11. IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA)
The primary objective of conformity assessment is to give its users confidence that requirements applicable to products, services, systems, processes and materials have been met.
One purpose of the IAF MLA is to provide users in countries with accreditation bodies, that are IAF MLA members, assurance that equivalent certification/registration bodies in other countries operate to the same standard as those in their own country. International experts subject IAF MLA members to rigorous operational evaluations before and during their MLA membership to ensure that the high standards of the IAF are maintained.
Accreditations granted by IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) accreditation body members are recognised worldwide based on their equivalent accreditation programmes, therefore reducing costs and adding value to industry and consumers. Certificates in the fields of management systems, products, services, personnel and other similar programmes of conformity assessment issued by bodies accredited by IAF MLA members are therefore relied upon in international trade. Without international standards, technical barriers to trade would result in increased costs for importers and consumers, reduced competition and different standards of a product or service.
As a strategic objective, IAF is committed to increasing the transparency of the peer evaluation process and its outcomes. IAF and its Accreditation Body members invest significant effort and resource to maintain the integrity and consistency of the MLA through the peer evaluation process.
The IAF MLA Annual Report sets out the detailed activity that is carried out as part of the peer evaluation process, to ensure that regulators, specifiers, and businesses can have confidence in the Arrangement. The IAF MLA Report is published on an annual basis.
IAF MLA Annual Report 2009
Next: 12. MLA Signatories