantages of this Regional Cooperation, especially in terms of the participation of many ARAC Accreditation Bodies members accredited Laboratories at the Proficiency Testing Programmes Provided by APLAC and the use of International recognised and qualified Peer evaluators at the ARAC Peer evaluations.