Representatives of RusAccreditation took part in the work of the ILAC Accreditation Committee (ILAC AIC) – one of the main standing committees of the organization. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting of the Committee was held via videoconference in two stages – October 27 and December 15, 2020.
The meeting participants exchanged views on the harmonization of accreditation procedures carried out by accreditation bodies – members of ILAC, primarily taking into account the expansion of the use of remote assessment techniques in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Herewith, aspects related to the effectiveness of remote assessments, appropriate resource provision and organization were discussed. Special attention was paid to the risks arising in the process of conducting remote assessments, as well as methods of their prevention and minimization.
Issues related to the transition to the new version of the international standard ISO / IEC 17025: 2017 were also addressed. Due to COVID-19 and occupational health and safety measures, the transition period to the new version of the standard has been extended from November 30, 2020 to June 1, 2021.
In October-December 2020, RusAccreditation took part in the General Assemblies of ILAC, IAF and APAC. In accordance with the established practice in the framework of the meetings of General Assemblies, the reports of the standing committees and working groups, as well as information on the cooperation of these organizations with other international associations operating in the field of accreditation and conformity assessment, were considered. The process of uniting ILAC and IAF into a single international accreditation organization was also discussed. Particular attention was paid to the problem of ensuring the continuity of accreditation and conformity assessment processes in the context of restrictions in movement between countries and within individual states imposed in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the transition to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, particularly by the effect of the widespread use of remote assessment mechanisms.